Mountain Lion

 
Scientific Name
Puma concolor

Identification
  • They are the largest completely carnivorous animals in the park. At the shoulders, an adult mountain lion stands about 2-3 feet tall and 6 -7.5 feet long from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail.
  • Mountain Lions have a round head and erect ears. They have powerful forequarters and necks, and long hind legs for leaping and sprinting short distances.
  • The coat is tawny, with lighter patches on the undercoat and around the nose and throat.
Habitat
  • Mountain lions live from as far north as the Canadian Yukon to as far south as the Southern Andes in South America.
  • They live in a variety of habitats. In Grand Canyon National Park, they most frequently live in the forests of the North and South Rims.
  • Mountain lions have very large territories- their home range is usually around 150 square miles. This means that most mountain lions here live both in the Park and the surrounding Forest Service lands.
Behavior
  • Mountain lions are ambush predators that prey primarily on mule deer and elk. Mountain lions use a combination of stealth and power, stalking their prey until they find an opportunity to pounce, taking down large animals with a fatal bite to the back of the neck.
  • They are solitary animals.
  • Mountain lions are primarily nocturnal. They have incredible night vision to hunt and navigate at night;they can see with 1/6 of the light that humans need.
  • Females will have litters of one to six cubs and they raise the cubs without help from a male. Infants are born spotted, with blue eyes and rings on their tails.
  • Humans in Grand Canyon have no reason to fear mountain lions because they do not see humans as prey. For mountain lions however, being hit by cars is a common cause of death. Please use caution while driving, especially on East Rim Drive, and keep an eye out for mountain lion and other animals crossing the road.
 

Last updated: May 17, 2016

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

928-638-7888

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