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Pampas Cat (Leopardus colocolo)

  • Pampas Cat (Leopardus colocolo)

    Common Name/s: Pampas cat  
    Scientific name: Leopardus colocolo
    Brazilian common name/s: Gato-palheiro

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

    Body length (cm): (53-70) a Tail (cm):  (22-32) a Diet: Carnivorous
    Weight (kg): (3-4) a Height (cm): (30-35) a Home range (km2): (3-20) a
    Litter size: 1 (1-3) Gestation (days): (80-85) Longevity (years): 9
    Social structure: Solitary
    Activity pattern: Nocturnal and crepuscular

    a (Silveira 2005)

    Physical description
    This species has long fur with coat colours ranging geographically from orange red to gray with irregular stripes on the sides of the body and legs. It presents a strip of longer hair that runs from the head to the base of the tail, which bristles when the animal feels threatened.

    Habitat and Ecology
    The species occurs from the Andean areas of Peru through the more temperate portions of South America, including the Pantanal and central Brazil. It is a poorly studied species and little is known about their ecology. It is usually associated with habitats with open vegetation, but can also be found in forested areas (Bagno et al. 2007; Silveira 1995). Generally they have crepuscular and nocturnal patterns of activity (Lucherini et al. 2009).
    Pampas Cats feed on small mammals and terrestrial birds (Walker et al. 2007).

    Threats and Conservation
    Habitat loss and habitat degradation are the main threats to this species (Pereira et al. 2008). In addition, little is known about the biology of this species, which limits the ability to generate effective conservation strategies. It is classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as “Near Threatened” and by IBAMA as threatened with extinction.

    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:

    Bagno, M. A., Rodrigues, F. H. G., Villalobos, M. P., Dalponte, J. C., Brandão, R. A., Britto, B., Paula, R. C. D., & Bezerra, A. M. R. (2007). Notes on the Natural History and Conservation Status of Pampas Cat, Oncifelis colocolo, in the Brazilian Cerrado. Mammalia, 68, 75-79.

    Lucherini, M., Reppucci, J. I., Walker, R. S., Villalba, M. L., Wurstten, A., Gallardo, G., Iriarte, A., Villalobos, R., & Perovic, P. (2009). Activity pattern segregation of carnivores in the high Andes. Journal of Mammalogy, 90, 1404-1409.

    Pereira, J., Lucherini, M., de Oliveira, T., Eizirik, E., Acosta, G., & Leite-Pitman, R. (2008). Leopardus colocolo. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. <>, , Downloaded on 05 July 2010.

    Silveira, L. (1995). Notes on the distribution and natural history of the Pampas-Cat, Felis colocolo, in Brazil. Mammalia, 2, .

    Silveira, L. (2005). Pampas cat ecology and conservation in the Brazilian grasslands. IUCN Cat Specialist Group - Cat Project of the Month, ,

    Walker, R. S., Novaro, A. J., Perovic, P., Palacios, R., Donadio, E., Lucherini, M., Pia, M., & Lopez, M. S. (2007). Diets of three species of Andean carnivores in high-altitude deserts of Argentina. Journal of Mammalogy, 88, 519-525.

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