The mountain lion is an iconic species in North and South America, and the story of mountain lion expansion is a success story that speaks to the strength and resourcefulness of this animal.  Wildlife Manager Jim Williams shares the story of the mountain lion, the puma and the cougar across both continents as well as the challenges we face living next to this big predator. 

Jim Williams is an award-winning wildlife biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and he studied mountain lion ecology for his Master’s Degree.  Jim has spent the better part of his career focused on mountain lion and wildlife conservation issues throughout Montana.  As well, Jim has worked with biologists in Chile and Argentina, focusing on the South American puma. 

Path of the Puma is a beautiful book punctuated with an amazing feel in your hands.  Some of the most beautiful photos of mountain lions can be found throughout the pages of this book.  These color photos draw you in to the landscape whether you are looking at the Rocky Mountain Front or the pumas of Patagonia.  While the photos catch your eye, the stories are what keep you engaged in the book. 

Jim Williams has spent his life studying the mountain lion and studying the men and women who live among these great predators.  Path of the Puma does a great job discussing the issues involved with humans sharing habitat with these great cats.  I was fascinated by his take on suburban lions and the process they have gone through in Montana to live among these animals.  It was interesting to read about the steps that must be taken when one of these large cats makes the decision to create a den under a deck inside of a neighborhood. 

The increased populations of mountain lions in North America will continue to grow, and Path of the Puma does a great job of speaking to all of the stakeholders involved in the success of this iconic species.  We need big predators like mountain lions to manage growth of other species in our country, and therefore we need to continue our study of this species.  This is a book I am happy to have spent my weekend devouring.  A big thanks to Patagonia for making an effort to publish Path of the Puma for all to read.