The Jaguarundi (Felis yagouaroundi) is a subspecies of the Puma and is also known as “Otter cat”, due to its mottled fur and elongated body. At first glance the Jaguarundi, which is not much bigger than a house cat, can easily be mistaken for a young Puma or black Jaguar.
Detail: Tropical dry forest of Nicaragua
A rare feline predator
The Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) has a body length of 65 cm and its fur varies in colour according to age. The young have reddish fur, which as young adults becomes brown and by adulthood is black. This feline predator has a flat head, small ears, relatively short legs and a long tail. In contrast to other feline predators, the Jaguarundi hunts mostly during the day. A special characteristic is the pupils of their eyes, which are not shaped as slits but are instead completely round when they contract, almost like dots. The gestation period of the female lasts between 72 and 75 days, and two or three young are born with each litter.
Equally as threatened as the tropical dry forest
The tropical dry forest is an ideal habitat for the Jaguarundi, as sufficient bushes and dead trees can be found here. Food sources consist of rodents, rabbits, birds and fish, as well as fruit and leaves. Although they are good climbers, they hunt mostly on the forest floor. In ecological terms, wild cats are at the end of the food chain. Their decrease means an increase in rodent and bird numbers, which can also affect farming. As a result of the massive loss of habitat, the Jaguarundi is threatened with extinction and has been included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) list of protected species. Join us and help us to buy more land for nature! To our current projectMore about the tropical dry forestMore about the riparian forest