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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Cougar or Mountain Lion (Felis concolor)

Species Code: M165

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Predicted Distribution Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for this species.
© NatureMapping Program

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Predicted distribution map

= Core Habitat


Cougar photo

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Predicted Distribution
The purpose of the vertebrate distribution maps is to provide more precise information about the current distribution of individual native species within their general ranges than is generally available from field guides.

Most mammals do not migrate as birds do, so the colored areas depict the predicted range for the Mountain Lion year-round. The habitats were identified using satellite imagery, other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the California Gap Analysis Project.

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Species Observations (dots)
The green area shows the predicted habitats for this species.
© NatureMapping Program
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Cougars (Mountain Lions) occur from northern to southern California. Habitat requirements are stalking cover, prey, and lack of excessive interference by people. Suitable cover is provided by almost any kind of forest, woodland, brush, rocky cliffs, or ledges. Its most common prey is the Mule Deer and its range and density are closely correlated with those of Mule Deer. Mountain Lions avoid large cities but occasionally penetrate the suburbs, but are unlikely to establish long-term residence in such areas. They are found from sea level to tree line but rarely above.

Core areas include all forested zones. In these zones, bare ground, water/wetlands, non-forested, and forested are good habitats. In the Alpine/Parkland zone, forested areas are good habitat.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Mammal Volume by Dave Lester
Design by Tim Knight