The wild cat species of South America are listed below with distribution details. South America occupies 17,840,000 km², some 12% of the world’s land surface (6,888,062 square miles). South American geography contains great diversity in climate and landscape. Running down the western edge of the continent is the mountain range called the Andes – the world’s longest continental mountain range. It has an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft).
The landscape to the east of the Andes is mainly tropical rain forest, the Amazon river basin, which covers 6,000,000 square miles. The Amazon basin is the habitat for more species that any other region in the world. To the west of the Andes is a coastal belt of land which contains two of the wettest regions in the world (Colombian Chocó and southern Chile) and the world’s driest desert, the Atacama.