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Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi)

  • Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi)

    Common Name/s: Jaguarundi  
    Scientific name: Puma yagouaroundi
    Brazilian common name/s: Yagouaroundi

    Quick facts (average values with minimum and maximum in parenthesis)

    Body length (cm): 63 (48-83) a Tail (cm):  (27-59)a Diet: Carnivorous
    Weight (kg): 4.5 (3-9)a,b Height (cm):  
    Home range (km2): (1.8 - 94) c, d
    Litter size: (1-4) a Gestation (days): (63-75) a Longevity (years): 
    Social structure: Solitary
    Activity pattern: Diurnal / crepuscular

    a (Emmons & Feer 1997), b (de Oliveira 1998), c (Michalski et al. 2006), d (de Oliveira et al. 2010)

    Physical description
    This cat has a distinct appearance, with a slender and elongated body. The head is small and flat, with short, rounded ears, short legs and very long tail. Its coat has a uniform colour ranging from black or dark brown to reddish brown. Individuals with a darker colour are commonly associated with forests while generally individuals with lighter coats are found in drier areas.

    Habitat and Ecology
    Jaguarundis occur from the southern United States (very rare) to central Argentina, and are found in various types of environments from more open shrub lands to closed canopy forests. As it is active during the day it is one of the most commonly seen cats, however it is not abundant anywhere (Caso et al. 2008).
    They feed mainly on small mammals, reptiles and terrestrial birds (Tofoli et al. 2009; de Oliveira 1998).

    Threats and Conservation
    Classified as least concern by the IUCN, habitat loss is the main threat to this species (Caso et al. 2008). Although it is thought to be generally more resilient to human disturbances, habitat loss has a negative impact on their probability of occurrence (Michalski & Peres 2005). In addition, little is known about the biology of this species, which limits the ability to generate effective conservation strategies.

    Online links
    IUCN redlist ( presents a summary of current knowledge on distribution and conservation status

    IUCN Cat Specialist Group:

    IUCN Cat Specialist Group species accounts:

    Caso, A., Lopez-Gonzalez, C., Payan, E., Eizirik, E., de Oliveira, T., Leite-Pitman, R., Kelly, M., & Valderrama, C. (2008). Puma yagouaroundi. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <>, , Downloaded on 04 July 2010.

    Emmons, L. H., & Feer, F. (1997). Neotropical rainforest mammals: a field guide. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Michalski, F., & Peres, C. A. (2005). Anthropogenic determinants of primate and carnivore local extinctions in a fragmented forest landscape of southern Amazonia. Biological Conservation, 124, 383-396.

    Michalski, F., Crawshaw, P. G., de Oliveira, T. G., & Fabian, M. E. (2006). Notes on home range and habitat use of three small carnivore species in a disturbed vegetation mosaic of southeastern Brazil. Mammalia, 70, 52-57.

    Tofoli, C. F., Rohe, F., & Setz, E. Z. F. (2009). Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) (Geoffroy, 1803) (Carnivora, Felidae) food habits in a mosaic of Atlantic Rainforest and eucalypt plantations of southeastern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 69, 873-877.

    de Oliveira, T. G. (1998). Herpailurus yagouaroundi. Mammalian Species, 578, 1-6.

    de Oliveira, T. G., Tortato, M. A., Silveira, L., Kasper, C. B., Mazim, F. D., Lucherini, M., Jácomo, A. T. A., Soares, J. B. G., Marques, R. V., & Sunquist, M. E. (2010). Ocelot ecology and its effect on the small-felid guild in the lowland Neotropics. In D. W. Macdonald & A. Loveridge (Eds.), Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids (pp. 563-584). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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