Cougars

Asked May 16, 2016, 2:45 PM EDT

Wondering what coloration cougars typically are between Cottage Grove and Loraine. What would the coloration of a small cougar (size of a bobcat) be? He is surprised to see the coloration in the animal, which he is positive was a cougar. The cougar was only a little bigger than a bobcat, but the tail, and markings had an adult coloration. Also, is there a database where we could look at local cougar coloration photographs? Chris 541-946-3414

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

Chris,
Full grown adult cougars would be a tawny brown, with a pronounced dark tip on their tails. Younger cougars can be tawny brown with spots and some ringing on their tails, but those markings diminish as they age towards their first birthday. Cougars can breed year-round, but most in Oregon have been documented in later summer/fall births, so it's possible that you've seen a 8-10month old cougar that has some spots but other characteristics of the adult coloration but would still be relatively small compared to its future body size. Cougars and bobcats have different outlines, which might be of help in determining the identification of the animal you saw - This resource is from Michigan but has a nice side by side profile: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10370_12145_43573-147239--,00.html
I do not know of a database of local cougar images. You might want to check with your local District Biologist at the regional office in your area, 541-726-3515.