of an adult male mountain lion taken during
Projeto Puma's field research in Brazil
NAME: Puma concolor
NAMES: Puma is a Quechua name of peruvian origin, meaning powerful,
and suçuarana is of indigenous brazilian origin, meaning 'like
leão-baio, onça-parda, puma, suçuarana
North America: catamount, cougar, mountain lion, panther, puma
Americas, from southern Chile to northern Canada
Large predator from the Felidae family, weight from 30 to 60 Kg, body
length 1.10 meter and tail 60 cm varying according to geographical location.
Males are larger than females.
AND CONSERVATION: The puma is both an umbrella and a keystone species.
An umbrella species range over large territories, which are likely to
incorporate a great diversity of organisms. A keystone species is considered
a strong link in the food chain and its removal affects the biodiversity
and abundance of several organisms.
puma has nonetheless been wiped out almost entirely from eastern North
America and It is persecuted for livestock depredation throughout its
distribution. In Brazil although protected by legislation there are
no compensatory mechanisms for livestock losses, and pumas are poached
by ranchers as a result. Large areas are necessary to maintain a minimum
viable population size, which is one of the reasons why it is naturally
rare over its entire range. Inbreeding is a threat to the puma in certain
areas due to habitat fragmentation.
most notorious case of inbreeding occurs in Florida, where a relict
population shows signs of physical anomalies.
populations have stabilized or increased in some areas of North America,
but seem to be declining in parts of Latin America due to increased
settlement in frontier areas.