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Cougar Biology Essay

969 words - 4 pages

B) Physical Description:
Cougars are tawny or greyish-brown in colour and are unspotted as adults. 2 Their short fur is tan in the summer and greyish in winter. 3 Their throat, chest, chin, and whiskers are white. 3 They have long tails with a black tip, which can grow to a length of 90 cm. 2 They have rounded and short ears which are light-coloured on the inside and black all around. 3 Cougars are known for their large front paws and powerful hinds, which allow them to be good at jumping. 2 Their average weight is 60-100 kg for males and 35-60 kg for females. 2 Their length can vary anywhere from 5 to 9 feet. 3 Cougars can be mistaken for wild bobcats, fishers, and coyotes. 3 Best way to ...view middle of the document...

2 They direct the evolution of their prey. 2 They are keystone species, according to the conservation biologists 2 They also have a great influence on energy flow in ecosystems. 3 They enforce competition between herbivores for resources such as food. 3 Their population depends on large, wild landscapes. 2 They are considered umbrella species since they protect their habitat as well as other species. 3 Their disappearance can result in ecological collapse and disappearance of other species. 3
E) Range:
(for maps look at part H)The eastern cougar's significant range extended from Maine south to Georgia, west into eastern Missouri and eastern Illinois, and north to Michigan and Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, Canada. Status: Endangered provincially, data deficient nationally. There is no population estimate for the eastern cougar as it is rarely seen. In the United States, they have declared the eastern cougar to be extinct since March 1, 2011, despite cougar sightings being reported. They have declared the eastern cougar to be endangered in Canada since1982, even after possible cougar tracks being found. However, there is no population estimation.
F) Reproductive Biology:
Birth pulses are reported on the high in January and August. 2 Cougars become sexually mature at the age of 2 years. 2 They have a gestation period of around 92 days. 2 Female cougars give birth to 1-4 kittens in a litter. 2 Males don't take part in raising kittens, and they might actually kill any they find. This is a factor that effects their population crisis, since the older cougars kill the young kittens 5 Kittens/cubs have spotted fur when they are born, which helps them hide against predators and completely fade by the age of 18 months. 5 They start to move around in their den in a couple of weeks after birth. 2 Their...

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