Guina – Cat 5 of 13 in the Leopardus family of cats - Wild Cat Family

Guina – Cat 5 of 13 in the Leopardus family of cats

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Guiña (Leopardus guigna)

The Guiña is one of the thirteen wild cats in the Leopardus family of cats. The small spotted cats of the Leopardus family are distributed throughout Central and South America.

The diminutive Guiña occurs primarily in Chile and a small part of Argentina.  The cat, sometimes spelt as 'Guigna', is also known as the Kodkod or Chilean Wild Cat and is a forest dependant species.

The Guiña is the smallest cat species in the Americas weighing under three kilograms and is among the smallest cat species in the world.

Their Red List conservation status is Vulnerable and threats include logging of natural forests and fragmentation of the landscape for agriculture.

Guina - Kodkod (Leopardus guigna) - Leopardus Lineage

Small Wild Cats Audio - Coat Color

Listen to a short audio taken from a chapter in the book Small Wild Cats by well-known small cat conservationist Jim (James) Sanderson. Jim was one of the first to study Guiñas when hardly anything was known about them. He has been instrumental in forming the Guina Working Group as well as six other small cat working groups in the Neotropics.

This excerpt covers how small wild cats like the Guiña get their coat color and what causes black coats.


Small Wild Cats - Sanderson and Watson

95 Observations of Guiñas on iNaturalist

There are currently 95 sightings of Guiña cats on iNaturalist including a few of melanistic cats, however sadly most are of roadkill.

iNaturalist is a global platform for the public to upload images of wild creatures they have seen in nature. If you have any photos of natural biodiversity from your travels, be sure to open an account and upload your images. Identification is verified by other members and the data can be used in future research. A great way to contribute to conservation and research!

Note there are images of dead animals in case you are a sensitive viewer.

Guina Chile
iNaturalist Observation · Guina Chile · © Denisse del Campo · CC-BY-NC

Where to see Guiñas

A great place to read trip reports from people that have travelled to look for wild cats in their natural habitat is

Here is a list of recent trip reports to look for Guiñas / Kodkods and here is a list of ethical tour operators that offer wildlife trips in South America.

If you know of anyone that may be interested in studying wild cats, please share this post with them.

There is a dire need for research on the lesser known smaller cats.

I would love to encourage as many budding zoologists as possible to specialize in these wonderful animals!

Many thanks!

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