The kodkod (Leopardus guigna) is a wild cat found primarily in Chile and parts of Argentina. They are the smallest wild cats in the Americas and are nearly endangered.
Kodkods are usually around 20 inches in body length and weigh up to six pounds. Compared to domestic cats they have proportionally smaller heads and larger feet, and most have dark, leopard-like spots.
Kodkods live in temperate rainforests, preferably those with evergreen trees at elevations up to 6,200 feet. Though active at all hours, kodkods usually rest in dense vegetation or under cover during the date. Like all felines, kodkods are carnivores and hunt a variety of small birds, rodents, and lizards. They are also extremely capable climbers, able to scale trees over three feet in diameter.
Though not considered endangered, kodkods are currently classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN. There are only an estimated 10,000 adult kodkods in existence, and commercial logging is reducing the size of their forest habitat.
Some biologists suggest that the kodkod may be a subspecies of the more numerous Geoffrey’s cat.
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