Royal Canadian Mint

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COUGAR Perched Maple Tree 1 oz Silver Proof Coin 20$ Canada 2014


First issue of the new 5 coin set dedicated to the cougar or mountain lion, one of Canada’s most powerful, elusive, and beautiful predators. In this 1 oz silver 999 coin edition the cougar is perched on a maple tree with the characteristics leaves in autumn color. Low mintage of 8.500 pieces worldwide.

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The cougar
The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, painter, mountain cat, or catamount, is a large cat of the family Felidae native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. It is the second heaviest cat in the New World, after the jaguar. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although sightings during daylight hours do occur. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat (subfamily Felinae), than to any subspecies of lion (subfamily Pantherinae).

An excellent stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range. It will also hunt species as small as insects and rodents. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and survives at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding to the jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. It is reclusive and mostly avoids people. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but have been trending upward in recent years as more people enter their territory.

Excessive hunting following European colonization of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated Florida panther subpopulation. However, in recent decades, breeding populations have moved east into the far western parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Transient males have been verified in Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Illinois, where a cougar was shot in the city limits of Chicago and, in at least one instance, observed as far east as Connecticut.

  • CountryCanada
  • Year2014
  • Face Value20 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)31.1 (1 oz)
  • Diameter (mm)38
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)8.500
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
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The reverse design by Canadian artist Glen Loates features a female cougar resting silently on a tree limb. The focal point of this beautifully detailed image is the cougar’s intense gaze as she locks her unseen prey in her sights. Her gaze will not leave this unsuspecting target until she is upon it. Her left forepaw and muscular front arm extend down the tree limb, claws extended to ensure her grip. Her entire body curls under her as she gathers her full power to leap. Beneath the tree limb, her long tail provides the perfect counter-balance, ensuring the uncanny accuracy and distance of her leap. The image is beautifully balanced by the spray of leafy maple branches, transformed to autumnal orange, that provide the cougar with the camouflage that is so essential to her hunting success. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, in profile.