The Pampas cat (Leopardus colocola) is a small wild cat native to South America that is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List as habitat conversion and destruction may cause the population to decline in the future. It is also known as the colocolo or Pantanal cat over parts of its range. It is named after the Pampas, but occurs in grassland, shrubland, and dry forest at elevations up to 5,000 m (16,000 ft).
There was a proposal to divide Pampas cat into three distinct species, based primarily on differences in pelage colour/pattern and cranial measurements. Accordingly, three species were recognised in the 2005 edition of Mammal Species of the World: the colocolo (L. colocolo), the Pantanal cat (L. braccatus), and the Pampas cat (L. pajeros) with a more restricted definition. This split at species level was not supported by subsequent genetic work, although some geographical substructure was recognised, and some authorities continued to recognise the Pampas cat as a single species. In the recent revision of felid taxonomy by the Cat Specialist Group the Pampas cat is recognised as a single species with seven subspecies.
Pampas cats have not been studied much in the wild and little is known about their hunting habits. There have been reports of the cat hunting rodents and birds at night, and also hunting domestic poultry near farms.
|Pampas cat with the third pelage type|
|Pampas cat range map|
The Pampas cat is a small, but heavy-set cat. There are significant geographical variations in its size; the body length ranges from 46 to 75 cm (18 to 30 in) and the relatively short tail is 23 to 29 cm (9.1 to 11.4 in). Six variants of its pelage occur, but all have two dark lines on each cheek:
The subtypes of Type 2 show variation according to altitude and latitude. Only the first subtype occurs in the north (around 20°S and northwards), and only the third type occurs in the far south (around 40°S and southwards). In between, the majority are of second subtype, but the first subtype has been recorded as far south as 29°S, and the third subtype as far north as 36°S. At latitudes where both the first and second subtypes are found, the former tends to occur in highlands and the latter in lowlands.
Melanistic Pampas cats have been reported.
An extensive morphological analysis of Pampas cat specimens from across the species's range revealed differences in cranial measurements, and pelage colour and pattern. Therefore, the Pampas cat group was divided into three distinct species with 11 subspecies. This species division was recognised in the 2005 edition of Mammal Species of the World, although the number of subspecies was reduced:
Based on two specimens, the subspecies L. p. steinbachi is larger and paler than P. l. garleppi. However, this is labelled with uncertainty due to the very small sample, and some treat it as a synonym of L. p. garleppi. Uncertainty also exists for the subspecies L. p. budini, which appears to resemble L. p. crespoi, and was described from lowlands of northwestern Argentina, but may actually be from humid forests in the region. Some recognise it, while other do not. Populations in southern Chile and the southern part of Argentina, included in the nominate in the above list, have been recognised as the subspecies L. p. crucinus based on the large size (the largest Pampas cats) and dull pelage.
More recent work, primarily genetic studies, failed to find support for a split at species level, although some geographical substructure was recognised. Several authors recognise the Pampas cat as a single species. Since 2017, the Cat Classification Taskforce of the Cat Specialist Group recognises the Pampas cat as a single species with seven subspecies:
The Pampas cat ranges throughout most of Argentina and Uruguay into the Gran Chaco and Cerrado of Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil, and north through the Andes mountain chain through Ecuador and possibly marginally into southwestern Colombia. It occurs in a wide range of habitats and inhabits elevations between 1,800 and 5,000 m (5,900 and 16,400 ft) in páramo, marginally also in puna grassland and locally in dry forest. Where its range overlaps with the Andean mountain cat in northwestern Argentina, it occurs at lower altitudes on average. In central to northwestern Argentina, the Pampas cat is found at elevations below 1,240 m (4,070 ft) in grassland, mesophytic and dry forest, and shrubland. In southern Argentina and far southern Chile, it is found in Patagonian steppes and shrubland at altitudes below 1,100 m (3,600 ft).
Little is known about the Pampas cats's hunting and breeding habits. It is thought to prey mainly on small mammals and birds. Guinea pigs are thought to form a large part of its diet, along with viscachas, other rodents, and tinamous. Though some have suggested it is chiefly nocturnal, others suggest it is mainly diurnal.
Litters are relatively small, usually consisting of only one or two kittens, and occasionally three. The kittens weigh around 130 g (4.6 oz) at birth. The average lifespan is nine years, but some have lived for over 16 years.
The Andean mountain cat (Leopardus jacobita) is a small wild cat native to the high Andes that has been classified as Endangered by IUCN because fewer than 2,500 individuals are thought to exist in the wild.It was first described by Emilio Cornalia who named it in honour of Jacobita Mantegazza. It is one of only two cat species for which no subspecies has been described.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.Calilegua National Park
The Calilegua National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Calilegua) is a federal protected area in Jujuy Province, Argentina. Established on 19 July 1979, it houses a representative sample of the Southern Andean Yungas biodiversity in good state of conservation.
Located at the Ledesma Department on the eastern slopes of the Calilegua hills. and with an area of 76,306 ha (763.06 km2; 294.62 sq mi), it is the largest national park in the Argentine Northwest.Chester Vase
The Chester Vase is a Group 3 flat horse race in Great Britain open to three-year-old colts and geldings. It is run over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 63 yards (2,472 metres) at Chester in May.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.Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk, also known as the Patagonian hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus humboldtii) is a type of hog-nosed skunk indigenous to the open grassy areas in the Patagonian regions of Argentina and Chile. It belongs to the order Carnivora and the family Mephitidae.Junín National Reserve
Junín National Reserve is a protected area located in the region of Junín, Peru. One of its main purposes is to protect the ecosystem and biodiversity of Lake Junín and the surrounding Central Andean wet puna.Lachay National Reserve
Lachay National Reserve (Spanish: Reserva Nacional de Lachay) is a protected area in the region of Lima, Peru. The reserve is located 105 kilometres (65 mi) north from the Peruvian capital, Lima, and protects part of the lomas ecosystem.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.Marcavelica District
Marcavelica District is one of eight districts of the province Sullana in Peru. It was created by law on 25 March 1952 by the government of President Manuel A. Odría.The headquarters of one of the two dedicated hunting areas in Peru is located in Marcavelica District. Known as "El Coto de Caza el Angolo", it was formerly, in the 1970s, the estates and cattle ranch of Calixto Romero. Today it is part of the Northwest Peru Bioshere Reserve. Consisting of some 650 square kilometres (251 sq mi), the area is quite mountainous with deep ravines. The area is covered in dry forests, as the area has a low rainfall, but it is subject to heavy mists. Among the animals in the hunting reserve are whitetail deer, red deer, puma, peccary, sechuran fox, pampas cat, and anteaters. Birds native to the area include the condor, king vulture, hawks, canary partridges, pigeons of various kinds, and numerous song birds.Melanism
The term melanism refers to black pigment and is derived from the Greek: μελανός. Melanism is a development of the dark-colored pigment melanin in the skin or its appendages.
Pseudo-melanism, also called abundism, is another variant of pigmentation, characterized by dark spots or enlarged stripes, which cover a large part of the body of the animal, making it appear melanistic.
A deficiency in or total absence of melanin pigments is called amelanism.
The morbid deposition of black matter, often of a malignant character causing pigmented tumors, is called melanosis. For a description of melanin-related disorders, see melanin and ocular melanosis.Mitsubishi Pajero
The Mitsubishi Pajero (; Spanish: [paˈxeɾo]; Japanese パジェロ [pad͡ʑeɾo]) is a mid-sized sport utility vehicle manufactured and marketed globally by Mitsubishi.
Mitsubishi markets the SUV as the Montero in Spain, the Philippines and the Americas, except Brazil and Jamaica — and as the Shogun in the United Kingdom. However, Montero is no longer sold in North America since late 2006. The Pajero nameplate derives from Leopardus pajeros, the Pampas cat.Modified versions of the Pajero are noted for having won the Dakar Rally 12 times.Due to their success, the Pajero, Montero and Shogun names were also applied to other, mechanically unrelated models, such as the Pajero Mini kei car, the Pajero Junior and Pajero iO/Pinin mini SUVs, and the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero/Shogun Sport.Oncilla
The oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), also known as the northern tiger cat, little spotted cat, and tigrillo, is a small spotted cat ranging from Central America to central Brazil. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because the population is threatened by deforestation and conversion of habitat to agricultural land.In 2013, it was proposed to assign the population in southern Brazil and Cuyoaco to a new species L. guttulus, after it was found not to be interbreeding with the L. tigrinus population in northeast Brazil.Otto Garlepp
Otto Garlepp (20 August 1864, Cörmigk – 25 November 1959, Köthen), was a German naturalist and with his brother Gustav Garlepp (1862–1907) a professional collector.
The brothers Otto Garlepp and Gustav Garlepp are honoured in the butterfly name Papilio garleppi, the bird name Compsospiza garleppi the mammal name Garlepp's mouse, a subspecies of the Pampas cat and another of Darwin's rhea amongst many others. They were professional collectors in South America from 1883. At first Gustav worked alone, arriving in Brazil where there were many people of German descent ("Deutschbrasilianer") to collect insects for Dresden Zoological Museum. Gustav returned to Germany in 1892 following 4 years in Peru, a short trip to Germany and then an expedition to Bolivia. He returned to Bolivia in 1893 with his wife and Otto. He visited Germany for the last time in 1900 when he demonstrated 600 Neotropical bird species at a meeting of the Deutsche Ornithologen-Gesellschaft in Leipzig.Gustav Garlepp settled in Paraguay in 1901. He was murdered there in 1907. Otto returned to Germany in 1911. He married Elise Ida Schulz in Germany and the couple returned to South America. Otto's collecting ceased in 1913.
The Garlepp zoological specimens are from Bolivia, Peru Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica Paraguay, Chile and Argentina.Many are holotypes.
4,000 Garlepp bird skins were purchased by Hans von Berlepsch who had trained Otto and who described the new species.The specimens are now in Naturmuseum Senckenberg and Naturhistorisches Museum Braunschweig.Further specimens are in Naumann Museum, Köthener Schloss (Website).Oology specimens are held by the Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde in Dresden (from the collection of Maximilian Kuschel), and by Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna (from the collection of Josef Seilern (1883–1939)). Mammal specimens are in Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. Butterflies went to the dealership Otto Staudinger. These are now widely dispersed as are insects of other orders.Pantanal cat
The Pantanal cat (Leopardus colocola braccatus) is a Pampas cat subspecies, a small wild cat native to South America. It is named after the Pantanal wetlands in central South America, where it inhabits mainly grassland, shrubland, savannas and deciduous forests.Papallacta
Papallacta is a small village in Napo Province, Ecuador located at an altitude of 3,300 m in the Andes just off the Eastern Cordilleras on the road from Quito which leads into the Amazon jungle. The scenic drive from Quito to Papallacta passes through several towns and small villages before ascending to a peak of over 4,000 m, from where mountains and glaciers are visible. Descending from the peak to Papallacta, the ecosystems transform from alpine to tropical jungle.
Several hot springs and spas are located in Papallacta. Many of the local restaurants are known for their steamed trout. For lodging, there are several hotels and a resort.
Lake Papallacta and its surrounding watershed previously provided much of the drinking water for Quito, but because of frequent landslides in the region and the fact that the water pipeline and oil pipeline from the Amazon jungle pass in close proximity, a 2003 oil spill contaminated the lake, affecting recreational uses as well as clean water.The mammals of Papallacta have been studied in detail. The following species have been recorded in the vicinity of the village:
Order Paucituberculata (shrew opossums)
Order Didelphimorphia (opossums)
Order Eulipotyphla (insectivores)
Cryptotis cf. montivagus
Order Carnivora (carnivorans)
Culpeo (Pseudalopex culpaeus)
Pampas cat (Leopardus pajeros)
Conepatus cf. semistriatus
Long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata)
Spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus)
Order Cetartiodactyla (even-toed ungulates and whales)
Northern pudu (Pudu mephistophiles)
Order Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates)
Mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque)
Order Rodentia (rodents)
Mountain paca (Cuniculus taczanowskii)
Order Lagomorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas)
Tapeti (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)
Extant Carnivora species