Northeast Region
Conserving the Nature of America

Eastern cougar

North American mountain lion
Credit: Robert Savannah

Ghost cat. Catamount. Puma. Painter. Panther. Mountain lion. Cougar. The many names given the nation's largest cat convey the mystery surrounding this solitary hunter. But the variety of names also demonstrates the cougar's original distribution across the North American continent and from southern Canada to the tip of South America.

Once the most widely distributed land mammal in the Western Hemisphere, cougars have been eliminated in most of their native habitat. Only western cougars still live in large enough numbers to maintain breeding populations, and they live on wild lands in the western United States and Canada. Observations of western cougars provide biologists with information for the cats that once lived east of the Mississippi. More

Blog: Tell us your cougar tale.

Tell us your cougar tale.
Read others' stories.

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Cougar Stories

Between March 2007 and November 2010, people from 21 states (Maine to Georgia and west to Oklahoma) and from Quebec and Ontario, Canada, told us their cougar stories. You can read them here.

North American mountain lion
Credit: Robert Savannah
Evidence of cougars may be documented using The Cougar Network's methodology. If you have such information, please submit it to The Cougar Network.

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Last updated: December 21, 2011