Saving pumas with genomics

Saving pumas with genomics

A puma kitten, at home in her nursery, peers through a hole in a redwood log in the Sana Cruz Mountains. Credit: Sebastian Kennerknect.

Genomes from mountain lions, or pumas, have spawned insights into how to encourage genetic diversification within the striking feline species and boost their health and survival.

Puma concolor – also known as cougars or panthers – were once widespread but are now mainly found in low population densities throughout western North America and much of Central and South America, and many of those are at risk of extinction.

“Habitat fragmentation is causing puma populations to become small and isolated,” explains Megan Supple from the University of California in Santa Cruz, US.

“As a result, many populations are experiencing inbreeding, which can cause reproductive abnormalities that reduce the fitness of the population.”


Published by Cosmos.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons