- The remarkable Jaguarundi is a species that, quite sadly, only shows scattered population groupings. Therefore, it remains vulnerable for several reasons.
- Officials generally fear that these pockets of habitation seem to be dying out, however. It now represents a protected species, 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.
- Finally, the Amazon Basin currently forms the only region in which its numbers appear to be stable.
Jaguarundi Physical Description
Firstly, the adult Jaguarundi averages roughly 30 in (77 cm) in body length. 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.
The fur of different individuals sometimes appears as either chestnut or brownish-black in color. But 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 Jaguarundi remains known for its distinctively short legs. The body develops elongated, and the tail relatively long. 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 regions of South America and Central America. Scattered small populations of this animal still also exist as far north as the states of Texas and Florida, in North America.
Furthermore, this feline prefers to inhabit low-lying areas of the brush in close proximity to streams or small rivers. Such habitats range from wet grasslands to dry forests.
Human encroachment forced it 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.