The diminutive Guina (Leopardus guigna) of South America is a forest dependant cat species occurring primarily in the country of Chile and also known as the Kodkod or Chilean Wild Cat. The cat weighs under 3 kgs and is the smallest cat species in the Americas and among the smallest cat species in the world. Threats include logging of natural forests and fragmentation of the landscape for agriculture.
Guiña or Kodkod (Leopardus guigna) - Leopardus Lineage
Leopardus guigna in Anticura (Parque Nacional Puyehue, X Region, Chile) by Mauro Tammone (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Key Facts about Guiñas / Kodkods

~ Smallest wild cat of the Americas ~

~  Smallest range of all the cats of the Americas ~

~ Found primarily in one country - Chile ~


Guiña / Kodkod (Leopardus guigna) Classification

The Guiña or Kodkod belongs to the genus Leopardus and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher classification of the Guiña or Kodkod species (Leopardus guigna) 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)

Genus: Leopardus

Species: Leopardus guigna (Guiña / Kodkod)

Guiña / Kodkod in habitat (Leopardus guigna)

Guiña / Kodkod(Leopardus guigna) Subspecies

Lower classification

Guiña / Kodkod walking along track (Leopardus guigna)

The global conservation status for the Guiña / Kodkod is Vulnerable (VU) and populations are declining.

Two subspecies of Guiñas have been described in the past:

  • Leopardus guigna guigna - south Chile and south west Argentina (darker and smaller)
  • Leopardus guigna tigrillo - north and central Chile (paler and larger)

These two subspecies are confirmed in the latest taxonomic revision (2017).

References:

Guiña / Kodkod Conservation & Research

The following organizations are dedicated to research and conservation of the smaller cats of Latin America:

Please support these organizations with their important work. No matter how small or large your donation, every bit helps!

Guiña / Kodkod head detail (Leopardus guigna)

Guiña / Kodkod melanistic form (Leopardus guigna)

Guiña / Kodkod Facts and Information

The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Guiñas / Kodkods:


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 about all wild cats such as those below.

Neotropical Cats by TG de Oliveira 1994
Neotropical Cats by TG de Oliveira (1994) - Out of Print
Try AbeBooks ~ Book Review 1996

Wild Cats of the World - Luke Hunter 2015

Wild Cats of the World

by Luke Hunter 2015

(general and academic interest)

Amazon US (incl Kindle)

AbeBooks global

The Wild Cat Book - Sunquist 2014

The Wild Cat Book

by Fiona and Mel Sunquist 2014

(general interest)

Amazon US (incl Kindle)

AbeBooks global

Small Wild Cats - Sanderson and Watson 2011

Small Wild Cats

by J. Sanderson and P. Watson 2011

(general interest)

Amazon US (incl Kindle)

AbeBooks global