Mountain Lion

(Puma concolor)


All types of forests and shrublands, savanna, temperate and tropical grasslands, and deserts.


Status: Least Concern

Protected in California across much of their range. However, the species as a whole is considered to be declining and has disappeared from large areas of its historic range in North America.


Current Threats

Habitat loss and fragmentation drive Mountain Lions to the edge of urban areas and across congested highways that intersect their territories. Road kills make up for approximately 60 puma deaths annually in California. In addition, they are hunted in retaliation for livestock depredation and out of fear that they pose a threat to humans.


Oakland Zoo's Role

We support mountain lion research by giving grants to the Bay Area Puma Project for radio tags and monitoring. Our veterinarians offer their expertise in the field with these researchers, and temporary care at our zoo facilities. We co-spearheaded BACAT (Bay Area Cougar Action Team), an alliance that supports the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in humane interactions with local wildlife.


How Can You Help?

• Avoid having plants that serve as favorite foods for deer, which may in turn attract Mountain Lions to your home and neighborhood. Instead, plant your outdoor gardens to appeal to important pollinators like butterflies, bees and birds.

• Protect your pets by keeping them inside at night. Use proper fencing or guard dogs if you have livestock.

• Never approach a Mountain Lion in the wild, and learn how to protect yourself in case you encounter one.


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