The Andean Cat

Scientific Name: Leopardus jacobita
IUCN Status: Endangered
Weight: 7-9 pounds

Wildcat Portrait

Description:

The Andean cat is about the size of a domestic cat with a stocky build, thick limbs, and large paws. The face is lightly marked, with the exception of broad dark eye stripes running under the temples, and dark cheek stripes. The tail is long with very thick fur giving it a bushy, tubular appearance with around 5-10 distinctive thick russet bands that become paired dark brown rings, often with a russet-brown centre, towards the tip. The thick fur is silver-grey marked with large russet blotches on the body that darken to rich grey-brown on the face, chest, and limbs. 

Prey:

The Andean cat diet is dominated by a combination of mid-sized rodents living in rocky habitats. European Hares and tinamous are also important prey and will sometimes scavenge from carcasses of dead ungulates. 

Habitat and Distribution:

The Andean Cat is found in areas of South America such as central and southern Peru, western Bolivia, North-east Chile, and western Argentina. These cats have a very restricted range in high Andean habitats mostly from 3,000 to 5,100m, with most records above 4,000m. They are found primarily in habitats dominated by rocky steep slopes with bofedales and associated dry scrublands. 

Biology:

Not much is known about the reproduction in the wild currently. It is estimated that they are seasonal breeders since they experience very cold winters. The gestation period is also unknown but thought to be approximately 60 days and litter size of 1-2 kittens.