Kodkod

Oncifelis guigna

Body Length(mm) -550-680

Weight (kg) - 11-14 (male)

Litter Size - 1-3 average

Life Span - 11 years

Status - Vulnerable

O.g.guigna - S.Chile, Argentina

O.g.trigillo - Central Chile

The range of the kodkod is restricted to Chile and parts of Argentina and in having a body length of about 20 inches and weighing as little as 6 lb. it is the smallest cat in the Americas. In appearance the kodkod is similar to Geoffrey’s cat and it has been suggested that it may be merely a sub-species of this more numerous and widespread cat. The kodkod has a base coat colour that ranges from grey brown to reddish brown and is marked with small dark spots. Of the two species of kodkod, O.g.guigna, found in the south of its range, is smaller in body size and more brightly coloured - where as O.g.tigrillo, found to the north of Chile, is distinct in having no spot markings on its feet and more often than not a paler coat colour. Melanistic varieties have been observed in both species.

As with many of the small wild cat species of the Americas very little is known of the lifestyle of the kodkod. It is believed to be mainly a nocturnal hunter, presumably preying on small rodents, birds and reptiles. The cat is a forest dweller and is able to climb well. As with its lifestyle, little is know of the size of population of the kodkod, but loss of natural habitat due to forestry and logging activities, pose a constant threat. The kodkod is listed in CITES Appendix 2 and is protected in both Argentina and Chile.

1997 Andrew Garman