Cougar, mountain lion, puma, panther and even painter are all common names used when referring to puma concolor coryi. This large cat ranges from the Canadian Northwest across the western half of the U.S. and southward through most of South America. The cougar's wide distribution may explain why it has more common names than any other animal, with 40 names in English alone.
Because this species requires such huge continuous areas of habitat, the only confirmed population in the eastern U.S. is the endangered Florida panther. Confined to the southern tip of Florida, less than 100 Florida panthers remain in the wild today.
WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.