Navigation Links
Rare Andean cat no longer exclusive to the Andes

Once thought to exclusively inhabit its namesake mountain range, the threatened Andean cata house cat-sized feline that resembles a small snow leopard in both appearance and habitatalso frequents the Patagonian steppe at much lower elevations, according to a new study published by the Wildlife Conservation Society and partners.

The finding represents a range extension for the Andean cat, which normally occurs at altitudes above 3,000 meters (approximately 9,800 feet). The new survey presents evidence of the cats occurring at elevations as low as 650 meters (approximately 2,100 feet) on the Patagonian steppe. The species is listed as "Endangered" on the World Conservation Union's Red List and may number only 2,500 individuals throughout its entire range.

The study appears in the recent edition of CATNews. The authors include: Andres Novaro and Lorena Rivas of the Wildlife Conservation Society and CONICET, Argentina; Susan Walker of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Rocio Palacios of Alianza Gato Andino; Sebastian di Martino of Department of Protected Areas of the Province of Neuqun; Martin Monteverde of Centro de Ecologa Aplicada del Neuqun; Sebastian Canadell of Universidad Nacional de Cordoba; and Daniel Cossios of Universit de Montral.

"These confirmed records show the lowest elevations ever reported for the Andean cat," said WCS conservationist Andres Novaro, lead author of the study. "According to genetic studies underway led by Daniel Cossios, this new population appears to represent an evolutionary lineage distinct from the highland population."

Prompted by a lone photograph of two Andean cats in the foothills of central Argentina, the research team surveyed approximately 31,000 square kilometers (approximately 12,000 square miles) of Argentina's Mendoza and Neuqun provinces in 2007-2009. The team collected samples from several locations that included scat, skulls, and skin, all of which were confirmed with DNA analysis. In addition, the researchers conducted surveys with inhabitants of the region. The conservationists also found evidence of three other small cat species: Geoffroy's cat, pampas cat, and jaguarundi.

The Andean cat's range extension coincides with the known distribution of the mountain vizcacha, a rabbit-like rodent that inhabits both the Andes Mountains and Patagonian steppe and is the Andean cat's primary prey.

"Discovering a new population of Andean cats is an important finding for this elusive and rare species," said Mariana Varese, Acting Director of WCS's Latin America and Caribbean Program. "Determining the range of the Andean cat in the Patagonian steppe will provide conservationists with a foundation for later conservation plans."

Threats to the newly discovered population of Andean cat include goat herders who assume the felines are preying on their livestock, oil exploration activities that destroy habitat, and new roads that open up formerly inaccessible areas to poachers.


Contact: John Delaney
Wildlife Conservation Society

Related biology news :

1. Keeping soft fruit fur-free for longer
2. Kenyas fisheries management promotes species that grow larger and live longer
3. Hair color of unknown offenders is no longer a secret
4. Pterygotid sea scorpions: No longer terror of the ancient seas?
5. Eating healthier means living longer
6. Polar bears no longer on thin ice: researchers say polar bears could face brighter future
7. Gene leads to longer shelf life for tomatoes, possibly other fruits
8. What genes help blossoms last longer?
9. Longer-lasting flowers: Fresh ideas from ARS researchers
10. Duffy-negative blood types no longer protected from P. Vivax malaria
11. Bat researchers no longer flying blind on echolocation
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Rare Andean cat no longer exclusive to the Andes
(Date:11/12/2015)...   Growing need for low-cost, easy to ... paving the way for use of biochemical sensors ... in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and defense applications. ... medical applications, however, their adoption is increasing in ... emphasis on improving product quality and growing need ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), ... broader entry into the automotive market with a comprehensive ... pace of consumer electronics human interface innovation. Synaptics, industry-leading ... for the automotive industry and will be implemented in ... Europe , Japan , and ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a ... that it has released a new version of its ... in North America have already ... v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified server ... already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader ... five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness ... competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... today that the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or ... Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") subject to the ... on November 23, 2015, which will result in ... giving effect to the issuance of such shares, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) (OTCQX: ... Pierre Laurin , President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic, ... Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference to be held ... st , at 8.50am (ET) and ProMetic,s ... day. The presentation will be available live via a webcast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce that it has completed construction on ... to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP 51 testing specific to raw materials ... micro testing performed by one supplier. Management has formally announced that the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: