Wild puma resting on the ground

Puma

Pumas are the most widespread of the American cats and have the largest distribution of any mammal in the western hemisphere. These large slender cats are found across a diverse range of habitats, from arid desert to cold coniferous forest, and although terrestrial, can swim and climb trees when they need to. Pumas are powerful predators and hunt by stalking and ambushing their prey. However, if ill or young, they themselves can become lunch for hungry wolves or bears. They hold the record for the mammal with the most common names - over 40 in English alone.

Did you know?
The puma has more common names than any other mammal.

Scientific name: Puma concolor

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Catamount,
  • Cougar,
  • Florida panther,
  • Mountain lion,
  • Red tiger

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Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Puma taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Puma can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Puma distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Puma

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • This is Planet Earth This is Planet Earth

    Narrated by Sir David Attenborough Planet Earth was the ground-breaking series that explored the wild and beautiful parts of our planet like never before.