The beautiful silvery grey Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) is very rare and occurs at low densities in its mountainous habitat of the Andes, South America. Very little is known about this cat and research is difficult in the extreme conditions at high altitudes. In addition to the usual threats of habitat loss and degradation due to human activities and expansion, the fragile mountain region with its specialist wildlife will also be affected by global climate change.
1. Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)
2. Geoffroy’s Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi)
3. Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita)
4. Margay (Leopardus wiedii)
5. Pampas Cat (Leopardus colocola)
6. Northern Tiger Cat (Leopardus tigrinus)
7. Southern Tiger Cat (Leopardus guttulus)
8. Guiña or Kodkod (Leopardus guigna)
Key Facts about Andean Cats
~ Endangered rare cat of South America ~
~ Mountainous habitat of the Andes ~
~ Very few studies so little is known ~
Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) Classification
The Andean Cat belongs to the genus Leopardus and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher classification of the Andean Cat species (Leopardus jacobita) is as follows:
Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
Class: Mammalia (mammals)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)
Family: Felidae (cats)
Subfamily: Felinae (small cats)
Species: Leopardus jacobita (Andean Cat)
Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) Subspecies
No subspecies of Andean Cats have been described in the past and the current Felidae taxonomy revision continues to recognize the Andean Cat as a monotypic species.
- Leopardus jacobita - Andes mountains of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru and Patagonia Argentina - South America (patchy distribution).
Andean Cat Conservation & Research
The global conservation status for the Andean Cat is Endangered (EN) with an estimated population of less than 3000.
The following organizations are dedicated to research and conservation of the Andean Cat:
Please support these organizations with their important work. No matter how small or large your donation, every bit helps!
Andean Cat Facts and Information
The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Andean Cats:
- Andean Cat Fact Sheet - International Soc. for Endangered Cats (ISEC)
- Andean Cat Images and Video Clips in the Wild - ARKive
Books on Neotropical Cats
Currently there is no publication in print dedicated to just the cats of Central and South America.
A book entitled Neotropical Cats by TG de Oliviera was published in 1994 however is no longer in print, and may be available in libraries or in used book stores.
The latest information on these cats can be found in books covering all wild cats.