While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding to the jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but have recently been increasing in North America as more people enter their territories.Intensive hunting following European colonization of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop in most parts of its historical range.
In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated Florida panther subpopulation.
Transient males have been verified in Minnesota, With its vast range across the length of the Americas, P.
Despite its size, it is not typically classified among the "big cats", as it cannot roar, lacking the specialized larynx and hyoid apparatus of Panthera.
Cougars sometimes voice low-pitched hisses, growls, and purrs, as well as chirps and whistles, many of which are comparable to those of domestic cats.
Other names include catamount (probably a contraction from "cat of the mountain"), mountain screamer, and painter.