International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

Geoffroy’s Cat Nocturnal Ramblings

CARNIVORES OF THE ARGENTINA ESPINAL
Research and conservation project

Dr. Mauro Lucherini has sent us a set of pictures that were recently obtained from one of their camera locations in the espinal area of central Argentina. According to the researchers, this is a very, very dry and hot region and cattle ranching is destroying the natural shrubland but some wildlife is still there, including cats!

The Argentine Espinal is a dry bushland, interesting, but not the most hospitable habitat in the world! Here is a picture taken by a camera trap with a thermometer. Fifty three degrees Celsius is about 127 Fahrenheit.

The most common mammals here are certainly not cats.

But with a little patience….

You may attract the attention of a Geoffroy’s Cat!

Especially when rain does not come!

While I was looking at these photos, I couldn’t help but wonder how on earth the researchers manage to find a small, house-cat sized animal in the vastness of the Argentine espinal, and learn where to place their cameras. I asked Dr. Lucherini this question, and here is his reply:

Your question is truely a good one. The vastness and homogenity of the landscapes where we work is a major challenge. We look for habitat edges, natural or created by man, such as roads or, even better small cow trails. Large trees (which are relatively uncommon) may also provide a good spot. But we also put 5 cameras in each site to increase capture probability. To understand the factors affecting carnivore presence at landscape scale, we have already sampled 23 sites (at least 5 km apart), leaving the camera traps for 25 days in each site.

Learn how you can help the researchers and the small wild cats still left in the Argentine espinal!

Read more about the Geoffroy’s Cat

See more photos received from the research team at GECM

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