Puma (Puma concolor) - Puma Lineage
Florida Panther    Image Source
By Larry W. Richardson U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The adaptable Puma (Puma concolor) is also known as the Cougar, Mountain Lion and Panther among many other names. Pumas are widespread from Canada through North and Central America to South America, but have disappeared from many regions within this vast range due to persecution.

Puma Lineage

1. Puma / Mountain Lion (Puma concolor)

2. Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

3. Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi)

Key Facts about Pumas

~ Plain coat - no spots / stripes ~

~ Vast range in W Hemisphere ~

~ Over 40 common names ~

Puma (Puma concolor) Classification

The taxonomy or scientific classification of the Puma species (Puma concolor) is as follows:

Kingdom: Animalia (animals)

Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)

Class: Mammalia (mammals)

Order: Carnivora (carnivores)

Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)

Family: Felidae (cats)

Subfamily: Felinae (small cats / non-pantherine)

Genus: Puma

Species: Puma concolor (puma / cougar / mountain lion)

Wild Cats of North America Print
Wild Cats of North America by Roger Hall
View Wild Cats of North America Print

Side view of a Patagonian puma

Puma (Puma concolor) Subspecies

Lower Classifications

The globally conservation status of Pumas is Least Concern (LC) although some subpopulations are considered threatened. Currently six subspecies are recognized:

Puma concolor cougar - North America
Puma concolor costaricensis - Central America

Puma concolor capricornensis - South America - eastern
Puma concolor concolor - South America - northern
Puma concolor cabrerae - South America - central
Puma concolor puma - South America - southern

Based on recent genetic studies used in the latest taxonomic revision of Felidae.

Puma Conservation

The following organizations are actively protecting the declining populations of Pumas. Projects include facilitating recolonization and dealing with new threats of road barriers and roadkill in built up areas in North America.

Puma / Cougar / Mountain Lion with kitten drinking at rivers edge

Female puma / cougar / mountain lion in habitat

Puma Facts and Information

The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on pumas  / mountain lions / cougars:

Puma Tours South America

The following organizations offer tours to South America where you are likely to see Pumas in their natural habitat. These companies offer small group experiences, support conservation projects, and indicate their trips are environmentally and ethically responsible:

Always bear in mind that sightings of any particular animal in its natural environment are not guaranteed and the experience of guides will greatly enhance your success.

Moutain Lion Trips South America

Books About Pumas / Cougars / Mountain Lions

Most of these books have Kindle Editions.