- The Margay is a spotted feline native to North America and South America and also an extremely solitary type of wildcat.
- The feline also remains a predominantly nocturnal animal and typically prefers extremely remote sections within its native range.
- The IUCN lists the Margay as Near Threatened. In some regions, people also hunt an average of 14,000 of these wildcats for the fur each year which has resulted in an extreme decrease in population.
- In addition, habitat loss and climate change continue to present extreme challenges to the reclusive small mammal.
Margay Physical Description
Firstly, the Margay only attains a weight of as much as 8.8 lb (4 kg). The body length averages about 31 in (79 cm) and the tail measures roughly 20 in (51 cm) in length.
Its fur displays a light brown and appears splotched with dark brown or black blotches and streaks. The stomach is generally white, and the tail has multiple bands, with a black tip.
The rather remarkable Margay evolved to be principally arboreal in nature and individuals may spend their entire lives within the canopy, never coming down.
It also has a remarkable evolutionary adaptation in its ankles. These evolved to be so flexible that the cats can actually walk down a tree trunk headfirst.
The feline also remains one of only two known to possess this rather unique ability.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Felidae
- Genus: Leopardus
- Species: L. wiedii
Margay Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most notably, perhaps, the gorgeous Margay inhabits a range extending from southern Mexico to slightly beyond Central America.
This rather amazing wildcat lives almost exclusively in areas of dense forest with typical habitats including tropical dry forests, evergreen forests, and cloud (or fog) forests.
The Margay will also occasionally establish its territory in commercial plantations which unfortunately further increases its vulnerability to hunting.
Evidence also indicates that this beautiful creature once ranged as far north as the states of Georgia and Florida.