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ONCILLA

Scientific name: Leopardus tigrinus (Schreber, 1775)

Common name: Oncilla or Tiger cat (Gato-do-mato-pequeno);

Behavior: nocturnal and solitary;

Habitat: savanna, dry shrubland, savanna wetland, but mainly tropical and subtropical forests (including riverine forests).

Diet: Carnivore, mainly small vertebrate like rodents and birds.

Geographic distribution:
from the South of Costa Rica to the North of Argentina. In Brazil they occur from the Amazon forest to the Atlantic forest and to the Southern plains.

Breeding: gestation period is 70 to 74 days, the average litter is 2 (2-4).

Description: The smallest wild cat in South America, averaging 50 cm (40 to 60cm), with a long tail averaging 26 cm (20 to 32cm ) and average weight of 2,5 kg (2-3,5kg). The coat color varies, ranging from light yellow to yellow-brown, with several dark stripes across the tail and rosettes bearing dark round spots on the side of the body. Melanism is a common occurrence.

Status: On IBAMA’s Official List of Endangered Brazilian Mammals, CITES appendix II, not very well know by UICN.

Main Threats: In the past it was hunted for the fur, now habitat destruction remains the major threat.

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