The kodkod (Leopardus guigna) (Spanish pronunciation: [koðˈkoð]), also called güiña, is the smallest cat in the Americas. It lives primarily in central and southern Chile and marginally in adjoining areas of Argentina. Its area of distribution is small compared to the other South American cats. Since 2002, it has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List as the total effective population may comprise less than 10,000 mature individuals, and is threatened due to persecution and loss of habitat and prey base.
|Kodkod range map|
The kodkod has a small head, large feet, and a thick tail. Typical adult length is 37 to 51 centimetres (15 to 20 in), with a short 20 to 25 centimetres (7.9 to 9.8 in) tail and a shoulder height of about 25 centimetres (9.8 in). Weight ranges between 2 to 2.5 kilograms (4.4 to 5.5 lb).
The coat has a base color ranging from brownish-yellow to grey-brown. The body is decorated with dark spots, with a pale underside and a ringed tail. The ears are black with a white spot, while the dark spots on the shoulders and neck almost merge to form a series of dotted streaks. Melanistic kodkods with spotted black coats are quite common.
Kodkods are strongly associated with mixed temperate rainforests of the southern Andean and coastal ranges, particularly the Valdivian and Araucaria forests of Chile, which is characterized by the presence of bamboo in the understory. They prefer evergreen temperate rainforest habitats to deciduous temperate moist forests, sclerophyllous scrub and coniferous forests. They are tolerant of altered habitats, being found in secondary forest and shrub as well as primary forest, and on the fringes of settled and cultivated areas.
They range up to the treeline at approximately 1,900 m (6,200 ft). In Argentina, they have been recorded from moist montane forest, which has Valdivian characteristics, including a multi-layered structure with bamboo, and numerous lianas and epiphytes.
Kodkods are equally active during the day as during the night, although they only venture into open terrain under the cover of darkness. During the day, they rest in dense vegetation in ravines, along streams with heavy cover, and in piles of dead gorse. They are excellent climbers, and easily able to climb trees more than a meter in diameter. They are terrestrial predators of birds, lizards and rodents in the ravines and forested areas, feeding on southern lapwing, austral thrush, chucao tapaculo, huet-huet, domestic geese and chicken.
Male kodkods maintain exclusive territories 1.1 to 2.5 square kilometres (0.42 to 0.97 sq mi) in size, while females occupy smaller ranges of just 0.5 to 0.7 square kilometres (0.19 to 0.27 sq mi).
The major threat to the kodkod is logging of its temperate moist forest habitat, and the spread of pine forest plantations and agriculture, particularly in central Chile. In 1997 to 1998, two out of five radio-collared kodkods were killed on Chiloé Island while raiding chicken coops.
The genus Leopardus was proposed in 1842 by John Edward Gray, when he described two spotted cat skins from Central America and two from India in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London. The subgenus Oncifelis was proposed in 1851 by Nikolai Severtzov with the Geoffroy's cat as type species. The kodkod was subordinated to Leopardus in 1958, and to Oncifelis in 1978.
Alerce Costero National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Alerce Costero, Spanish pronunciation: [aˈleɾse kosˈteɾo]) is a protected wild area in the Cordillera Pelada about 137 km from Valdivia and 49 km from La Unión. Fitzroya trees grow inside the protected area and give the area its name, with Alerce Costero translating as Coastal Fitzroya. The Natural Monument has a total area of 24,000 ha.Alloy (specification language)
In computer science and software engineering, Alloy is a declarative specification language for expressing complex structural constraints and behavior in a software system. Alloy provides a simple structural modeling tool based on first-order logic. Alloy is targeted at the creation of micro-models that can then be automatically checked for correctness. Alloy specifications can be checked using the alloy analyzer.
Although Alloy is designed with automatic analysis in mind, Alloy differs from many specification languages designed for model-checking in that it permits the definition of infinite models. The Alloy Analyzer is designed to perform finite scope checks even on infinite models.
The Alloy language and analyzer are developed by a team led by Daniel Jackson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.Arctocephalus
The genus Arctocephalus consists of fur seals. Arctocephalus translates to "bear head."Asiatic linsang
The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.Environment of Argentina
The Environment of Argentina is characterised by high biodiversity.
Subtropical plants dominate the Gran Chaco in the north, with the Dalbergia genus of trees well represented by Brazilian rosewood and the quebracho tree; also predominant are white and black algarrobo trees (Prosopis alba and Prosopis nigra). Savannah-like areas exist in the drier regions nearer the Andes. Aquatic plants thrive in the wetlands of Argentina. In central Argentina the humid pampas are a true tallgrass prairie ecosystem.The original pampa had virtually no trees; some imported species like the American sycamore or eucalyptus are present along roads or in towns and country estates (estancias). The only tree-like plant native to the pampa is the evergreen Ombú. The surface soils of the pampa are a deep black color, primarily mollisols, known commonly as humus. This makes the region one of the most agriculturally productive on Earth; however, this is also responsible for decimating much of the original ecosystem, to make way for commercial agriculture. The western pampas receive less rainfall, this dry pampa is a plain of short grasses or steppe.Most of Patagonia lies within the rain shadow of the Andes, so the flora, shrubby bushes and plants, is suited to dry conditions. The soil is hard and rocky, making large-scale farming impossible except along river valleys. Coniferous forests in far western Patagonia and on the island of Tierra del Fuego, include alerce, ciprés de la cordillera, ciprés de las guaitecas, huililahuán, lleuque, mañío hembra and pehuén, while broadleaf trees include several species of Nothofagus such as coihue, lenga and ñire. Other introduced trees present in forestry plantations include spruce, cypress and pine. Common plants are the copihue and colihue.In Cuyo, semiarid thorny bushes and other xerophile plants abound. Along the many rivers grasses and trees grow in significant numbers. The area presents optimal conditions for the large scale growth of grape vines. In northwest Argentina there are many species of cactus. No vegetation grows in the highest elevations (above 4,000 m (13,000 ft)) because of the extreme altitude.
Many species live in the subtropical north. Prominent animals include big cats like the jaguar and puma; primates (howler monkey); large reptiles (crocodiles), the Argentine black and white tegu and a species of caiman. Other animals include the tapir, peccary, capybara, bush dog, and various species of turtle and tortoise. There are a wide variety of birds, notably hummingbirds, flamingos, toucans, and swallows.
The central grasslands are populated by the giant anteater, armadillo, pampas cat, maned wolf, mara, cavias, and the rhea (ñandú), a large flightless bird. Hawks, falcons, herons, and tinamous (perdiz, Argentine "false partridges") inhabit the region. There are also pampas deer and pampas foxes. Some of these species extend into Patagonia.
The western mountains are home to animals including the llama, guanaco and vicuña which are among the most recognizable species of South America. Also in this region are the fox, viscacha, Andean mountain cat, kodkod, and the largest flying bird in the New World, the Andean condor.
Southern Argentina is home to the cougar, huemul, pudú (the world's smallest deer), and introduced, non-native wild boar. The coast of Patagonia is rich in animal life: elephant seals, fur seals, sea lions and species of penguin. The far south is populated by cormorants.
The territorial waters of Argentina have abundant ocean life; mammals such as dolphins, orcas, and whales like the southern right whale, a major tourist draw for naturalists. Sea fish include sardines, Argentine hakes, dolphinfish, salmon, and sharks; also present are squid and king crab (centolla) in Tierra del Fuego. Rivers and streams in Argentina have many species of trout and the South American golden dorado fish. Well known snake species inhabiting Argentina include boa constrictors and a very venomous pit viper named the yarará. The hornero was elected the national bird after a survey in 1928.Felinae
The Felinae is a subfamily of the family Felidae that comprises the small cats that have a bony hyoid, because of which they are able to purr but not roar.Other authors proposed an alternative definition for this subfamily: as comprising only the living conical-toothed cat genera with two tribes, the Felini and Pantherini; thus excluding all fossil cat species.Felinine
Felinine, also known as (R)-2-amino-3-(4-hydroxy-2-methylbutan-2-ylthio)propanoic acid, is a chemical compound and amino acid found in cat urine and a precursor via microbial lyase of the putative cat pheromone and thiol called 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol (MMB).
Felinine is excreted by selected Felidae species including bobcats, Chinese desert cats, the kodkod, and domestic cats. Felinine synthesis occurs in the liver through a condensation reaction of glutathione and isopentenyl pyrophosphate to form 3-mercaptobutanolglutathionine (3-MBG). In the kidney 3-MBG is hydrolysed and felinine partly acetylated. Cauxin assists in the hydrolysis of the dipeptide (felinylglycine) to increase the concentration of urinary felinine.
Urine of domestic cats may contain a series of felinine-containing compounds including free felinine, acetylfelinine, felinylglycine and 3-MBG.Ferret-badger
Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.
Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)
Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)
Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)
Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)
Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)Geoffroy's cat
Geoffroy's cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) is a wild cat native to the southern and central regions of South America. It is about the size of a domestic cat. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List because it is widespread and abundant over most of its range.Huerquehue National Park
Huerquehue National Park (Spanish pronunciation: [weɾˈkewe]) is located in the foothills of the Andes, in the Valdivian temperate rainforest of the La Araucanía region in southern Chile. It lies 145 km southeast of Temuco and 33 km east of Pucón, between the Villarrica National Reserve to the west and the Hualalafquén National Reserve to the east.
The park encompasses 125 square kilometres (12,500 Ha) of mountainous terrain east of Caburgua Lake, and has an elevation range of 720 to 2,000 m asl.The national park was created on June 9, 1967 in order to protect the area. However, its origins date back to 1912 and the creation of "Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna Park", also known as "Colico", which encompassed 265,000 Ha. Today, that land is divided into various different parks and reserves.
Huerquehue is a Mapudungun word (the language of the Mapuche people) that means "the messenger’s place". One of the most noteworthy features of Huerquehue National Park are its ancient Araucaria (Araucaria araucana) forests, the tree commonly known as "monkey puzzle". These are the backdrop for the clear lakes and lagoons that dot the park, including Tinquilco Lake, which lies in the lower portion of this protected area.Leopardus
Leopardus is a genus of spotted small cats mostly native to Middle and South America, with a very small range extending into the southern United States. The genus is considered the oldest branch of a lineage of small cats that crossed into the Americas, with the genera Lynx and Puma being later branches of the same group. The largest species in Leopardus is the ocelot (L. pardalis); most of the other species resemble domestic cats in size, with the kodkod (L. guigna) being the smallest cat in the Americas. The margay (L. wiedii) is more highly adapted to arboreal life than any other cat in the Americas.Despite the name, the leopard is a member of genus Panthera, not Leopardus.Lutrogale
Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.Mephitis (genus)
The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.Mustelinae
Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).Nyctereutes
Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.
Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.Patagonian weasel
The Patagonian weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus) is a small mustelid that is the only member of the genus Lyncodon. Its geographic range is the Pampas of western Argentina and sections of Chile. An early mention of the animal is in the Journal of Syms Covington, who sailed with Charles Darwin on his epic voyage aboard HMS Beagle.Tolhuaca National Park
Tolhuaca National Park (Spanish pronunciation: [tolˈwaka]) is a Protected Area created on October 16, 1935 in an area of 3,500 ha that was previously part of the Malleco National Reserve. In 1985, a second section of Malleco National Reserve was also made part of the national park. Malleco National Reserve was the first protected wildlife area in both Chile and South America, so the land within Tolhuaca National Park is one of the oldest protected areas on the continent.
Extant Carnivora species