Chile is a country with a wide variety of climates and ecosystems across its territory, creating the perfect environment for different species of animals to choose Chile as their home, whether they are birds, reptiles or mammals. When talking about felines,here you have five amazing animals that are part of our nature.
The most famous feline of the national territory, the puma or “mountain lion” can be seen wandering from the Arica and Parinacota Region down until the Strait of Magellan. It stands out for its ability to adapt into different habitats, from the great mountain ranges to the desert; although it prefers to live in places with thick vegetation. Currently, it’s possible to identify five different subspecies, but their differences are related to their size and weight; one of them, the puma concolor puma receives the name of “Chilean puma” and inhabits the southernmost lands of the country.
Named as a rare especie, due to the small demographic space that occupies and its limited especimen, it’s one of the least known felines at an international scale. Of a middle size and robust aspect, the Andean cat’s fur is of a grey colour con brown-yellow patches in its neck and both sides of its back. In Quechua, this animal is known as “Chinchay” and “Titi” in Aymara. It can be found in the northern regions of the country.
This species shares a habitat with the Andean Mountain Cat, but the Colocolo is significantly smaller, weighing an average between 2 and 3 and a half kilos; its tale is smaller, thinner and it has more rings that the Andean cat, along with different coloured noses. In Chile, it’s possible to find three different subspecies, one of them is endemic to Chile and it’s found between Coquimbo and Concepción.
Known as the smallest wild feline across America, the kodkod or “guiña” does not weigh more than 2 and a half kilos. It’s a lonely animal that prefers the night. He spends most of its time on top of trees and travels across them. It feeds on rodents, birds and reptiles. This small feline is found within the Coquimbo Region and the Aysén Region.
Despite being of the most common felines of South America, its distribution is quite limited in Chile. It lives in the Andes, in the Araucanía, Aysén and Magallanes regions, close to the border. Its size is just a little bit bigger than a domestic cat and has a grey and yellow fur, with a few black spots. Its tail can reach a third of its total length. Just like the guiña, it prefers to wander across its habitat during the night, and during the day it rests on top of the trees.