Mountain Lion

Mountain lions are also called cougars, pumas, and panthers. Their body coloration varies from tan to gray, and they can weigh from 150 to 300 pounds. They are primarily nocturnal, meaning that they come out at night to hunt and sleep through most of the day. People rarely see these large cats, as they are usually secretive and shy. Mountain lions very rarely attack humans, but they will attack to protect their young. If you see a mountain lion, do not approach it, as they will usually run away from you. There is a far greater risk, for example, of being killed in an automobile accident with a deer than of being attacked by a mountain lion.

Mountain Lion

Mountain lions are protected throughout the United States, as they have been overhunted for their pelts, because they compete with humans for deer, elk, and other ungulate (hoofed) animals, and for their ability to attack livestock. But, these beautiful cats are important predators in the food chain and help maintain a natural balance in Idaho’s many ecosystems. 

Habitat: Mountain lions range from sea level to 10,000 feet. Typical habitat is steep, rocky canyon country, or mountainous terrain. Many areas of BLM lands are prime habitat for mountain lions. 

Food: Mountain lions are carnivorous, meaning that they only eat meat. They prey on most other animals in their habitat, including pronghorn, hares, badgers, porcupines, skunks, coyotes, deer, bighorn sheep, fish, and rodents. 

Fun Facts:
These big cats hunt by stalking their prey, usually within a few yards, until they pounce. They have great speed for short distances and can leap 20 to 23 feet from a standstill.

Mountain Lion


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Herbivore Mammals

Pygmy rabbit 
Desert cottontail 
Eastern gray squirrel 
Red squirrel 
Deer mouse
Kangaroo rat 
Meadow vole 
Mule deer 
Bighorn sheep 
American pronghorn 

Carnivore Mammals

American badger 
River otter 
Red fox 
Long-tailed weasel 
Grizzly bear 
Mountain lion   



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  Coeur d'Alene salamander

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  Northern leopard frog 
  Pacific tree frog 
  Great Basin spadefoot 



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Northern alligator lizard 
Mohave black-collared lizard 
Short-horned lizard 
Desert horned lizard 
Sagebrush lizard 
Western fence lizard 
Western skink 
Side-blotched lizard 
Longnosed leopard lizard 
Western whiptail 



Western pipistrelle 
Western small-footed myotis 
Little brown bat 
Yuma myotis 
Townsend's big-eared bat 
Hoary bat 
Silver-haired bat 
Fringed myotis 
Pallid bat

Sensitive Species (not a complete list) 

Greater sage-grouse 
Pygmy rabbit 
No. Idaho ground squirrel 
So. Idaho ground squirrel
Canada lynx 
Grizzly bear 
Selkirk Mtns. woodland caribou 
Kootenai White River sturgeon 
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Sockeye salmon 
Chinook salmon 
Steelhead trout 
Yellow-billed cuckoo