Some estimates put the cougar population total at around 30,000, as of 2014. Because cougars are elusive animals that tend to avoid human contact, it is difficult to say how many are left in the wild.
Cougars, mountain lions and panthers are the same animal. They are shy, elusive creatures that used to live in every state in America, but today occupy only 14 states. They live in areas of dense undergrowth, deserts, woodlands and hillsides.
Certain cougar species are facing extinction due to human hunting practices. Other cougars die in road accidents and habitat loss.
Cougars are thought of as a nuisance in many states but are an important part of the ecosystem because they prey on deer.