Cats within these areas socialize more frequently with each other than with outsiders. Although it is not strongly associated with water, it can swim. In Oregon , a healthy population of 5, was reported in , exceeding a target of 3, They typically average one litter every two to three years throughout their reproductive lives,  though the period can be as short as one year. Currently, it is referred to as "puma" by most scientists  and by the populations in 21 of the 23 countries in the Americas.
As they grow, they begin to go out on forays with their mother, first visiting kill sites, and after six months beginning to hunt small prey on their own. There have been unconfirmed sightings in Elliotsville Plantation, Maine north of Monson and as early as in New Hampshire. Whether born to a female puma mated to a male leopard or to a male puma mated to a female leopard, pumapards inherit a form of dwarfism. Learned, individual prey recognition was observed, as some cougars rarely killed bighorn sheep, while others relied heavily on the species. Small to mid-sized mammals are preferred, including large rodents such as the capybara. Those reported grew to only half the size of the parents. The Canadian federal agency called Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada rates its current data as "insufficient" to draw conclusions regarding the eastern cougar's survival and its website says that "despite many sightings in the past two decades from eastern Canada, there are insufficient data to evaluate the taxonomy or assign a status to this cougar. In general, cougars are subordinate to black bears when it comes to kills and when bears are most active, the cats take prey more frequently and spend less time feeding on each kill. Caves and other alcoves that offer protection are used as litter dens. Like other cats, it is an obligate carnivore , meaning it must feed on meat to survive. One study has shown high mortality amongst cougars that travel farthest from the maternal range, often due to conflicts with other cougars intraspecific competition. The Moche people represented the puma often in their ceramics. With the taxonomic uncertainty about its existence as a subspecies as well as the possibility of eastward migration of cougars from the western range, the subject remains open. Cougars are ambush predators, feeding mostly on deer and other mammals. The first confirmed sighting in a century was made on September 20, , in Obion county in the north-western corner of West Tennessee. It has five retractable claws on its forepaws one a dewclaw and four on its hind paws. Where a juvenile fails to leave his maternal range, for example, he may be killed by his father. They are placed in the subfamily Felinae, although their physical characteristics are similar to those of the big cats in the subfamily Pantherinae. As few as one to four new animals entering a population per decade markedly increases persistence, highlighting the importance of habitat corridors. They have a puma-like long body proportional to the limbs, but nevertheless shorter than either parent , but short legs. Only the Florida panther showed variation, often preferring feral hogs and armadillos. The cougar is generally reported to not be a scavenger , but deer carcasses left exposed for study were scavenged by cougars in California, suggesting more opportunistic behavior. Its wide distribution stems from its adaptability to virtually every habitat type; it is found in all forest types, as well as in lowland and mountainous deserts. It is adept at climbing, which allows it to evade canine competitors. A male North American cougar P.
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