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Chilean cat or Kodkod (leopardus guigna). The Chilean cat or Kodkod is the smallest wild cat of South America and rival the Black Footed Cat (Africa) and the . Leopardus guigna is also known as the kodkod, guigna, or Chilean cat. It can be found in central and southern Chile, Chiloé Island of Chile, Guaitecas Island of. Image of Leopardus guigna; Map of Leopardus guigna L. guigna guigna(from in Chile and S in Argentina west of 70W) inhabits more-dense.

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Leopardus guigna is also known as the kodkod, guigna, or Chilean cat. Kodkods are terrestrial and arboreal, dwelling in moist temperate forests, particularly in coastal regions like the islands of Chile.

The types of forest where they are traditionally found include evergreen temperate rainforests, deciduous temperate moist forests, sclerophyllous scrub, and coniferous forests The World Conservation Union, Kodkods are somewhat tolerant of disturbance, as they can be found in primary forest and secondary forest and scrub, as well as on the outskirts of cultivated areas The World Conservation Union, They are commonly observed in Chilean Valdivian and Araucaria forests.

Characteristics of these forest habitats include altitudes between 1, and 2, meters, complex canopy layers, bamboo, lianas, and epiphytes Acosta and Luch, Additionally, kodkods are found in Argentinian moist montane forests, which also have bamboo, lianas, and epiphytes The World Conservation Union, Leopardus guigna is the smallest cat species in the Western Hemisphere, averaging no larger than a typical house cat Felis catus Postanowicz, They weigh between 1.

Kodkods have body lengths from 40 to 52 centimeters, with tail length between 19 and 25 centimeters Nowak, Kays, and Macdonald, They have smaller heads and shorter, thicker tails relative to their large feet and claws, which help them to climb trees Kodkod and Chilean cat, The main fur color is gray brown or reddish brown, with dark spots, stripes on their tails and dorsal sides, and pale-colored venter and sides The World Conservation Union, ; Postanowicz, Some kodkods have eyespots on the backs of their ears because of their characteristic black on white fur markings Postanowicz, Melanistic, or darker colored, kodkods are not uncommon and their stripes and spots are often detectable in bright light Sunquist and Sunquist, They are similar in appearance to Geoffroy’s cats Leopardus geoffroyi except kodkods have less distinct stripes on their head and shoulder regions and they have thicker tails Sunquist and Sunquist, There are two subspecies: Leopardus guigna tigrillo and Leopardus guigna guigna.

There is minimal information about the mating systems of kodkods because of their rarity. The larger home ranges of males may indicate that they range widely in search of multiple mates. Sunquist and Sunquist, ; Sanderson, et al.

Kodkods have litter sizes that range between 1 and 4 offspring Sunquist and Sunquist, They have a gestation period between 72 to 78 days. Breeding interval and seasonality have not been reported. Sexual maturity is reached at approximately 24 months for both males and females Postanowicz, There is minimal information on parental investment in kodkods.


Like other small catskodkod females are likely to provide the only parental care. They invest significantly in gestation and lactation and may provide extended care for the young, teaching them to hunt before they become independent.

Acosta and Guihna, ; Nowak, et al. Kodkods can reach 11 years old in the wild. Kodkods are arboreal and tend to climb when trying to find shelter, safety from pursuers, or an ideal lookout place to find prey The World Conservation Union, Kodkods are more likely leopatdus be nocturnal in areas populated by humans and diurnal in more wild areas Postanowicz, They are solitary carnivores with males ranging more widely than females Sanderson, Sunquist, and Iriarte, Postanowicz, ; Sanderson, et al.

One study reported an average home range of 1.

Another study recorded mean home ranges of 2. In fragmented habitats, males are more likely to leave their home ranges than females Sanderson, Sunquist, and Iriarte, Due to the rare and secretive nature of kodkods, there is little information regarding communication and perception.

Like most small catskodkods have excellent vision, hearing, and sense of smell. They are likely to use chemical cues in communication as well as vocalizations, body postures, and tactile cues.

Kodkods are carnivorous, eating mainly small rodents, reptiles, birds, and large insects Kodkod, ; Postanowicz, ; The World Conservation Union, They sometime prey on domestic poultry, bringing themselves into direct conflict with humans, often resulting in farmers killing kodkods Postanowicz, Known predators of kodkods include humans and domestic dogs Lucherini and Merino, Kodkods are cryptically colored and secretive, avoiding most predators.

Lucherini and Merino, Although more studies are necessary, research suggest kodkods help to control rodent populations The World Conservation Union, Kodkods have been hunted for their fur. However, their small body size makes them less popular among hunters Postanowicz, In rural areas kodkod pelts are still found displayed as trophies.

Kodkods may help to control rodent populations, which decreases rodent depredation on crops and rodent population outbreaks that spread disease The World Conservation Union, Postanowicz, ; “KodKod”, Kodkods have been known to occasionally prey on domestic poultry.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Kodkod populations are declining, especially in central Chile. They are threatened by domestic dogs and hunting by humansand habitat fragmentation and loss due to deforestation.

Their main threat is fragmentation and destruction of their preferred habitat, temperate moist guigba Acosta and Lucherini, Human sentiment towards kodkods in rural areas is generally negative. Education, awareness, and stricter law buigna are needed to improve human attitudes towards kodkods and their protection Silva-Rodgrquez, Ortega-Solis, and Jimenez, There are laws in place to protect kodkods and other small cats from hunters, but only in some areas and enforcement is generally weak Lucherini and Merino, Fortunately, kodkods are relatively tolerant of disturbed habitats, which is reflected in their current conservation status as vulnerable rather than critically endangered.


The common name, kodkod, originated from the Araucanian Leoparsus. Guigna is the common name used in Chile and Argentina Sunquist and Sunquist, Sunquist and Sunquist, Recent genetic analysis suggests that Leopardus guigna is closely related to Leopardus geoffroyi Sunquist and Sunquist, Leoprdus birds, naked and helpless after hatching.

Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends.

Leopardus guigna

Synapomorphy of the Bilateria. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a now extinct synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities.

Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons or periodic condition changes. This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.

Epiphytes and climbing plants leopxrdus also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal. The World Conservation Union. Accessed April 11, at http: Wild Cat Species and Distribution. Habitat use by Oncifelis guigna and Pseudalopex culpaeus in a fragmented forest landscape in central Chile. Biodiversity and Conservation Metapopulation approach to assess survival of Oncifelis guigna in fragmented forests of central Chille: Spatial organization, ranging behaviour and habitat use leopaardus the kodkod Oncifelis guigna in southern Chile.

Journal of Zoology London Using fecal profiles of bile acids to assess habitat use by threatened carnivores in the Maulino forest of central Chile.

Revista Chilena de Historia Natural Walker’s Carnivores of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press. Lioncrusher’s Domain — Carnivora Species Information.

Wild Cats of the World. University of Chicago Press. Mammal Species guignw the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference 3rd Ed. Help us improve the site by taking our survey.

To cite this page: Accessed December 31, at https: The Animal Diversity Web is an educational resource written largely by and for college students.

Kodkod (Leopardus guigna) ·

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While ADW staff leopwrdus contributors provide references to books and websites that we believe are reputable, we cannot necessarily endorse the contents of references beyond our control.

Leopardus guigna kodkod Facebook. Geographic Range Leopardus guigna is also known as the kodkod, guigna, or Chilean cat. Other Physical Features endothermic homoiothermic bilateral symmetry Sexual Dimorphism sexes alike Range mass 1. Breeding season Breeding seasonality has not been reported. Range number of offspring 1 to 4 Range gestation period 72 to 78 days Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity female 24 months Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity male 24 months There is minimal information on parental investment in kodkods.