Kodkod is the unusual name for a small wild cat that lives in a small part of South America. The name “kodkod” was given to this cat by the Araucanian Indians. These are the ancient people who for a long time have lived in the part of Chile and Argentina where the kodkod is found. The picture below mentions the other names for this cat. The kodkod is a species of wild cat. This means it is different to the other wild cats. We don’t know a lot about this cat.
What It Looks Like
The cat is very small. It is the same size as the oncilla. Both are the smallest wild cats in the Americas. It is about the same size as a very small house cat or miniature domestic cat. It weighs from a bit more than 3 pounds to about 6 pounds (1.5 to 2.8 kilograms). The coat is “buff colored or a grayish-brown. “Buff” is a pale yellow-brown. The coat is covered with small, black spots. The tail is short and marked with dark bands. The back of the ears are black with a white spot in the middle.
Where the Kodkod Lives
The cat lives in a small area of Chile and Argentina. Overall this area is about the same size as Texas, USA. It lives in the center and south of Chile and the far western parts of Argentina where the Andes Mountains are.
This cat lives in forests that are on the slopes of the Andes Mountains.
This cat is awake and active during daytime and nighttime. For a small wild cat, they travel a long way when hunting. One male cat traveled for 5 kilometers during the evening. This is just over 3 miles.
When resting in daytime or at night they usually choose a place that has plenty of cover from plants and bushes. Sometimes they rest in a tree. They are excellent climbers.
This is a secretive cat. They hunt rodents, birds and lizards in the forest. As shown in the picture their prey includes the southern lapwing and a rodent called a “degu”.. It does its hunting on the ground and not in trees. “Prey” means the animals that the cat hunts, catches, kills and eats.
“Home range” means the place that a wild cat considers its territory. For the kodkod, the average size of its home range in the Laguna San Rafael National Park, Chile was found to be 1.5 square kilometers. That is an area about 1 kilometer by one and half kilometers, which is about half of a mile by a bit less than a mile.
Dangers To This Cat
As usual the dangers to this cat come from people and the total number of kodkods in the world is getting smaller each year. The forests where they live are being chopped down by people to make money. Also farmers plant forests in the place of the original forest that the kodkod does not like. These things prevent the cat from living. Finally, the cat sometimes attacks farmer’s hens. Farmers don’t like this and kill the cat.
There are very few photographs of this cat. This shows that they are rare and secretive as mentioned.
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