Monday, May 5, 2008

Andean Mountain Cat

Andean Mountain CatThe rarest cat in Americas, the Andean Mountain Cat is perhaps the least studied feline in the world. Known also as Andean Highland Cat or simply the Andean Cat, it lives in the arid deserts of the high Andes. Given the taxonomic name of the Leopardus Jacobitus, known also as Oreailurus Jacobita, the beautiful cat is often likened to the elusive Snow Leopard owing to similarities in the lifestyle of the two cats. The Andean Cat is nearly two feet long with an approximately one and a half foot tail and stands just over one foot tall at shoulders. Weight is in the range of ten to fifteen pounds.


In adaptation to its high altitude habitat, the cat's coat is long and thick with a base color ranging from gray to reddish brown. Irregular stripes, spots and markings are found on the body, in particular on limbs and the lighter under surface. Tail is long and thick, possibly aiding the cat in its quick movements on rocky cliffs and uncertain terrains. It is banded with dark rings and is light colored at the tip.

Believed to be an opportunistic predator, the Andean Mountain Cat is thought to prey on small animals including chinchillas, viscachas, insects, lizards and birds. Little is known about the social structure and behavior and reproductive profile owing to the extreme rarity of scientific observations of this elusive feline, due to its remote geographical distribution.

The Andean Cat is considered to exist in scattered territories across high altitudes of Andes in dry, rocky and harsh areas in four countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. It has low population densities and lives a solitary life in areas often separated by human settlements. No subspecies are recognized.

Owing to our lack of research data and information, the exact numbers in the wild and conservation status of this beautiful cat are unknown. No specimens exist in captivity. Average lifespan is therefore unestablished. Conservation status is not entirely known however persecution by humans, including killing the cats owing to local superstitions and hunting them for skins and stuffed cats, have led to the classification of the Andean Mountain Cat as endangered!

42 comments:

Fotobuch said...

I like Mountain cat.The look nice but thats are dangerous.Their lifestyle deferent.

Anonymous said...

I love the andean cat. I used this cat for a school project. Now, I cant stop thinking about them.

SAVE THE ANDEAN CAT!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

i wish there was something i could do to help these mountain cats, so sad to hear they are killed by humans for silly reasons like superstition.

Anonymous said...

Andean mountain cats are cool people should do more to help save them.

Anonymous said...

Its sad that these cute little creatures are so rare and are being killed due to supersitions... Im doing a school project found it very interesting but sad to no people would kill these little guys :(

Save the Andean Cat !!

Anonymous said...

save this cat please!

Anonymous said...

im using htis for a schol project 2

Anonymous said...

ian anderson of jethro tull is helping make people aware of their plight

Anonymous said...

very cute, and rarity is a shame. Why though does this site not even mention the Scottish/Scottish Highland wild cat? this too is rare and endangered.
Joe Round/Naomi

snowforest said...

Hi Joe and Naomi,

Thanks for stopping by, and appreciating the beauty of the Andean cat. The Scottish Wild Cat was classified as a separate subspecies by older texts, but a recent genetic analysis indicates that is amongst the five main wild cat subspecies, mentioned on this site.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/317/5837/519

Anonymous said...

Yeah, another school project and now I can't stop researching the Andean Cat. I love the information that I have found, but was wondering about any factors that effect mating such as a strut or specific coloration to draw the attention of a mate or just any desirable traits that could up the chance of mating...? My project is on rebuilding the population and genetic coding to apply only dominant and desired genes that would promote survival and repopulation.

Anonymous said...

yo i love this fuzzy thing! it's so cute.

Anonymous said...

yeah

Anonymous said...

i have an andean cat as a house pet...his name is chico and he's about 4 months old. i love that little guy, he is my world. my girlfriend broke up with me cuz she said i cared more about little chico than i care about her...sorry margaret..but its true.

Anonymous said...

me doong schol projict me 2

Anonymous said...

Hey Cat Lovers! Just thought of this cool idea. We all love Andean Mountain Cats and want to help them right? Well lets actually try! Any suggestions please post here!

Sincerely,
AMC LOVER!

Anonymous said...

Y waist rocks on andean mt cats i have a lil sister that would love for u to drop rocks on her.

SAVE THE ROCKS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I also have a sister dat would love rocks being dropped on her...I do it to her all the time *Wink Wink*

Anonymous said...

The Andean Mountain Cat is my favotite Animal in the whole world! My friend and i were fighting the other day about which is more endsngered, the tiger or the Andean Mountain Cat. Of course, i stood up for the Little guy. She also thinks the tiger is cuter than the A cat but I frankly dont think the tiger id thst cute, but its still is cute!

Anonymous said...

i'm using this cat for a school project and i fell in love with it! IT'S ADORABLE! how could any one kill that for such stupid reasons?!

Anonymous said...

I am doing a school project and there soo cute !
son please save them !!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe ppl would kill these cats!!! They r too cute to kill!!! I'm doing a school project on them also!

Anonymous said...

Lol time difference!!! sorry just had to say that. it's 6:39 here!!!

Bobby Smith said...

somtimes my mom takes me to the store and she buys me a lollipop if im good!!

Yo MOM said...

i just pooped in my pants during school!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

ok i see alot of people researching this cat for a school prohect isn't anyone doing simply because they want to and weren't started for a project?
sincerly,
animal lover

Heda patrick said...

me i just want to know more about this cat

Anonymous said...

I love this cat, its beautiful. I would love to help it not become extinct, but I do not know how to help it other than to pray for it.

Anonymous said...

at anonymous on January 24th 2012
I am doing it for a school project also, but I chose to do this cat, it was not assigned to me.

Anonymous said...

So sad! Stop killing this cat!

Anonymous said...

STOP KILLING IT !!!!!! THIS IS A SAD WORLD

Anonymous said...

this is sad they should stop killing them because of superstisions

Anonymous said...

I'm doing a project on this cat too. It's so sad what people do to them! I wish I knew how to help them. Before my project I never knew they existed. I hope more can learn about them and try to save them!

Anonymous said...

I'm also doing a project, but it is sad how little is known about this real cute cat. All my friends think they are super cute and get this, I only came across them by chance! We should hold more ads and things so more people know about these cuties!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm also doing a project, but it is sad how little is known about this real cute cat. All my friends think they are super cute and get this, I only came across them by chance! We should hold more ads and things so more people know about these cuties!!!

Anonymous said...

LOVE the Andean cat save the cats ^_^

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