Mountain lions (Puma concolor), like the black bears in my previous post (“Bear Trees” on 11-18-15), also scratch tree trunks. On a standing tree, mountain lion scratch marks can also reach from four to eight feet off of the ground, depending on the size of the animal. Claw rake is the name applied to this scratching behavior.
Bears remove large amounts of bark, in search of grubs and insects or in the process of rubbing against the tree. Mountain lions take off much less bark when scratching tree trunks.
Mountain lions scratch to groom their claws or to announce their presence. Scent from the paws remains on the tree. This scent is believed to mark territory or announce availability for mating.
Mountain lions (also called pumas or cougars, among other common names) clawed these junipers located on our property in Lookout CA (Modoc County).