|Mountain lions have a typical cat physique, with a short nose and a long sleek body. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs. They have a long tail (nearly as long as the body) that is a similar diameter throughout with a black tip. Mountain lions are tan to light brown with a lighter chin, chest and belly. Their ears are round and set widely apart on their head. Additionally, mountain lion kittens are born with black spots that are almost completely faded by the time they reach age 1.
|Front– 3" L, 3-1/2" W Rear– 3" L, 3" W Walking stride: 19" - 32"
|Mountain lions inhabit the badlands and Missouri River breaks regions of North Dakota. However, because they are capable of traveling great distances, they have turned up in all parts of North Dakota. The main habitat requirement for mountain lions is stalking cover to successfully hunt prey. Stalking cover can be in the form of trees, brush or rugged topography.
|Can breed anytime of the year, but peak activity occurs February-March.
|1-5 (average 2-3)
|Solitary, except when breeding or rearing young.
|There is a stable mountain lion population in western North Dakota, where there is a limited hunting season.
|Mountain lions are strictly carnivorous with deer and elk comprising most of their diet. Additional prey includes bighorn sheep, porcupines, rabbits and turkeys. Although not common, mountain lions are known to kill livestock.
|Mountain lions are also known as cougars, pumas and Florida panthers. There has never been a scientifically documented case of a melanistic mountain lion. In other words, a black mountain lion has never been trapped, shot, killed by an automobile, photographed or bred in a zoo in recorded history. However, many mountain lion sightings in North Dakota and other states are of "black" mountain lions.
Mountain Lion Brochure
Status of Mountain Lion Management in North Dakota
Mountain Lion Track Identification Video
Mountain Lion Track Identification (pdf)