Oncifelis (Felis) geoffroyi
Felis geoffroyi (d'Orbigny and Gervais, 1844), Patagonia. OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Geoffroy's ocelot; French: Chat de Geoffroy; German: Geoffroykatze, Kleinfleckkatze, Salzkatze; Spanish: Gato de mato, gato montés, gato de las salinas.
Length 18-28 in (45-70 cm); tail 10-14 in (26-35 cm); weight 4.5-10.5 lb (2-4.8 kg). Coat silver-gray to brownish yellow with uniform small black spots. Melanistic form fairly common.
Bolivia to Patagonia.
Varied. Upland forest and scrub, pampas grassland, alpine saline desert. Prefers dense, scrubby vegetation.
Strong climber and swimmer, primarily nocturnal. Home range around 4 mi2 (10 km2) for males, 1.5 mi2 (4 km2) for females. Female ranges overlap, males do not.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Birds, small mammals, and fish. May cache kills in trees. REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY
Polygamous. Gestation 72-78 days, litter two or three. Sexually mature at 18 months (female), two years (male).
Classified as Lower Risk/Near Threatened by IUCN. Previously described as most common of the small cats throughout its range, but fur trade in the late 1960s and early 1970s may have severely reduced the population—350,000 skins were exported from Argentina in four years.
International fur trade has declined, but domestic markets in some South American countries remain important. Commercial hunting largely superceded by pelts from cats killed as pests. Geoffroy's cat will take small livestock. ♦
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