Tracks

Relatively round and rarely show any claw marks since the claws are normally retracted. Tracks of large adult males’ front feet may be 4 inches or more long and about the same or slightly less in width. The hind tracks are slightly smaller. The rear pads of the feet are distinctively different from those of other carnivores. Typically, there are two lobes in front and three on the rear of the rear pads although there are individual variations.

Droppings/Scant

6 to 8 inches high mounds of soil, grass, leaves, or snow covering over top feces and urine.
Cougar map

The Cougar

The cougar, also known as a mountain lion, is the largest cat native to North America. Cougars are shy, elusive, and primarily nocturnal animals that occasionally are active during daylight hours. They can be found in a variety of habitats including coniferous forests, wooded swamps, tropical forests, open grasslands, chaparral, brush lands, and desert edges.

Cougars prey sometimes on domestic poultry, and one cougar can kill multiple members of the flock in one night. Cougars will usually carry their prey considerable distances from the attack site to consume in private.

How to Prevent Cougar Attacks

Fence Height : Must be at least 10 ft (3 m) high.

Fence Material : Must be either heavy woven wire fencing or electric fencing with alternating hot and ground wires charged with at least 5,000 volts, and wires spaced 4 in (10 cm) apart.

Remove possible hiding spots : Eliminate any possible hiding places for cougars within 0.4 km distance. Cougars like to hide in brush and trees.

Frightening

  • Lighting : Install motion activated night lighting.
  • Loud noises : Recording with blaring music or barking dogs, motion-activated alarms.

References

  1. Tesky, Julie L. 1995. Puma concolor. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/animals/mammal/puco/all.html [2016, July 27].
  2. Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage. Editors, Scott E. Hygnstrom, Robert M. Timm, Gary E. Larson. 1994. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2 vols.
  3. Alderleaf Wilderness College,. (2014). Mountain Lion Tracks and Sign. Retrieved 18 December 2014, from http://www.wildernesscollege.com/mountain-lion-tracks.html
  4. Defenders.org,. (2014). Basic Facts About Mountain Lions. Retrieved 18 December 2014, from http://www.defenders.org/mountain-lion/basic-facts
  5. Extension.org,. (2014). Mountain Lion - eXtension. Retrieved 18 December 2014, from http://www.extension.org/pages/11102/mountain-lion#.VIKnQDHF98E
  6. National Geographic,. (2014). Mountain Lions, Mountain Lion Pictures, Mountain Lion Facts - National Geographic. Retrieved 18 December 2014, from http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/mountain-lion/?source=A-to-Z
  7. Nps.gov,. (2014). Mountain Lion Research in Grand Canyon - Grand Canyon National Park (U.S. National Park Service). Retrieved 18 December 2014, from http://www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/puma-research.htm