International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

News From The Field: New Andean Cat Distribution Record

Wild cats can’t be saved without knowing what they need to survive in their natural habitat. What kind of habitat do they use? What are their activity patterns & social organizations? Without data collected by field biologists, conservation programs can’t be put in place. To further our educational efforts, we are posting regular Monday summaries of a paper written by wild cat field biologists, which briefly outlines their findings.

The endangered Andean cat Leopardus jacobita was considered an endemic of the Andes Mountains at altitudes above 3,000 m until it was discovered in the Andean foothills of central Argentina in 2004. We carried out surveys for Andean cats and sympatric small cats in the central Andean foothills, and the adjacent Patagonian steppe, and found Andean cats outside the Andes at elevation sas low as 650 m. We determined that Andean cats are widespread but rare in the northern Patagonian steppe, with a patchy distribution. Our findings suggest that the species’ distribution may follow that of its principle prey, the rock-dwelling mountain vizcacha.

Andres Novaro, Susan Walker, Rocio Palacios, Sebastian Di Martino et al

IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter

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