|South American cougar|
|Cougar at Iguaçu National Park, Brazil|
P. c. concolor
|Puma concolor concolor|
The South American cougar (Puma concolor concolor), also known as the Andean mountain lion or puma, is a cougar subspecies occurring in northern and western South America, from Colombia and Venezuela to Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
Felis concolor was proposed by Carl Linnaeus in 1771 for the cougar type specimen, which originated in French Guiana. Since then, several cougar specimens from South America were described:
As of 2017, these specimens are considered synonyms of P. c. concolor, the cougar subspecies occurring in South America.
The cougar preys on birds, camelids, deer, sloths, rodents, frogs, agoutis and lizards. It sometimes preys on spectacled bear cubs. In San Guillermo National Park, the vicuña is the cougar's main prey species that constitutes about 80% of its diet. It also preys on guanaco, mice and hares. It abandons kills when harassed by Andean condor, which causes them to kill 50% more prey than North American cougars.
Like the jaguar, the cougar holds historical cultural significance amongst many South American indigenous people. People in the Andes regard the puma as being either a snatcher of souls, or as a helper of people. The cougar's name was used for Incan regions and people. The Chankas, who were enemies of the Incas, had the cougar as their deity.