- The term of Jaguarundi serves as the common name for a truly remarkable species of wild feline. Its scientific name, however, remains that of the difficult to pronounce Herpailurus yagouaroundi. By either name, though, it represents an animal, that quite sadly, only shows scattered population groupings. Therefore, it remains vulnerable for several reasons.
- Furthermore, officials generally fear that these pockets of habitation, most unfortunately, seem to be dying out. It now represents a protected species throughout the majority of its native range. But, hunting does not pose its greatest threat. Most notably, loss of much of its traditional habitat serves as the principal threat to the continued existence of this mammal.
- In addition, the Amazon Basin currently forms the only region in which the numbers of the awesome Jaguarundi appear to be stable. However, despite its situation, the IUCN currently lists the mammal as Least Concern on its Red List of Threatened Species. Nonetheless, many people feel it to be threatened. Most likely, its greatest threats come from habitat loss and climate change.
Jaguarundi Physical Description
Firstly, the adult Jaguarundi averages roughly 30 in (77 cm) in body length. Secondly, the tail also reaches about 24 in (60 cm) in length. Further, adults sometimes weigh as much as 20 lb (9.1 kg). This amazing species displays no noticeable degree of sexual dimorphism, in either appearance or size. Yet it does display one unique trait.
This holds true due to the fact that it has a unique coloring. That’s because the fur of different individuals sometimes appears as either a dark chestnut or brownish-black in color. But, quite surprisingly, there seems to be no genetic tendency for this, since individuals of either or both patterns may be born in the same litter.
In addition, the truly amazing Jaguarundi remains known for its distinctively short legs. In sharp contrast, however, the body of the mammal develops as quite elongated. Furthermore,the tail develops as relatively long, making for a striking appearance. The fur of the animal generally appears uniform in color, with few markings or spots.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Felidae
- Genus: Herpailurus
- Species: H. yagouaroundi
Jaguarundi Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The amazing Jaguarundi is a small species of wildcat primarily endemic to a moderately broad section of the world. More precisely, this mainly consists of specific regions of South America and Central America. But, scattered small populations of this animal also exist as far north as the states of Texas and Florida, in North America.
Furthermore, this incredible wild feline has very specific requirements for its choice of habitat. This holds true since most individuals prefer to inhabit low-lying areas of the brush in close proximity to streams or small rivers. Although this limits its areas of habitation, it does include habitats ranging from wet grasslands to dry forests.
Quite regrettably, human encroachment forced the fascinating Jaguarundi to adapt to some regions, however. Individuals also occur in dense tropical regions, and at altitudes as high as 10,500 ft (3,200 m) on occasion. Despite the intense activity, some have even been spotted in the vicinity of the Guiana Space Center, in French Guiana.