Talk:Cougar/Archive 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

This is an Extremely Well Written Article

This is an extremely well-written article-- worthy of praise. The writing is clear, strong and information-rich. I really enjoyed reading it.

Sean7phil 05:50, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree, it seems to have been written with reader clarity firmly in mind; an attribute of writing that never fails to impress. user:quantum density

Great article!! One small but important correction please. The Puma was rediscovered in the west of Uruguay in 1997, by the biologist Juan Carlos Rudolf (Faculty of Science, University of Republic, Montevideo) close to Nuevo Berlin, in the Department of Rio Negro. The most recent record (also by Juan Carlos) was in 2006. Yambuldai.

Great! If you have a reference, let us know. Marskell 12:39, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Cheetah migration

This sentence in the Taxonomy section strikes me as odd: The Cheetah, after diverging from Puma, migrated backwards. From the context, it implies that the Cheetah species in question is the African Cheetah and not the prehistoric American cheetah. Does this mean that the predecessors to the Cougar migrated from Asia to the Americas, and then some of them later walked back over the Bering Land Bridge and across Asia to settle in Africa? Kla'quot 09:10, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

I will re-read Culver. I've shuffled the subspecies to a subsection. Marskell 09:27, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Ack. I think it was in Johnson, not Culver. I'm going to remove it for now—we appear to be contradicting ourselves wrt our American Cheetah page. It needs a paper specific to the species. I realize wandering from one end of the globe to the other doesn't make intuitive sense. Marskell 09:43, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Johnson: "The second migration (M2) relocated a common ancestor to five felid lineages (ocelot, lynx, puma, leopard cat, mouantian lion, cougar, and domestic cat) across the Bering land bridge to North America for the first time, 8.5 to 8.0 Ma (Fig. 2)"..."Among them was the cheetah, which originated in the North American puma lineage (Fig. 1) and migrated to central Asia and Africa (M5)."
So, this seems to suggest an American origin for the Cheetah. But I'll leave it out as a non-secure point. Marskell 10:03, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Just got hold of the Johnson paper. Holy cow, this is a cool fact. I'd like to get that in somehow. Very cool. Kla'quot 17:11, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Section break

99% there. I'm in the process of reading the sources on evolutionary history and would like to work on that section a little bit. I think I can do this in the next 24 hours. You've done a terrific job on the article. Kla'quot 18:20, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

On taxonomy, I'd rather say a little very securely than a lot with an even a little uncertainty. Jaguar#Taxonomy says a lot, but it was rewritten by User:KimvdLinde who (her grumbling about Wikipedia aside) is a professional. If you really want to dig into the evolutionary history, we should do it on Felidae itself. Marskell 20:29, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree, and have reworked the section boldly but (I think) within the bounds of my limited expertise. If you could check my recent edits for accuracy, etc. that would be great. Kla'quot 00:00, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
See here. We cannot securely make this statement so I have removed. In fact, your intuitive objections of the other day may have been most accurate. If something goes back in "effectively unresolved" will have to be the critical point. Marskell 13:36, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

(Outdent) OK, let's go over this. 1. The Cheetah diverged from Puma in the Americas and migrated backwards. The Cougar and Jaguarundi are most closely related to the modern Cheetah. Easy. 2. The Cheetah emerged in the Old World. Puma shares a clade with all of Leopardus, Lynx, Prionailurus, and Felis with divergences after leaving the Old World. The Cougar and Jaguarandi are necessarily more closely related to species of all these genera than to the Cheetah.

Open to correction, but I think these are the two basic possibilities. Who knows. Currently we have "The supposed American origins of the modern Cheetah are thus suspect and its exact relationship to the Cougar remains unresolved," which avoids OR.

I realize my latest version is thicker than Kla'quot's revisions, but I think it more accurate. Perhaps I'll look up one of the sources and see if I can get a response. Marskell 17:51, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

A few thoughts:

  • The three primary sources we have (Johnson, Culver, and Barnett) all seem to say that the closest extant relative of the Puma cats is the African cheetah, not the other New World cats. This is most clear from looking at the "family tree" figues in Johnson and Barnett. It sounds like you know of some controversy on this point - am I missing something?
  • Where it gets interesting is how the African cheetah got to Africa: Did its ancestors walk to the Americas and then walk back (as espoused by Johnson), or have all of its ancestors been from the Old World (as espoused by Barnett). Am I understanding the sources correctly?
  • Currently, half the section on Taxonomy and evolution (aside from the Subspecies list), is about the cheetahs. Can we simplify the third paragraph down to a few sentences, e.g. "The closest extant relative of the Cougar and Jaguarundi is the Cheetah. It has been suggested that ancestors of the Cheetah diverged from Puma lineage in the Americas and migrated back to Asia. Another theory is that the most recent common ancestor of the Puma cats and the Cheetah lived in Asia." I suggest moving our coverage of how the African cheetah got to Africa into the Cheetah and perhaps Felidae articles.
  • I don't think we have to mention the American cheetah in this article. It's an extinct species that most people have never heard of. A complete article on a species should identify its position in relation to extant taxa, but discussing extinct relatives is more detail than necessary. Kla'quot 09:15, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
"The closest extant relative of the Cougar and Jaguarundi is the Cheetah." No, we cannot say this unequivocally. Barnett directly undermines the other sources.
Barnett: "It has been suggested that the cheetahs originated in the New World [4] and later migrated to the Old World. However, the mitochondrial sequence analysis together with recent fossil data (Supplemental Data) suggests that they originated in the Old World and that a puma-like cat then invaded North America around six million years ago [5, 7 and 8]. Around 3.2 million years ago, this ancestor diverged into Miracinonyx and Puma."
Johnson: "A more recent clade, including four lineages (lynx, puma, leopard cat, and domestic cat lineages) (node 5), is well supported"..."The second migration (M2) relocated a common ancestor to five felid lineages (ocelot, lynx, puma, leopard cat, and domestic cat) across the Bering land bridge to North America for the first time, 8.5 to 8.0 Ma"
So, is Barnett's "puma-like cat" the ancestor of Johnson's "well supported clade"? One or the other is wrong. Put another way, they are both suggesting that the Cheetah is most closely related to the Cougar, but if that is true in the way that Barnett suggests then Johnson must be interpreted as suggesting that Cheetah is not most closely related to the Cougar. Note that Barnett's graph shows Leopardus and Felis diverging before the Cheetah, which would have to be in the Old World by his reasoning—this is a direct contradiction.
However, I agree about the over-specificity. I wrote it this way so that would be all unpacked. We might shorten it to "It has been suggested that the closest extant relative of the Cougar and Jaguarundi is the Cheetah, however the research is equivocal (cf. American Cheetah)" and relocate to last. Marskell 09:29, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Whew. Well, I trimmed the section somewhere between our two suggestions, and filled out the American Cheetah page. Your right that Cheetah itself needs a going over in this regard, but that's a larger project. Marskell 11:22, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I think the version you put in is good (I just tweaked it a bit for style issues). Perhaps it could be made more precise in terms of what in the relationship is "unresolved" but I'm not sure yet exactly how. I'll try to take a closer look at the sourcesKla'quot 06:00, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Very interesting stuff. Talk pages are often more interesting than the articles! :-) About the "Did its ancestors walk to the Americas and then walk back" thing above, I'm sure Kla'quot didn't mean it to sound that way, but it sounds like you are asking whether a single specimen walked in a particular direction, when I'm sure talking about population expansion and migrations due to climate changes, or following prey, over millions of years, is a more accurate way of expressing what is happening here, particularly as a generalist species is not as restricted in range as a specialist species. I'd be interested in seeing speculative range maps for species that existed at the time of the Bering land bridge. You would probably get ranges extending all the way across Africa, Eurasia and the Americas. The range of the brown bear is similarly spread across two continents. Carcharoth 15:31, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Of the lineages Johnson '06 suggests diverged in the Americas, only Puma and Leopardus are solely extant there now. Lynx is found in the New and Old World, while all the other small felines are solely Afro-Eurasian. Intuitively, Johnson is wrong. (They all migrated back and left no relatives behind?) And that's entirely dissatisfying because we're using that paper on a number of articles now. Marskell 16:11, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, write to Mr Johnson and tell him! Maybe he has an explanation for what happened to those "left behind"? Carcharoth 16:22, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I might. I just searched "Sam Johnson" to come up with some joke or other to reply with, and arrived at a U.S. politician. Bah. Marskell 16:57, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree, talk pages are great! BTW there have been a few times in my Wikipedian life when I've put in one of those "wow" science facts and had to be careful with my edit summary out of concern that the RC patrollers would think it was a joke. Anyway... "Migration" over millions of years does usually mean a slow process in which the locus of a population gradually shifts, however intercontinental migration necessarily means there were a few individuals who were born in one continent and gave birth in another. Regarding the lack of wild descendants for some of the small feline lineages in the New World, this isn't surprising. They may have vanished in the Pleistocene along with North America's cougars, for example. The New World has lost most of its large mammals. Kla'quot 06:00, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Cougar vs panther

Hi, just a quick question: I don't quite understand this sentence: In North America, particularly the United States, panther by itself refers to a Cougar when the context implies a local species, such as the Florida panther population. What is a "local species"? Would it be accurate to say, "In North America, particularly the United States, the term panther is sometimes used to mean Cougar, particularly in reference to the Florida panther"? Kla'quot 05:14, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Of all the sentences on this page, that may well be the only one that I've left intact since I began editing. Just tweaked it. Marskell 08:47, 4 June 2007 (UTC)


I have shuffled and abbreviated the Ontario references that were placed in the lead. In expanding this page, over-specifics regarding eastern sightings were removed. The problem is, if we add a specific province or state then someone else would add their province or state and someone else will add theirs and so on. When this goes on the mainpage in a few days I'm sure "I saw it in my backyard"-type info is the first thing that's going to be added; we should avoid this.

Also, I'd say that for Wikipedia's puposes a "confirmed" eastern population exists once a .gov source or an organization like the IUCN says so. Everything else is a "suggested" population. Marskell 09:52, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Lone wolves

Hi everyone, I'm wondering about an unexplained revert of an IP's edits this earlier today: [1]. The reverted edits are certainly good-faith and seem constructive to me. Perhaps others disagree? Can we discuss this? Kla'quot 03:30, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Do we really need to source that felines are pound-for-pound more lethal than canines? I was presuming it was a disgruntled wolf fan. Not the best source because it's a newspaper, but the relevant quotes:
"But wolves do not always win. Males, at 125 pounds, can go after a 110-pound female cougar if they are in a pack, but a lone wolf is a bagatelle for a 160-pound male cougar. Smith has recorded two instances of cougars ambushing and killing single wolves -- one an adult, the other a pup.
"A lion has two sets of lethal weapons -- teeth and claws, whereas wolves' principal weapon is just teeth," said National Park Service cougar specialist Kerry Murphy. Cougars can dominate as long as they stay in the rocks or in the forest, where they can climb a tree. "We're still talking about dogs and cats," he said."
Bagatelle is certainly an odd choice. Did he mean bagel? Marskell 07:47, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Not unless the cougar has also caught a salmon, so it can have a bagel and lox! But seriously, the term 'a bagatelle' or often 'a mere bagatelle' is a (slightly old-fashioned) colloquialism meaning something like a pushover, formality, game, of no serious challenge. (talk) 00:30, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

What does this sentence mean?

Feline immunodeficiency virus, an endemic AIDS-like disease in cats, is well-adapted to the Cougar.

It needs some explanation for those of us who don't understand the lingo of immunology. Anchoress 02:11, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Feline immunodeficiency virus is similar to AIDS. It is well-adapted to the Cougar; it can infect multiple species for felines, but is particularly suited for attacking the Cougar. - UtherSRG (talk) 02:30, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Cool. Did you add that to the article? Anchoress 03:30, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I added it. Here's the abstract. I think we have the basics right in this sentence. Marskell 08:11, 11 June 2007 (UTC)


Should the word "Cougar" really be capitalized throughout this article? —PHaze 02:47, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes. See WP:BIRD for the logic as to why. - UtherSRG (talk) 02:49, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
WP:MoS#Animals,_plants,_and_other_organisms says "Common (vernacular) names have been a hotly debated topic, and it is unresolved whether the common names of species start with a capital. As a matter of truce, both styles are acceptable (except for proper names)." In any case "cougar" should only be capitalized when it refers to the species. For example, you should not write "male Cougars", because the plural refers to a collection of individuals, not the species. You can write "male cougars" or "the male Cougar" instead. If "cougar" is capitalized when it refers to the species, then all species names in the article should be capitalized. -Pgan002 03:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I like the general animals guideline better than the Birds guideline (and the cougar is not a bird, luckily enough). Having the various animal names treated as proper names here makes it read oddly. -- JHunterJ 20:11, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
That's nice. What one "likes" makes no difference. - UtherSRG (talk) 20:14, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Guidelines make a difference. Editors' collective likes determine consensus, which makes a difference. Sheesh. Now, why do you prefer (or "like") the Birds guidelines better than the Animals guidelines for animal-but-not-bird cougars? -- JHunterJ 21:20, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, there isn't an animal guideline as such. It's just a bit of a mess. Marskell 07:15, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
The three other feline species the article cites in the introduction (jaguar, lion, tiger) do not follow the format of capitalizing the species' name within the article. I don't see the relevance of style usage for birds. So far as a trend is evident, it's against what's been done here in the cougar article. 15:57, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
The random capitalization is horrifying, actually. No Wikipedia guideline (and I'm certain this one is being misapplied here) should trump the rules of the English language, which declare that common nouns (which certainly include words such as "cougar" and "mountain lion") are lowercased unless they begin a sentence. I'm not going to wade into this one, though, or my head will hurt if people disagree with this obvious and established fact of the language (would you like me to capitalize "fact" and "language," too?) Moncrief 01:13, 11 August 2007 (UTC) 01:11, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

"New World"

The term "New World" seems to me like a backward term. Why not use "America" or something similar?

Fewer syllables than "North and South America", perhaps. Besides, if you look up New World you find the term is still current in zoological and botanical circles. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:36, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

The range of the puma

The second sentence of this article states that "This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any terrestrial mammal other than humans in the Western Hemisphere". This has been literally copied from a source but still strikes me as odd. What about the mammals that come with human civilization? Rats, mice, domestic animals?

I specifically ref'ed that point in the lead as I thought it might come up. Rattus does come to mind, but note that's a genus with dozens of species. I'd guess that no one of them matches the total range of the Cougar (though collectively they're just about everywhere). Domesticates? Well yes, they match it. I always assume the human + pets exception is assumed for sentences of this sort. Marskell 08:05, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

The Map indicating the range could be updated to include points as far east as Iowa. There have been two pumas captured in the city limits of Omaha (the first at the busiest traffic confluence in the city), and another in Avoca Iowa (after years of local authorities treating reports like Yeti sightings). Both Iowa and Nebraska DNR officials state that wildfires in Montana as well as North and South have forced pumas to migrate along the Missouri River.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wardo10 (talkcontribs).

A sighting, even a catching,outside of the known range does not indicate that the range is wrong. The range is the usual and typical expected area that the species may be present under normal circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances, such as wildfires, can cause a species to temporarily change its range, but only after a significant time has elapsed without the range collapsing back to its previous boundaries can we say the range has expanded. - UtherSRG (talk) 19:25, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
"Viable population" are the two magic words. Marskell 19:28, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Attacks on humans

The article is contradictory on the references here. Or perhaps the sentence got mis-edited, the references say you should not try to stare into a cougars eyes, (you shouldn't do it to a male gorilla either). I think that makes more sense because it lives solitairy. That is why i think it got mis-edited and originally said 'don't stare into it's eyes because it agregates its agression, but i am not sure. At least when you stare into a big territorial predators eyes you should also talk i think, so the animal may aprehend you are awkwardly attempting to communicate (i think most animals would understand when u stared into their eyes pointing a gun at them these days). 10:46, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi anon. Which reference says don't stare into its eyes? All that I've read says be aggressive without being jumpy, always face the animal, fight if need be etc. We can replace "intense eye contact" if those words aren't used, with "face it directly." As for solitary animals being more attuned to eye contact, perhaps. Solitary animals are generally much more wary, as they have the most to lose from injury. The relative size of the animal and whether it is apex would have the most to do with its interpreting aggression, at a guess. The safety tips for Black Bears are nearly identical to the Cougar, for instance, but the Brown Bear is a different story. Marskell 11:33, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
This is perhaps the best safety tip I've ever read: "Some experts advise that you play dead if the bear is a grizzly and to fight back if it is a black bear. Others say play dead until the bear is obviously feeding on you, then fight back."[2] Ha! That's just superb. Marskell 11:40, 11 June 2007 (UTC)


An ambush involves lying in wait, whereas stalking involves active pursuit, so this phrase seems self-contradictory. How about "stealthy" instead?--BillFlis 11:59, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Hm, well, it stalks and then waits at the appropriate spot. Here's a random grab. Not a lot, but I don't think it an inappropriate phrase. Marskell 12:18, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, those all seem to be scholarly articles, so I accept that the phrase is not inappropriate, at least in those circles, but how about some clarification of the jargon for a poor confused layman such as myself? At least one of those articles had "stealthy" in the same sentence as that phrase.--BillFlis 11:49, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Attacks on humans - urbanization

The section Attacks on humans starts with: "Due to the growth of urban areas, Cougar ranges increasingly overlap with areas inhabited by humans, especially in areas with large populations of deer."

No reference is provided for this statement, and I find it implausible that it is true, because:

  • Urban areas do not have large populations of deer.
  • Cougars do not live in urban areas. If an area becomes urban (the urban areas grow), it is now inhabited by humans, rather than being an overlapping area.
  • Urbanization (growth of the percentage of people living in a city, instead of outside a city) might even have a reverse effect, because it means less people live in rural areas. In those areas, cougars and humans do inhabit the same space.

Without doubt the expansion of land used by humans is the cause of the increased overlap in habitat, but attributing this to urban areas seems wrong.

--User:Krator (t c) 14:15, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

from the footnote that follows it:
"” Because of increasing cougar populations and increasing human activities encroaching on cougar territory, more frequent sightings and cougar-human interactions have been reported. Other reasons for more frequent sightings may include decreasing deer and wild sheep populations. From 1986 until 1995, 10 verified attacks by cougars..." (McKee)
generally a footnote is meant to source everything that precedes it. Jon513 18:08, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I actually removed the clause about the deer as it can be misinterpreted. It had been in the article since before I started working on it. If the exact word "urban" bothers, we can change it, but I think it clear that human settlement into cougar territories is at issue. Other sources can no doubt be found. Marskell 18:24, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Urban areas do not have large populations of deer.

What makes you think so? I live in Austin, Texas, which is certainly urban (even if it isn't that big). Here, as far as I remember, it is practically impossible to go for a morning walk without coming across a herd of deer. Everyone in my neighborhood has a fence around at least part of their gardens, lest the deer come and eat up, or trample on, the plants.

Cougars do not live in urban areas. If an area becomes urban (the urban areas grow), it is now inhabited by humans, rather than being an overlapping area.

This is like saying that if India becomes part of the British Empire, it is now inhabited (solely) by Englishmen. Of course not. No animal (humans included) will move out of their original habitat unless they are forced to do so. There are cities in which it is illegal to kill the local wildlife, so the animals stay on.
I remember cougars being sighted here a year or two ago (obviously attracted by the deer). In other areas (though maybe not here), there is indeed such a thing as an "urban cougar."

Urbanization...might even have a reverse effect

You mean urbanization would make cougar ranges shrink? Not necessarily - only if "urbanization" meant going off on cougar-hunting sprees. Cougars don't know the difference between city and country. They only know that there are tons of deer just waiting to be eaten in a nearby forest, and that forest could be in the city or in the country. And possibly that it's illegal to kill them. --Kuaichik 19:10, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Kim Bauer

I am surprised to find no reference to the infamous Kim Bauer-cougar face off in Season 2 of 24 in the mythology and popular culture section. Come on! 11:31, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Range of Puma vs. Grey Wolf

Do any of the sources used to discuss the range of the Puma explicitly state that it has exceeded that of the Grey Wolf? Maybe a comment on when/why? I suppose they don't necessarily need to, but the current range on the Grey Wolf page looks pretty large, covering all of Canada (10m sqr km) and a significant chunk of Eurasia (which is 54m sqr km). There's no definitive note on the range of the grey wolf either way, but I would like to suggest that the article notes that the Puma's range now exceeds that of the wolf, if it's true. Kayman1uk 12:26, 14 June 2007 (UTC)


I am placed the name panther in the first sentence a number of times only to see it removed without discussion. The name of this cat throughout a large percentage of its range was "Panther" This area encompassed the entire southeastern united states. Photos of panthers killed in Tennessee read "Local panther shot by...." The Carolina Panthers are an example of this use in the Carolinas. In much of Texas and all of Florida this is the only name for these cats. It is used more widely than Puma in the English language and should be in the opening paragraph.

I was under the impression that the cougar is a type of panther. --Kuaichik 02:15, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Panther is almost always used with a location compound, and in scientific papers the term is mainly used for the Florida population. (Compare: one and two). Panther by itself is rarely used, and I seriously doubt it is more widely employed than Puma in English to refer to the species in general. Marskell 07:34, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Marskell, I am willing to bet that you live in the Western US. In the Southeast this cat is called a Panther.

Move to Puma

Puma is now the accepted genus name and is also the correct general name for this animal. Cougar is a regional name, as is panther, catamount etc. We should move this to puma and redirect cougar.--Counsel 23:45, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

see [3] for support of this.--Counsel 23:50, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Here is a source with no US or American regional bias (BBC) [4]. Because puma is already used to redirect here, we need an administrator to make the move.--Counsel 23:52, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how that supports it at all just because they chose "puma" for their page instead of "cougar". I'm from the East Coast and now live in California. Back east the animal was known almost exclusively as "cougar", in California I hear both equally with "mountain lion". The dictionary identifies only mountain lion as a regionalism[5] and gives priority to "cougar" both as an English word (loaned from French)[6][7] and as the primary meaning since all the synonyms point back to cougar and not puma. Yes, I know the genus name is "Puma", but we're writing in English, not Spanish or Latin. TCC (talk) (contribs) 00:00, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
oppose. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed. 2005), the canonical listing of mammal species and name, lists Cougar as the common name for Puma concolor. - UtherSRG (talk) 00:07, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I am from FL originally, I have lived in Tenn., OK, VA, NC, Mass., and CA, each for more than one year and I now live in Washington State. There are many regional names for this cat. In the Southeast, this cat is not called a cougar at all. There are no Carolina Cougars or Tennessee Cougars. Puma, however, is the general, scientifically accepted name for this animal. The vast majority of the scientific writing on this animal supports that view, especially since the genus change. We should make this article current and reflect that reality.--Counsel 00:08, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

The World Conservation Union calls them Pumas as well[8]. We should remember that Wikipedia is an international resource.--Counsel 00:20, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

If you go to the Journal of Zoology [9] and search cougar you will find 42 hits, and most of these use Puma in the Title. If you search "Puma" you get 259 hits. This is the more common name. There should be better reasons that just liking the name cougar better. We should try to make this as scientifically accurate as possible.--Counsel 00:38, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Question - how many of the hits for Puma are actually also hits for cougar? For example a title The Life History of the Cougar, Puma concolor in British Columbia would generate hits for both. Sabine's Sunbird talk 00:59, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

No matter were you are, or what language you speak Puma concolor' is the name of this animal. That is where the page should be. As far as what to call it in the article, Puma is short for Puma concolor. -Ravedave 01:42, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

What? No, "Puma" is a very old word and isn't short for anything. The genus name was borrowed from it rather than the other way around.
But according to the way zoological articles are usually organized, an article named "Puma" should be about the genus rather than P. concolor. The species article would then have to be named either along the lines of "Puma (common)" or by a different common name. Such as -- just to pick an example out of the air -- "Cougar".
Besides, the usual practice is to give the species articles a common name rather than a scientific one. That "Puma" is the name of the genus doesn't speak to the title here at all -- or should Common Raccoon be named "Procyon"? (In that case, even the genus article is called by the common name Raccoon. Procyon is an astronomical article.) TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:55, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Fighting over which of the Seven common names it has is a waste of time. Puma is a bad name for the article because then it conflicts with the genus as stated. Someone is always going to be unhappy with the name, but with Puma concolor at least it is scientifically right. -Ravedave 02:52, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Oppose for all of the above reasons. "Cougar" and "Puma" are both in use. Go to the abstracts in the references—two-to-one they use "Cougar." And it has the advantage of being distinct from the genus name. Marskell 03:54, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Panther was one of the names right? The new Perry High School in Gilbert, AZ has it as their mascot [Puma] and I thought it would've been better as Panther. I know alot of people who're gonna think it's funny. And who decided on Puma anyway?! I hope I'm signing this thing right..I'm new. LadyCakeage

If the consensus among the editors of this article is to change the big cats name to Puma, please also change the name of the article that I recently created – List of fatal cougar attacks in North America by decade. Thanks--Hokeman 00:14, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

As far as I can see, "cougar" is significantly more popular than "puma" and a bit more popular than "panther". It's a very regional thing, though. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 04:54, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Sightings in our area

Just wanted to mention--recently, there have been several reported cougar sightings in our area (we live in western Quebec, very near to Ontario). 01:04, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Mountain Lion Political History in California

Can anyone provide a little history of the political propositions in California pertaining to mountain lion protection. I remember prop. 117 in the early 1990's concerned mountain lion conservation. How has the mt. lion population in California responded to the 17 odd years of conservation efforts? Has human conflicts with cougars increased during this time? How many mountain lions were killed in California by Dept of Fish and Game since 1990 for human safety reasons? Bugguyak 15:13, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Pic plus caps

Regarding the reverts:

  • That the full animal should be shown in the first picture is one editorial argument. That the first picture should be the most impressive is another. I tend toward the latter—having a Cougar galloping out at you when you come to the page really sets off the LEAD nicely. Third opinions welcome.
  • On capitalization, we're using sentence case here. Proper nouns are capitalized (the Cougar) and common nouns are not (a group of cougars). This is perfectly defensible grammatically. It's good to consult the MoS but, as it's a guideline, it need not be deferred to on everything. Marskell 13:55, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
The cougar in that picture is not even in the wild. It is a captive cat with a collar and leash. How about having an actual photo of a wild cougar and a full body picture and then put your tame cat in another section?Bugguyak 14:14, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
I prefer the pounce picture as well. It is of higher quality and just generally more attractive. That it's a captive animal is a minus, for sure, but just because it's captive doesn't mean it's tame. We're seeing wild animal instincts in this animal's face here, and that's the important thing. Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 00:19, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Then use that photo if you prefer it. A house cat can have 'wild instincts' on its face, as you put it, but it is still tame. Having a collar and leash on and visible in the photo means the cat is tame and the photo caption should mention it, just as it is good form to mention that photos of animals taken in the zoo were not in the wild. Bugguyak 01:35, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
As we can use two images (should've thought of that earlier) placing both seems an obvious compromise. I agree that the collar is not ideal but the features rendered are crisper in that image than any other on the page. It's beautiful viewed at full size. I removed the long one of the animal that had been the latest replacement; we can use it elsewhere but I find it fuzzy around the animal's body. Marskell 09:58, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Seems too cluttered to me. I would go with one or the other, not both. If you prefer the pounce picture, use that one, not both. What do you think?Bugguyak 16:11, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree. I haven't seen a taxobox with two images that I liked. - UtherSRG (talk) 16:23, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
So the capitalization issue has been discussed thoroughly on a WikiProject page? That's nice. Trouble is, someone not affiliated with a project has no reason at all to look at a project page, especially since most of them do not have style guidelines. Capitalization looked wrong to me, so I investigated the same way 99% of editors would -- Start at WP:MOS and keep clicking until you arrive at something definitive-looking like Wikipedia:Naming conventions (fauna)#Capitalization of common names of species. It says not to. Either get your project's preference where everyone will find it, or expect it to be ignored and argued all over again.
But if you want to enforce a particular style of capitalization, then enforce it. If this article had been consistent, I wouldn't have bothered even though I don't agree with the one you want -- and even if right, put into place by largely artificial phrasing, choosing "the Cougar..." over "cougars" to the point of stylistic ugliness. But the article wasn't consistent. If I was going to fix it one way or the other, I certainly was not going to do so in a direction I thought was incorrect even if it would have been less work.
The point of an encyclopedia article isn't to impress, it's to inform. The chained cat in the "pounce" picture isn't galloping, or even walking. It's chained, and looks to me as if it's straining at the leash. This is not a natural behavior, and as part of the LEAD it misleads. TCC (talk) (contribs) 07:00, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
"The Cougar" is hardly artificial phrasing; and where "Cougars" is used to clearly refer to the species, it is capitalized as it's not meant as a common noun. If you see inconsistency, point it out. I'll tell you what seemed wrong to me: going to bird pages and finding Brown Gerygone, and then coming to mammal pages and finding brown bear. The ornithologists clearly have a standard that better reflects the language. Marskell 14:24, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
"The Cougar.... the Cougar.... the Cougar..." Yes, it's artificial. No one talks like that.
I dispute that common names of animal species are proper nouns anyway; it's a tortured use of language to say so regardless of what the ornithologists get up to. I have never in my life capitalized "robin" unless I was talking about Batman's junior partner, and I'm not about to start just because a bunch of enthusiasts have adopted some ridiculous convention. It reminds me of some of the excesses of the science fiction fan community.
In any event, we're writing in English and not about birds, so there's no reason at all to take ornithological oddities into account. Of the dictionaries given here none seem to think "cougar" is a proper noun, not even the ones that define it primarily as the species Puma concolor. Neither does Merriam-Webster, the Britannica, Encarta, or any of the print dictionaries I just consulted. TCC (talk) (contribs) 04:23, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
I dispute that common names of animal species are proper nouns anyway. You're wrong: the Cougar is a species of animal. Germany is a country. Mars is a planet. Land Rover is a model of car. We capitalize these things, usually. The dictionaries, in my experience, do no sub-classify into proper nouns, count nouns etc. And, of course, the letter string 'cougar' may be common or proper, as I've already said. Finally, it wasn't "enthusiasts" who adopted the "ridiculous convention" for birds, but scientists who study them. I'm not saying that there isn't a counter-argument (I was arguing it a year ago) but if you can't acknowledge the contrary to your position I don't know that we're achieving much. Marskell 08:40, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
No, I'm right. Dictionaries aside -- and incidentally, you need to fight sources with sources, not by thumping the lectern harder -- when you say "cougar" is a species it means exactly that it's not a proper noun. Germany is a specific country. Mars is a specific planet. Car models wouldn't look like proper nouns if they weren't trademarks, so that's neither here nor there even if a cougar happens to be sprawled on top of the dealership's sign. You cannot speak of "a Germany" or "a Mars" -- or even "the Germany" or "the Mars" unless you're speaking French. It's because the names themselves designate a specific thing, which is what we mean by "proper noun", and we only use articles when mentioning generic examples of a class. "A car"; "a cat"; "a bear" - or even "a black bear"; "a cougar". "Charlie" is a proper noun; "lonesome cougar" isn't. (Try: "Billy the Mars". See?) The class names themselves aren't proper nouns either; is "car" one?
I should avoid the temptation to get into an argument on ornithology, but I doubt you're right here. Professional scientists devise the binomial names. I'm willing to bet that conventions of "common" bird naming were devised by birders, who are the enthusiasts I had in mind. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:36, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
If there were sources to support the position that "the Cougar" was a proper noun, that would be something. There isn't. There's nothing of the sort. So we should defer to a plethora of dictionaries and common sense and un-capitalize it. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 01:28, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

OMG. This is truly weird. Cougar is a specific species. The species is a unique entity. It is a proper name. I'm not thumping the lecturn harder—it's simply a fact. Marskell 08:10, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Also, the decision with birds was taken by the American Ornithologists' Union—professionals, not "birders." Now it's certainly not uncontroversial and they are at odds with most other disciplines. Here is a good description of the rationale:
"In spite of the editorial policies of some journals and book publishing companies, most ornithologists (including the writer) appear to believe firmly that the names of bird species should be capitalized. The usual reasons given for this, which are valid, are that it prevents the ambiguousness of such combinations as 'gray flycatcher' and 'solitary sandpiper,' and that it makes the names of birds easier to spot in a page of print. In addition, the English name of a bird species can be considered to be a proper name, and thus entitled to capitalization."[10]
Virtually every abstract you'll find on birds capitalizes; now, with most other taxa you'll find just the opposite. The reason, no doubt, is because of the many many compound bird names. But the logic holds elsewhere. Black Bears can be brown but cannot be Brown. If I am capitalizing Florida Panthers (hockey team) why not the Florida Panther (subspecies)? Both are discreet entities—proper, named things that are comprised of multiple individuals (25 hockey players and a hundred odd felines, respectively.)
I realize that compartmentalizing proper and common nouns cannot be perfect. I might write "John Smith is a district attorney" but "John Smith is the District Attorney of Cleveland." Similarly, the "Bush presidency" (one of a type) but the "American Presidency" (the office itself); perhaps you'd debate the usage. I'm sure you can find sources saying that common species names don't "feel" proper. But by the definition of proper noun, they are—certainly no less so then a sports team name or anything else that refers to a unique group. Marskell 10:02, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Find a source, find a source, find a source (and really, multiple ones, and about cougars, not birds). Please. Otherwise it's just your thoughts against the dictionaries listed above. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 05:44, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh c'mon man. You want a source that literally says "'Cougar' is a proper noun?" When the source above says "...considered to be a proper name" do you find some basic epistemological difference between a mammal and bird that leads the former to be common and the latter proper? Here's another on birds.[11] And here's an interesting one: "the species name is never capitalized (even if it is a proper noun!)."[12] Which has been my point—I realize sources don't do it. I'm saying that convention is grammatically wrong. Here again: "The species name is always lower case in the modern usage, though some still use the older practice of capitalizing the species if it’s a proper noun."[13] When we say "The Cougar is a member of Panethera" it is proper noun. But whatever. Presumably Uther will revert and then we'll be back where we started. Marskell 08:56, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh. I think I see what our problem here is. Have you ever read WP:NOR before? It's one of the core principles in Wikipedia... basically, it mandates for us to follow the findings that reliable outside sources (say, the Oxford Dictionary) state, instead of whatever we might come up with on our own. I think you'll be quite enlightened when you read it. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 19:11, 18 September 2007 (UTC) (EDIT: Upon looking closer, it looks like you've had more than two years of editing experience here, which means you just might have come across NOR once or twice--I apologize. But honestly, don't you see that that policy is what you're violating here? Matt Yeager (Talk?) 19:13, 18 September 2007 (UTC))
It is far from OR. One does not need a source that uses capitalizations for Cougar to capitalize Cougar. One only needs a reasonable source that capitalizes species common names. We have shown such. The usage on Cougar has been worked out months ago. Please don't be disruptive and edit the article against the current agreement. Wait until a new agreement is reached, then edit. - UtherSRG (talk) 19:55, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I'll not take the childish bait in the your second last. Of course I've read NOR. I've edited and commented on NOR. And part of my two+ years editing experience has included 300+ edits to Cougar and a successful FAC. This is not OR—it's a minority position that can be sourced. Marskell 12:58, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
If it can be sourced, then source it. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 04:21, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
We have. Marskell 11:51, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

The capitalization does not bother me as much as having a captive and leashed cougar as the lead photo. It is pathetic and demeans the authenticity of the entire page. Bugguyak 13:18, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

The capitalization is wrong, cougar should be lowercase. The entire English speaking world uses lowercase. Following Wikipedia:Naming conventions (fauna) shows it should be lowercase. Following dictionaries and print encyclopedias shows it should be lowercase. Following Walker's Mammals of the World 6th edition -- "the most comprehensive -- the pre-eminent -- reference work on mammals" shows it should be lowercase. Following scholarly papers and abstracts by professional biologists shows it should be lowercase. Following professional newspapers and print media that day in day out write words and publish them for audiences of millions of people shows it should be lowercase. On and on not a capitalized Cougar ever seen in sight except at the beginning of sentences or in titles.
A proper noun is the name of a specific individual, place, or object... If you have a cougar at a zoo that the zookeepers call Bob the Cougar, that's a specific individual name, and is capitalized. But a cougar is just a cougar. A human is just a human and not a Human. TCC is right with their 9/13/07 comment above. A response was that "Cougar is a specific species. The species is a unique entity. It is a proper name." I understand what this person was saying, but all you've actually done is chosen a frame of reference where "cougar" is one item in a category and this can be done with any noun at all. "A Teacher is a specific vocation. The vocation is a unique entity." Etc. You can have every Noun in the World capitalized by this Logic if You would like. Others have pointed out that dictionaries all show "cougar" to be lowercase and your response is that dictionaries don't reflect what's a proper noun or not. This isn't the case. Dictionaries definitely reflect properly what's a proper noun, they list "Abraham Lincoln" not "abraham lincoln" etc.
It was mentioned "One only needs a reasonable source that capitalizes species common names. We have shown such." What again is the reasonable source that capitalizes the species common names of mammals? Thanks. Beyazid 22:47, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
A cougar is just cougar. I've never said otherwise. Where a cougar is just a cougar the page was using lowercase. Of course it's all very inconsistent. A German is just a German, after all—should be lowercase. The two most sensible arguments for nouns in general: capitalize all of them (as we used to) or capitalize none of them. As it is, you have to look at the level of generality. We do capitalize sports team names; we do capitalize car models (if you say "because they're product names", you're only begging the question). There's nothing less unique about a species name. The Cougar can only be Puma concolor. A cougar strolling by can be Mary, Joe, or Tom. And the entire English speaking world does not use lowercase, as the bird example has demonstrated. In colloquial usage, uppercase is minority but certainly not non-existent. Marskell 11:45, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi Marskell,
The entirety of the English-speaking world does use lowercase with cougar and other mammals. That is what I'm saying. I'm also saying, show otherwise if you or UtherSRG think otherwise. Mammals are written about regularly all over the world in science circles and media. This is not an esoteric topic. This isn't hard to look into and discover that overwhelmingly across the board mammals *aren't* capitalized, including cougar. That ornithologists have decided in their sub-culture to follow a different convention is totally irrelevant here.
You *personally* argue that there's "nothing less unique about a species name". But yes, there is something less unique about a species common name compared to a sports team, which is an organization. That is the convention accepted the world around, whether you or I personally would like to argue about an alternative. Organizations such as companies, charities, sports teams, etc are specific named entities in our culture and proper nouns and so are uppercase. You happened to choose an organization name of a sports team that also is a name of an animal but an argument like "the White Sox is capitalized so should the species Florida panther" obviously doesn't hold water. They don't have anything to do with each other.
Again, show an authoritative source that capitalization is in use at all anywhere for mammal common names if you really think uppercase for some reason is correct. I've showed that it's not by citing style guides, dictionaries, professional biology journals, print encyclopedias, MSW3, Walker's Mammals of the World 6th edition, and I invite you to go to any newspaper of your choice with an online presence that has a search feature and look through their archives, I guarantee you will find it's lowercase: BBC, NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Sydney Herald, Times of India. You said, "In colloquial usage, uppercase is minority but certainly not non-existent." That is not true. Everyone uses lowercase for mammal common names. Nobody uses uppercase. These wikipedia articles are sloppy and idiosyncratic and wrong with their use of uppercase. Beyazid 17:57, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
FOLLOW-UP: I've reviewed my August issue of the highly prestigious journal Nature and mammal common names are all lowercase. I've reviewed my August issue of Science, one of the world's most premier scientific journals, mammal names are lowercase. Beyazid 18:23, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
"Organizations such as companies, charities, sports teams, etc are specific named entities in our culture and proper nouns and so are uppercase." We are going to have to disagree. "Species are specific named entities in our culture and proper nouns and so are uppercase." (And don't confuse "common name" as used zoologically and "common noun" as used grammatically.) That's been my point—I have yet to see a convincing counter-argument. I'll admit that only ornithologists seem to agree, which is point two: why does it have to be a mammal ref? Is there a basic epistemological difference between a duck and cat? No. The bird argument merely shows that upper case is in play for species.
After you admit that, then you try to respect the original or primary author(s). Indeed, if the earlier postings on this had been less confrontational I'd probably have agreed and part of the mess could have been avoided. At this point, I don't really give a fuck.
(The "entirety of the English speaking world" is a big phrase, incidentally; some native speakers do use uppercase.) Marskell 13:40, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

A quick request, people, if you have to revert each other over this, can you please be more civil in edit summaries? And please do not use the admin rollback tool in a fight over capitalization. Sheesh, this is a lame thing to revert-war over. FWIW I think all-lowercase is better; this basically comes down to prescriptive versus descriptive grammar and I think the descriptive argument is very strong in this case. Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 19:37, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Hey folks, please stop reverting now or I will have to request page protection. Yes, it would be embarassing to everyone involved to have an admin come by and tell everyone they'll have to get to consensus on Talk, so how about stopping the reverting? Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 03:43, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm all ears when it comes to hearing what the sources are about mammals that actually justify the style being pushed. Same for the cheetah article, which is in the midst of identical continuous reverts without justification on this issue. Beyazid 04:05, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. What do you think of this as a route to peace in wiki-land: With respect to everyone else who's worked hard on this article, Marskell did most of the work of bringing it up to FA status, so I think it would be nice to defer to him on this *very minor style issue* until there is a clear consensus to do otherwise. If it is so obvious that all-lowercase is better, it should be easy to arrive at consensus as we did on Talk:Lion. Does this make sense to everyone? UtherSRG? Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 05:53, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I respect the hard work Marskell has done, and also the many contributions likewise by UtherSRG. In so far as this work has brought them into contact with outside authoritative sources that they can share with others to show why the issue should go one way or the other, and work with others on a WP:GOODFAITH basis, great, that's deferal based on the merit and strength of those sources. Baseless continuous reverts and stony silence on the talk pages are not leading things in a good direction. I support admin intervention and page protection if that's what it takes for the Reverter in Question to condescend to actually support his edits with substantive sources regarding style and mammal common names. I'll note that likewise jaguar was a featured article, was in lowercase style, still is lowercase, and capitalization was discussed Talk:Jaguar#Capitalization with familiar editors as participants. Beyazid 20:19, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Yup. The decision went in one way on jaguar, and so I don't cap it. The decision went the other way here on Cougar, and so I maintain the caps. Until a different consensus is reached, caps should be maintained. Marskell and I have given reasonable sources that show why any official species common name should be capitalized. We don't need to give a source for each and every species. - UtherSRG (talk) 22:22, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually you haven't given a single source that shows why "any official species common name" should be capitalized. You've given WP:BIRD, which is tertiary and not a reasonable source, and isn't for "any species" but for birds. You haven't been asked to give a source for each and every species. You've been asked to show that any authoritative source at all ever uses capitalization for mammal common names. Highly prestigious authoritative sources as far as the eye can see so far are in lopsided landslide 100% accordance that mammal common names are lowercase, except at the beginning of the sentence or if a component of the name is an actual proper name (eg "Bengal tiger"). Beyazid 03:03, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Why is consensus even an issue where when the overwhelming majority of sources comes down firmly on one side? If this was an argument over two contradictory sources that would be one thing, but where we have -- despite UtherSRG's claim above -- no sources on one side and multiple sources on the other, and where the number of multiple sources grows every time someone looks it up again somewhere else, there's no consensus to be reached. We go with what the sources say, and that's the end of it. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:40, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Because it is not facts about the subject that are being discussed, but how to format. Even the Chicago Manual of Style is at best silent on the issue, and at worst it says to pick a style and stick with it. The rationale given on WP:BIRD is logical and simple and, when applied across the board, makes distinguishing between species and non-species that much easier. - UtherSRG (talk) 09:53, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
A distinction without a difference. Besides, whether or not the subject of the article is a proper noun is an issue of fact. Not a single source says it is. TCC (talk) (contribs) 04:34, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
The wikipedia community at large has already rejected that rationale and consensus was reached here in extensive July-August discussions (during which you had your say) and is reflected in WP:MOS#Animals, plants, and other organisms. The push of having WP:BIRD apply everywhere was thoroughly discussed and it wasn't accepted. Editors shouldn't be reverted for improving wikipedia articles to follow the WP consensus naming convention, which is that mammal common names are to be lowercase. They should be encouraged to undertake this cleanup work that's needed.
And it is not true that the Chicago Manual of Style is silent or says "pick a style and stick with it". It says consult a dictionary or the authoritative guides:
8.136 Common names. For the correct capitalization of common names of plants and animals, consult a dictionary or the authoritative guides to nomenclature, the ICBN and the ICZN, mentioned in 8.127. In any one work, a single source should be followed. In general, Chicago recommends capitalizing only proper nouns and adjectives, as in the following examples, which conform to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Dutchman's-breeches, mayapple, jack-in-the-pulpit, rhesus monkey, Rocky Mountain sheep, and Cooper's hawk.
Chicago's recommendation is what consensus WP has accepted (fantastic - it's what the rest of the English speaking world also follows), and that is exactly what myself and others have done. You've weirdly been citing WP:BIRD as authoritative on mammals, it's nuts. Even WP:BIRD itself says right off "The aim of this WikiProject is to set out broad suggestions about how we organize data in the bird articles." And then the very next sentence is: "In general, these are only suggestions, and you shouldn't feel obligated to follow them." Even for bird articles -- shouldn't feel obligated. I can't believe we actually are having a vote on something so blinking obvious. Mammal common names are lowercase. Beyazid 03:03, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Consensus on capitalization

OK, arguments have been made above; let's try to come to a clear consensus. Opinions from anyone passing by would be much appreciated. You can indicate first and second choices if you like.

Option 1: "cougar" in small letters except at the beginning of a sentence

(place vote here)

  1. Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 03:06, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
  2. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:29, 25 September 2007 (UTC), per well-established usage in all available sources on scientific and English usage.
  3. Beyazid 03:08, 26 September 2007 (UTC) for cougar and other mammal pages also, as per the mountain of evidence from cited sources
  4. --Hdt83 Chat 04:36, 26 September 2007 (UTC) "cougar" with the first letter not capitalized is usually the standard way to write it.
  5. I still can't believe it's taken this long. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 06:05, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
  6. User:Bugguyak (talk | contribs) Bugguyak 16:26, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  7. Bizarre that anyone would seriously attempt to argue otherwise in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. --Malleus Fatuarum 01:05, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
  8. It's a noun, and a common noun one at that. Option 4 second choice. Neil  13:26, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
  9. All the encyclopedias in my local library (American Academic Encyclopedia, 1996; Encyclopedia Britannica, 2007; World Book, 2007; Encyclopedia Americana, 2005) use lower case. WolfmanSF 17:43, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
  10. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Moncrief 18:50, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Option 2:"the Cougar" capitalised when used to refer to the species as a whole

(place vote here)

Option 3: "Cougar" always capitalised

  1. UtherSRG (talk) 03:09, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
  2. See American Society of Mammalogists, Mammal Species of the World and better: -- Kim van der Linde at venus 16:38, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
(A comment on the above reference, it is not true that MSW3 supports uppercase for regular writing, it only uses uppercase on common names when in its highly stylized hierarchal format (which is what the website is reproducing). In all nearly all its commentary, it uses lowercase. See Talk:Cheetah#capitalization. Beyazid 02:21, 28 September 2007 (UTC))
Actually, that's not correct, either. Different section of the book, written by different authors, use different capitalization styles. However, the predominant style throughout the text is to capitalize the common names. - UtherSRG (talk) 03:17, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Nope. I looked at a random sample of 100 pgs of MSW3 to eliminate bias in evaluating this and found zero pages in the sample that supports the capitalization style that you like. I found six pages that used lowercase. (The majority of pages used the italicized Latin name when speaking in the comments section.) Out of almost thirty authors who contributed to the book, I had to dig and dig and I found one that actually sometimes used capitalization, Peter Grubb. He was inconsistent and nearly as often used lowercase. While doing the digging I found many more examples of lowercase usage. Beyazid 02:19, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Option 4: "Cougar" in small letters including at the beginning of a sentence

  1. Marskell 13:48, 26 September 2007 (UTC) I've decided this is best.
Er, why? Are you inventing a new rule of the language? Moncrief
A joke. Fuck. Marskell 20:34, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


Statement: per well-established usage in all available sources on scientific and English usage

Well, here is the overview:

+ Capitalized first letter of each word
* First letter, first word      
- Not Capitalized

Scientific Organization         Situation               Reference

* Amer. Fish. Soc.                      *               39
* Amer. Fish. Soc.                      -               14,15
* Amer. Ornitholog. Union               +               9
* Amer. Phytopatholog. Soc.             +               8
* Amer. Soc. Ich. Herpetol.             -               14,15
* Amer. Soc. Mammalog.                  +               21
* Assoc. Tropical Lepidoptera           +               46
* British Mar. Life Assoc.              +               Internet (see below)
* CephBase                              *               47
* CITES                                 +               Internet (see below)
* CMS                                   +/*             Internet (see below)
* DesertUSA                             +               Internet (see below)
* Common Names Plant Dis.               +               8
                                        */+             38
* Entomolog. Soc. Amer.                 +?              18
                                        -               48
* FDA Seafood List                      +               Internet (see below)
* FishBase (ICLARM)                     *               49
* GRIN                                  -               19
* Herp. League                          +               44
* Index of Turtles                      +               Internet (see below)
* Inst. Food Agricult. Sci.             +               Internet (see below)
* Intern. Whaling Comm.                 -               Internet (see below)
* Nat. Plants Database                  -               Internet (see below)
* Nevada Sensitive Species              +               Internet (see below)
* N. C. Biological Survey               *               50,51
* Odonata of North America              +               52,53
* Pherolist                             -               Internet (see below)
* Reg. Fish Encyclop.                   +               Internet (see below)
* Royal Ontario Museum                  +               Internet (see below)
* Soc. Std. Amphib. Rept.               -               11
* Soc. Std. Amphib. Rept.               +               45
* Species 2000                          +               Internet (see below)
* Universal Virus Database              */-             54
* U.S. FDA                              +/*/-           Internet (see below)
* W. Aust. Mus.                         +               55
* The Wildlife Society                  -               56 etc. (see below)

See -- Kim van der Linde at venus 16:44, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you! Now why the hell did it have to be like pulling teeth to get a reference from anyone else who likes caps? Not all of these are directly applicable, but it's interesting that usage isn't consistent even for the same publications. TCC (talk) (contribs) 23:27, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, what this shows is that the majority used caps, a minority does not. But to stir up things more, I asked our science editor (she does the editing of all manuscript of our department), and she indicates as follows. If the name is on an official list (for example birds), the names have become proper nouns, and are capitalized. If not, they are common nouns, and only the proper noun component is capitalized. However, personally in think that to avoid confusion as in an encyclopedia, the clearest solution should be chosen, and to distinguish between man and Man is useful as the first is a generic group of man, not specific to Homo sapiens, while the second is equivalent to Homo sapiens. Unfortunately, most people are English purists, and they think confusion is better than clarity. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 23:47, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you could pick a better example? "Man" as the common name for our species is (to put it mildly) deprecated usage in favor of "human" or some other gender-neutral term. (See your talk page. This is a subject I can't shut up about once I get started.) But I'm not sure I see where confusion can enter in most other cases. Determining whether a common noun refers to either its generic class or a specific example of that class is a fairly routine bit of linguistic processing.
Regardless, I'd be happy to go along with majority usage in the literature. If someone had actually cited the literature before, this could have been resolved a long time ago. TCC (talk) (contribs) 00:19, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Any example does, what about this
  • the white-spotted deer that I see there is actually an Antelope Deer with white spots, but the White-spotted Deer there is not while the deer that I ate for dinner was very yummy, although I have no idea whether it was a White-spotted Deer or an Antilope Deer?
  • the white-spotted deer that I see there is actually an antelope deer with white spots, but the white-spotted deer there is not while the deer that I ate for dinner was very yummy, although I have no idea whether it was a white-spotted deer or an antilope deer with white-spots?
Anyway, you get the gist..... And if you want a definitive answer from the literature, well, there isnone, because nobody did figure it out in detail. Often, it is group specific, journal specific (Biodiversity demands it, other reject it), etc etc etc. But maybe we should think about where you are here for (I have more or less left wikipedia exactly because of this kind of idiotic turf wars), and that is to make something that is as clear as possible for as many as possible people. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 04:41, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
It has been posted before, on one of the other discussions, which took place at a level higher than a single article. - UtherSRG (talk) 02:47, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I think this topic should be fought out at a higher level, not at a talk page of a single species, because the next species is with capitals, etc etc etc, and it becomes just one BIG mess. I suggest that those who are so desperate that they want to have it changed, go to the mammal workgroup and discuss it there for the so manyest time. Sorry, the more I think about it, the more it sounds to me as a spagetti war over nothing. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 04:41, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
[UtherSRG] No doubt. It would have been very useful to point to it instead of talking about birds and arm-waving. Since there were sources, and people were asking for sources, I can't fathom why it wasn't done earlier. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:42, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Because I didn't know where to point to. I know the rationale at WP:BIRD. - UtherSRG (talk) 10:16, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and there were in fact sources provided above; Kim has just provided something systematic (thx). In fact, we can invert: if the "entirety of the English speaking world" (to quote one disputant) doesn't use uppercase why did no one provide a source for that? Marskell 11:27, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
And while I'm at it: "To me a Lincoln's Sparrow is just as much a particular thing as a Lincoln Continental...the capitalization of Largemouth Bass, White-tailed Deer, and Virginia Pine will not detract the least bit from scientific facts accurately stated and logically examined."[14] Marskell 12:11, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate the list Kim van der Linde, finally someone with actual sources! Unfortunately I have to disagree with how you put your assessment though, "What this shows is that the majority used caps, a minority does not." Actually it shows that the author of paper, Ernest Williams, had to strain and pull from many obscure corners of the internet to pull together support for his pro-capitalization argument.

The list isn't of authoritative sources and a lot of it doesn't have to do with mammals, but it's something to start with. Removed the sources that have to do with insects, virii, plants, reptiles, etc., and removed non-authoritative sources (DesertUSA - "managed by Digital West Media, Inc., a San Diego-based multimedia company", etc.). I've also taken off taxonomic databases and lists of species (CITES, Species 2000, etc), since these aren't references for stylistic considerations in regular writing. Ones that are borderline, I've left. I found at least one mistake, a big one, in that the American Society of Mammologists uses lowercase but was listed as uppercase. Then I also added others that have been investigated.

+ Capitalized first letter of each word
* First letter, first word      
- Not Capitalized

Organization            Situation

* Walker's Mam. of the World            -
* Amer. Soc. Mammalog.                  -
* Science                               -
* Nature                                -
* The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals        - (Edited by Wilson and published by Smithsonian, same as MSW3)
* Biodiversity                          +
* Chicago Manual of Style               -
* Associated Press Stylebook            -
* Encyclopedia Britannica               -
* Encarta                               -
* Oxford Dictionary                     -
* Webster's Dictionary                  -
* BBC                                   -
* New York Times                        -
* Wikipedia Manual of Style             -

* British Mar. Life Assoc.              +               Internet (see below)
* CMS                                   +/*             Internet (see below)
* GRIN                                  -
* Intern. Whaling Comm.                 -               Internet (see below)
* N. C. Biological Survey               *
* U.S. FDA                              +/*/-           Internet (see below)
* The Wildlife Society                  -

I agree that this is a topic that should be fought and settled at a higher level.

Done! [15]

That's why there is a dispute and even ruffled feathers here, at least from my part, the page is being continually reverted in a heavy handed way -- even now, incredibly, after being protected and undertaking a vote -- it's being reverted to block lowercase even though that's consensus Wikipedia style, and lowercase is what has been voted to be used.

The WP:BIRD approach to other fauna was not even close to being supported in the discussions in July and August that led to the WP:MOS language. It was recognized that "For specific groups of organisms, there are specific rules of capitalization based on current and historic usage among those who study the organisms." The common names of birds are specifically listed as an exception along those lines. Those who want to use uppercase for mammals are the ones that need to show "current and historic usage" supports their views and find consensus at WP:MAM, like how birders got it by showing that authoritative sources of their specific group of organisms. Not a single one of the sources I've looked at that could be plausibly cited as a strong reference has supported uppercase. Maybe the Biodiversity journal. Right now lowercase is Wikipedia consensus style on this topic, and from everything I can find, the consensus is right. Definitely, there is not justification for reverts. Beyazid 03:14, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Protected again

Sorry, but this is going nowhere. The page gets automatically unprotected, and the same stuff just continues. So, I have protected it for 2 weeks now, maybe that is long enough to resolve things. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 19:54, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Ok, let me make something clear. If in two weeks time there is NO agreement, anybody who changes the capitalisation either way will get blocked by me, because if there is no activity towards resolving this, you have no business to revert war! -- Kim van der Linde at venus 15:12, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Then it should be restored to how it was before the conflict, to the format of the previous consensus. - UtherSRG (talk)
No, the edit warring, in which you take part, has to stop. I do not care in which version it is currently. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 16:19, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I disagree that there was a "previous consensus" by the way, there isn't one here or on the only archived talk page for the article. The article was lowercase for better than four years starting from its creation in 2002. The uppercase style has only been enforced with constant reverts and the irrelevant WP:BIRD justification since uppercase was implemented about a year ago without discussion. I can't say I understand what shape a resolution is suppose to look like, other than for the article to meet WP:MOS and go with the consensus on the vote and the large discussion that has already taken place. Beyazid 17:23, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

The article was taken to FAC "without discussion." If people could abide by DICK, this wouldn't have been an issue. Marskell 20:45, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Also (with regards to dickishness), most of us resent being called "kids", I'd bet. Be polite, please. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 22:09, 6 October 2007 (UTC) (EDIT: I see the remark I'm referring to here has been removed. Never mind, then, I guess. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 15:02, 15 October 2007 (UTC))
Marskell, do you think that if people like me were a little less insistent on having authoritative sources provided and a little more diplomatic this wouldn't be an issue? It hasn't made a difference whether people were nice or blunt in style, gave a mountain of sources to prove lowercase is the standard, held a vote that proved consensus by a wide margin for lowercase, pointed out the larger wikipedia consensus at WP:MOS is for lowercase. All of that has been trumped by an insistence on reverts based on an eccentric claim that WP:BIRD is binding for how this article should be presented.
The attitude that WP:BIRD for some reason is enforceable on this page with constant reverts as if it's policy (when it isn't even binding for bird articles), the refusal to listen to the many wikipedians over many months who have pointed out that capitalization is wrong and tried to change it (eg here, here, here, here), and the refusal to accept consensus from a clear vote is what has really caused this and has drawn out the issue. It really should be a non-issue and done with by now. Beyazid 00:09, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
All right, there seems to be a shortage of ideas and proposals, here's something I'll throw out there. First a couple of observations:
  • One of the main pro-capitalization arguments is that the use of capitalization can help remove ambiguity. Eg, is a "white spotted deer" just a deer that has white spots or is there an actual distinct species with the common name "white spotted deer" that is being discussed?
  • The capitalization proponents have a history of pointing to MSW3 as a primary justification for their viewpoint. UtherSRG here and here. Kim above in her vote cited it. Marskell was interested here to know if MSW3 really supports uppercase like UtherSRG said in the vote above.
From my perspective, I have looked into MSW3 in a way to be as unbiased as I could, I had my computer give me 100 random numbers between 1 and 1600 (the number of pages in MSW3 minus the citation pages at the end and indices), and I evaluated the commentary and regular writing on each of those 100 pgs. Sorry, it just doesn't turn out that MSW3 supports uppercase common names in its regular writing, lowercase is seen over and over in the commentary, eg pg 1488 "lion-tailed macaque", pg 1559 "green acouchi", "green acouchies" , pg 1395 "house mouse", pg 1591 "West Indian spiny rats", pg 12 "gray four-eyed opossum", pg 1034 "muskrat", pg 1593 "The common name coypu is preferable to nutria, since nutria in Spanish means otter." In my random sample I only found one place where capitalization was used, but it wasn't even in the way that has been proposed here on wikipedia, pg 702 "... name for the wild taxon of Goats ." I browsed outside of the sample when I was done and I continued to find lowercase over and over.
(Interestingly, when I put MSW3 back on the shelf, I also came across The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals: edited by Don Wilson, published by Smithsonian, produced in association with the American Society of Mammalogists. It has all these similarities in strength of authority as the people behind MSW3 -- but it is actually a book that is regular writing and not taxonomic data listings. It's an apples to apples comparison with efforts here at wikipedia to write articles. The style is lowercase for mammal common names. Parts of the book are available for viewing at here.)
But with MSW3, I did notice here and there a clarifying notation was used:
pg 964 - "The exceptionally robust water voles in the English Isles (amphibius) have been maintained as specifically distinct from populations on the European continent (terrestris)."
Or for the cheetah:
pg 532 - "However, within the remaining group, there does not appear to be a clear consensus. Even the cheetah's (Acinonyx) traditional position has been called into question (Bininda-Emonds et al., 1999; Mattern and McLennan, 2000).
For many situations, there actually isn't ambiguity with common names, but sometimes, sure, there is. I personally don't think it's as problematic as people have made it out to be, reworking a sentence can often take care of it.
But for the three proponents so far of uppercase here, two of whom have specifically cited MSW3 as the direct basis for the viewpoint, why not use the lowercase -- as MSW3 itself actually turns out to use in its commentary -- but where there may be ambiguity, employ the MSW3 notation of following the common name with the italicized Latin species in parentheses? All the best. Beyazid 03:09, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
If anyone's still watching, an interesting note: I have started in on Giant Otter and journal sources use upper case. It seems claims about the entire English speaking world never capitalizing mammals were a touch inflated. Marskell 13:32, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I more was thinking it would take hours for a counter-example to come up instead of a month and a half, since some people were so strongly attached to uppercase. My original statement being: "The entirety of the English-speaking world does use lowercase with cougar and other mammals... show otherwise if you think otherwise." Oh welll. By the way, the two Mammal Review sources in the giant otter article with uppercase are from 1997 and 2000. I'm not looking into this issue beyond the effort to click my mouse a few times out of curiosity, maybe you're seeing additional sources, but if what you're talking about are the Mammal Review articles, the journal's current author guidelines state "Normal, lower case typescript should be used for common names." (here), and by looking at the papers available for free online (here) lower case is the convention they do go by for common names. All the best. Beyazid 19:52, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Beyazid, I did provide examples of sources arguing for uppercase. Enough to make a minority case. This is one of two main articles on the Giant Otter. And fuck it, I'm going to take the page to FAC with uppercase and you can all yell about it there. Indeed 'giant' + 'otter' is a good example of why uppercase is best. Marskell 20:20, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Yep, Carter and Rosas 1997 that you link to there is one of the Mammal Review articles that I was mentioning. That journal standardized their guidelines and they use lower case for mammal common names.
"The journal is also the primary place of publication for the scientific work of The Mammal Society." ... From the website of this UK-based society, you'll see they also follow the same lower case standard that they require of authors who submit papers to be published in their journal. Beyazid 21:30, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
A pity they hadn't done so before 2000; as it is, the papers exist with uppercase. Along with this. And along with a variety of more popular sources.[16][17][18] [19] [20][21] Indeed, compound names probably make people more instinctively hit caps lock. Marskell 15:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

What's left to be done?

Umm, I'm pretty sure we've reached a consensus here. Eight established editors have shown support for lowercase versus two for the capitalized form. WP:MOS advises lowercase, sources such as dictionaries show lowercase... what on earth are we looking for to further establish consensus? Consensus has been established (two or three editors notwithstanding). Matt Yeager (Talk?) 07:25, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


Why not list that cougars are also called Catamounts on the main page? The Catamount page already redirects here but I didn't see where it listed Catamount as one of the names puma concolor goes by, and when I changed it someone changed it back with no reason. :( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Because it has many, many common names, so we've limited it to just the ones currently listed, and "catamount" is listed later on. - UtherSRG (talk) 16:06, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
So you don't add one of the most common ones that people are more likely to recognise at the top? That's silly. Why not move Mountain Lion down there too then? It's less common that Catamount. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:30, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
You are mistaken. "mountain lion" returns twice as many ghits as "catamount". Perhaps "catamount" is a more popular term in your locale, but it isn't so in the broader picture. Also, please sign your talk page edits with ~~~~. - UtherSRG (talk) 17:15, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Cheetah is capitalised

I've read the above discussion about capitalisation. Regardless of the page protection, would it be acceptable to correct the one instance of capitalised Cheetah to lowercase? This is keep the page consistent, not to favour one or other side in the capitalisation debate. Carcharoth 13:59, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

The short answer: yes. Absolutely. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 05:57, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
It's unprotected. Yip yap. Marskell 20:35, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Done. Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 08:21, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Image:Puma range.png

Please edit Image:Puma range.png and put a range on Michigan which the DNR has admitted that cougars are in Michigan —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:04, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Hunting Method.

The current article says that cougars kill by suffocating their prey, but there are a few other sources online that suggest that the cat may also kill by breaking the neck and/or by delivering a single crushing bite to the base of the skull. Sources are here, here, here (among others). Maybe this is a minor nitpick, but could a correction be made to the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rynoah (talkcontribs) 04:36, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough. Added a sentence. Marskell (talk) 12:02, 14 January 2008 (UTC)


Cut until sourced. Marskell (talk) 11:51, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Main article: Pumapard
Pumapard, Rothschild Museum, Tring

A pumapard is a hybrid animal resulting from a union between a cougar and a leopard. Three sets of these hybrids were bred in the late 1890s and early 1900s by Carl Hagenbeck at his animal park in Hamburg, Germany. Most did not reach adulthood. One of these was purchased in 1898 by Berlin Zoo. A similar hybrid in Berlin Zoo purchased from Carl Hagenbeck was a cross between a male leopard and a female puma. Hamburg Zoo's specimen was the reverse pairing, the one in the black and white photo, fathered by a puma bred to an Indian leopardess. 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. Those reported grew to only half the size of the parents. They have a Puma-like long body (proportional to the limbs, but nevertheless shorter than either parent), but short legs. The coat is variously described as sandy, tawny or greyish with brown, chestnut or "faded" rosettes. [citation needed]


I love pumas so much I don't understand why so many people are starting to hunt it. I must say, how come not a lot of people respect a puma? There are all these people who don't hunt it for meat! They should respect such a beautiful creature. After all, just think how much easier our lives would be if we could live in peace with one!

--Pumagirl7 (talk) 01:34, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

P.S. The scientific name for "puma" is Felis Concolor.

I was going to simply revert your edit, as talk pages are for discussing the improvement of the article, not for discussing the article's subject, but your PS fits that bill. No, the correct scientific name is Puma concolor. Puma used to be a subgenus of Felis, so it used to be Felis (Puma) concolor, but Puma has been elevated to full genus status, so the correct name is now Puma concolor. - UtherSRG (talk) 01:54, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

UtherSRG is correct. It used to be Felis concolor but what can you say changes happen. The Florida Panther may not be considered a sub-species any more it's been a recent issue because of genetic work that is being done.Mcelite (talk) 03:35, 17 January 2008 (UTC)mcelite

Well, no matter what, it's still considered a "Little Cat." The biggest little cat. --Pumagirl7 (talk) 22:24, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Nocturnal or day hunter?

The article doesn't say. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:53, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

The moutain lion or cougar which ever you prefer is purely an oppurtunistic predator like all cats. However, it depends on the seasons when it is more active. Also depends on the individual animal. In the summer it is more active at night and in the winter more active in the day. Females with cubs are more active in the day so they can be with the cubs during the night when they are most vunerable. So there you have it.Mcelite (talk) 21:39, 18 January 2008 (UTC)mcelite

Sightings in the Eastern US

I was wondering if there was any way that this article could mention the fact that there have been a number of recent sightings of mountain lions in the Appalachain region, specifically in West Virginia and Virginia. I, myself, saw a mountain lion in a wooded area near Shenandoah national park. There have not been any killed cougars found in the area or anything more concrete, so it's clearly a cryptozoological matter, but it's still worth noting that a large number of persons have claimed to have seen mountain lions/cougars in the area. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

number of people that have seen mountain lions

the BBC said in a recent documentary that "Only a handful of people on Earth have ever seen a wild mountain lion". judging by several sightings comments on this talk page, this sounds like an exaggeration (since i interpret a "handful" as "about 5"), but does anyone know how frequent sightings actually are? (talk) 20:46, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Puma sightings in the wild are extremely rare, but do happen. Because the US has confirmed that pumas are been wiped out of every state except Florida and a handful of Western states, many peoples' puma sightings go undocumented or 'unconfirmed' because if states recognized the sightings, the status of the puma in these states would have too be legally changed. PigeonPiece (talk) 15:34, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Extremely rare, eh, I seen two myself, my dad saw one, I know a fair few people who have seen em around. Not that you particularly want to see a cougar around but it does happen from time to time. TotallyTempo (talk) 03:15, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Vancouver Island hyas puss-puss

Just checking - aren't the cougar on Vancouver Island a subspecies? That'swhat I thought anyway, doesn't say anything in the article. "Hyas puss-puss" in the title here is one of the Chinook Jargon words for cougar ("big cat"), nto a specific name for the VI variety; another term is swawa7 from St'at'imcets which finds its way into Fraser Canyon English....`Skookum1 (talk) 18:48, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Closeup image

Cougar closeup.jpg

Would this be appropriate for the article? -- (talk) 00:24, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Name (Again)

There is a quite good field guide, the link to which is attached. It makes the case for the universal name "Puma". Cougar is the trinomial name of the subspecies found only in North America. Puma is the genus name and the most widely used name internationally. --Counsel (talk) 21:38, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

You would have to convince the folks at MSW3. It is as close to an official list of common names as there is for mammals. - UtherSRG (talk) 23:11, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Captions of two images

Don't the captions of both of the pictures below say pretty much the same thing (i.e. that cougars are large animals but related to smaller cats)? To me, at least, they seem to convey pretty much the same information. Shouldn't the caption for at least one of these pictures be changed?

Although large, the cougar is closely related to small felines.
Although cougars resemble the domestic cat, they are about the same size as an adult human.

--Kuaichik (talk) 02:02, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Kittens or cubs?

I notice that young cougars are referred to in the article as kittens, but I thought that the young of big cats are usually called cubs. Just wondering about that; is "kitten" a term that biologists use, for instance? Cadwaladr (talk) 21:13, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Lifestock predation - new edits

This inforamtion may be true but the source is a bit questionable. This guy, TR Mader, borders on original research and apparently represents hunting interests. He is the self-titled director of the Abundant Wildlife Society of North America [22], but this looks like a personal homepage to encourage hunting. If this is the case, his statistics are a bit suspect. If they are true, there should be a more reliable source for them.Bob98133 (talk) 21:43, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

"largest of the small cats"

The article currently claims that the mountain lion is "the largest of the small cats". Is small cat intended here in some technical sense, as the wording would suggest? We have no small cat article, and the big cat article says that mountain lions are sometimes included. It strikes me that the phrase is misleading and I'd like to remove it, but the second sentence would be an awkward beginning to the section, so I thought first I'd ask for expert explanation as to what exactly the claim means. --Trovatore (talk) 00:12, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

"Small cat" is being used here in the sense of those cats that are not "big cats". Anaxial (talk) 21:01, 27 November 2008 (UTC)


I noticed that the first sentence and the adjacent box have some innuendo. I wished to discuss before editing anything.

Klasicar (talk) 20:58, 10 October 2008 (UTC)klasicar

I don't see any problems. What do you see as needing fixing? - UtherSRG (talk) 05:30, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Apparently, it is gone... It may have been some weird glitch or whatever. I apologize for raising a ruckus. Klasicar (talk) 21:06, 15 October 2008 (UTC)klasicar


Are these animals being reintroduced into areas they have inhabited before European settling? If so, it should be mentioned and areas where it is happening included. (talk) 17:51, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

The only place reintroduction is occurring is with the Florida sub-species, but with the North American subspecies this hasn't been done. Mostly because the majority of areas they used to lived are not urban cities with few habitats for them. Mountains lions have been reintroducing themselves actually and from what we know it looks like Illinois is next on the list.Mcelite (talk) 22:23, 12 November 2008 (UTC)