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Geographic distribution of the Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) in Colombia and conservation implications
The Oncilla is part of a group of three species of spotted cats commonly collectively called tigrillos in Spanish, and it’s the smallest cat in the country. Using descriptive analyses and potential distribution modeling, the resulting distribution of Oncilla spans through the three Andean mountain chains of Colombia between 7°N and 1°N, includes the five National Protected Areas with confirmed records and 63 areas where it is expected to occur, making Colombia a stronghold for the conservation of the species.
The results indicate that the species still have minimum viable population at country level, but protected areas are probably not enough to ensure the long term persistence.
Conservation recommendations include the need for Andean protected area connectivity as a requisite for long term conservation, research on basic ecology, surveys in the Amazon basin and differentiation of sub-specific realms. The few new reports since 1970 indeed make the Oncilla a rare cat, but still widely distributed in Colombia.
Citation: Payán E & González-Maya JF. Distribución geográfica de la Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) en Colombia e implicaciones para su conservación. Revista Latinoamericana de Conservación 2(1): 51-59
Read more about the Oncilla on wildcatconservation.org
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