Skip Navigation

Go
Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Mountain Lion Puma concolor (Felis concolor)

Track Prints quite round, usually with all 4 lower toes showing but no claw marks, as claws are retracted. Foreprint 3 1/44" (80100 mm) long; hindprint slightly smaller. Lobed heel pad has single scalloped edge at front, double scalloped edge at rear. Tracks usually in a fairly straight line, staggered in pairs, with hindfoot track close to or overlapping forefoot track, but seldom registering precisely within it. Straddle 810" (200250 mm); length of stride 1228" (300700 mm). Longer gaps indicate bounding, when all feet come down close together. In snow, prints slightly larger, sometimes blurred by thicker winter fur, and elongated by foot drag marks; in deep snow, tail may drag and leave trace between prints.

Sign Scratches or gashes on trees used as scratching posts, longer and higher than those left by Bobcat or Lynx. Remains of a kill, often conspicuous, to which the cat may return; may be loosely covered with branches, leaves, and litter.
Scrapes and scent posts: Piles of dirt in home range kicked up by hindfeet; 618" (1545 cm) across, 12" (35 cm) high. A more conspicuous scrape may be a scent post, where a male Mountain Lion has loosely piled leaves or debris and urinated on the pile to mark his territory.
Scat: Usually copious; varies from masses to irregular cylinders and pellets; frequently contains traces of hair or bone scraps. Sometimes covered with earth, but often left exposed or partly exposed as a scent post; if covered, scratchings on the ground probably indicate general direction of movement, as Mountain Lions habitually face their line of travel as they scratch.

 

 

 

2007 eNature.com