Subscribe and save!
magazine / mj04 / indepth

In-depth

JUST THE FACTS

FEATURES
Cougars attack

Worldly wildcats

Revisiting relocation

Cougar class

Catty behaviour
DEPARTMENTS
• Knowledge Toolbox
• Just the facts
• From the CG Vault

Cougar Facts

The cougar, or Felis concolor, meaning “cat of one colour,” is the second largest wild cat found in the Americas and the fourth largest cat in the world. It has more common names than any other of the great cats. The chances of being attacked by a cougar are very slim, as they generally tend to avoid human interaction unless cornered or hungry.

Cougar Attacks and Deaths (in Canada)
Number of documented attacks in the last 100 years: 27
Number of documented attacks from 1900-2000: 15
Number of documented deaths from 1900-2000: 7
Number of documented attacks from 2001-2002: 4
Number of documented deaths from 2001-2002: 1
First documented death by cougar in the history of in Alberta: 2001
First documented death by a cougar in the history of British Columbia: 1949



Advertisement

The Life of a Cougar
Average life expectancy: 10-12 years
Number of years the cougar can live in captivity: 21
Main predator: Man
Field of vision: 130 degrees
Average diameter of scat: 2.5-5 centimetres

Size
Average length of male cougar (including tail): 1.7-2.7 metres
Average length of female cougar (including tail): 1.5-2.3 metres
Average weight of male cougar: 60-100 kilograms
Average weight of female cougar: 35-60 kilograms
Largest cougar recorded: 125.5 kilograms (Arizona cougar)

Cougar Roaming
Male cougar range: 150-1,000 square kilometres
Female cougar range: 65-500 square kilometres
Average range male cougars are known to cover in a single day: 50 kilometres
Number of cougar crossings in Banff National Park between November 1996 and September 2001: 672

Jumping and Sprinting
Height at which its hind legs can propel it forward: 30 feet
Height at which its hind legs can propel it straight up from a standing position: 18 feet
Average sprinting speed: 35 mph

Species and Status
Approximate number of common names: at least 40

Number of subspecies in the world: 30
Number of subspecies in Canada: 4

The eastern cougar (F.c cougar) was listed as endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)

Year the eastern subspecies was declared endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada: 1978

Year the status was re-examined and the subspecies was designated as "data deficient": 1998

The other three cougar subspecies can be found in western Canada.

F.c. missoulensis is found throughout southwestern Alberta and in the interior of British Columbia.

F.c. oregonensis can be located along the coast range of British Columbia.

F.c. vancouverensis are native only to Vancouver Island.

Reproduction and Litter
Largest litter recorded: 6 kittens
Gestation period: 80-96 days
Male cougars are polygamous, whereas females are monogamous
Number of days, upon birth, until a kitten will open its eyes: 10-14 days
Number of weeks, upon birth, until a kitten can consume meat: 6 weeks

Hunting Cougars
Duration of hunting period (without bans) on cougars: 200 years

Early settlers saw cougars as a threat to their game and livestock and therefore would destroy a cougar when they saw one. The cougar population dwindled and it has only been in the last century or so that cougars have been able to increase their numbers, due to hunting bans in some areas.

Price of bounty: up to $50 per cougar

top




Subscribe to Canadian Geographic Magazine and Save
Province 
Privacy Policy  








Canadian Geographic Magazine | Canadian Geographic Travel Magazine
Canadian Atlas Online | Canadian Travel | CG Education | Mapping & Cartography | Canadian Geographic Photo Club | Kids | Canadian Contests | Canadian Lesson Plans | Blog

Royal Canadian Geographical Society | Canadian Geographic Education | Geography Challenge | Canadian Award for Environmental Innovation

Jobs | Internships | Submission Guidelines

© 2014 Canadian Geographic Enterprises