Extant: Bolivia; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Panama; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela.
Presence Uncertain: Nicaragua
The #Oncilla is a small #wildcat found throughout Central and #SouthAmerica. They are #vulnerable their main threat is #deforestation for #soy #meat #palmoil. They are also hunted for their fur #Boycott4Wildlife to help their survival!Tweet
Northern Tiger Cats also known as the Oncillas are often mistaken for other South American small wildcat species such as margays or ocelots. Although oncillas are smaller, they otherwise look very similar to these species, oncillas are more slender and have larger ears.
Oncillas are mainly nocturnal but in areas like Caatinga, where their diet primarily consists of diurnal lizards, these animals are more prone to be active in the daytime. During the breeding season pairs are sometimes seen, but they are considered as highly solitary animals. Although they are primarily terrestrial, they can climb well. Young kittens purr, while adults make a short and rhythmic “gurgle” sound.
Oncillas are found in a broad range of habitats, from the lowland semi-arid Caatinga to cloud forests in the Andes. In Costa Rica the species is almost entirely confined to montane forests along the flanks of volcanoes and other high mountains from 1,000 m up to the treeline (paramo) and occupy cloud forest and high elevation elfin forests (J. Schipper pers. comm.). The Northern Tiger Cat is a poorly known small-sized (2.4 kg) solitary felid, with an average litter size of 1.12 kittens (1–4)
Northern Tiger Cats were heavily exploited for the fur trade decades ago, following the decline of the Ocelot trade (Payan and Trujillo 2006). Although international trade ceased, there is still some localized illegal hunting, usually for the domestic market. Current threats to this species include habitat loss, fragmentation, disease, road-kill, illegal trade (pets and pelts), retaliatory killing due to depredation of poultry (Oliveira et al. 2008, 2013; Payán and Gonzalez-Maya 2011; Diaz-Pulido et al. 2013; Marinho 2015).
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Payan, E. & de Oliveira, T. 2016. Leopardus tigrinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T54012637A50653881. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T54012637A50653881.en. Downloaded on 07 June 2021.
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