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Ocelot
Leopardus pardalis Ocelot image
Makushi name: Woronai
Size: body=75 cm; tail=35 cm; weight=10 kg
Description: Medium-sized spotted cat. Much smaller and less stocky in build than Jaguar, with spots tending to form rows. This is the largest of the three smaller spotted cats (the others are Margay and Oncilla), all of which can be difficult to distinguish in the field. Of the three, the Ocelot is the heaviest in build, and its relatively narrow tail is only as long as the hind legs (would not drag on the ground if held down). Eyes yellowish, medium sized; muzzle relatively long. Eyeshine is bright yellow.
Activity: Mainly nocturnal, but can be active on overcast days or at dusk. Chiefly terrestrial but climbs well; swims occasionally.
Habits: Usually solitary, this cat travels several kilometres each night. It is sometimes seen from a boat at the edge of a forested creek or river at night. During the day it may climb trees to rest on branches, or den among buttresses, in culverts, or under treefalls. It eats small terrestrial mammals, iguanas, land crabs, and birds, and may take turtles or fish. It is seldom heard in the wild and it moves silently.
Habitat: All forest types and disturbed areas with adequate cover.
Signs: Tracks of this species are more often encountered than those of the other small spotted cats; unlike other cats, the front tracks are noticeably broader than hind tracks (front about 60 mm, hind 50 mm, in adults).
Status: Locally common. Listed on CITES Appendix I.
Oncilla
Leopardus tigrinus Oncilla image
Size: body=50 cm; tail=30 cm; weight=2.25 kg
Description: Smallest of the spotted cats, almost the size of a house cat. Upperparts usually tawny with black spots; sometimes entirely brownish-black in Guyana. Spots usually separate, not forming stripes except on neck. Tail slightly longer than hind legs, relatively shorter and less bushy than Margay tail. Fur on neck not reversed. Legs long and slim, with medium sized feet. Muzzle short, eyes yellowish. Eyeshine bright yellow.
Activity: Probably nocturnal and terrestrial, but may climb.
Habits: Habits are not well known. In captivity it climbs well, but it is thought to travel and hunt on the ground. The diet includes mice and small birds. It is usually silent.
Habitat: Usually found in mature forest.
Signs: Front tracks are broader than hind (front about 27 mm, hind 22 mm), with a larger gap between foot pad and toe pad than in track of domestic cat. Tracks are rarely encountered.
Status: Rare. This is the least known cat species in Iwokrama (to date it has not been recorded in Iwokrama Forest). Listed on CITES Appendix I. IUCN rank of Lower Risk.
Margay
Leopardus wiedii Margay image
Makushi name: Masiki, Masikiru
Creole name: Labba Tiger
Size: body=60 cm; tail=40 cm; weight=3.5 kg
Description: Small, slim, spotted cat. This species has a relatively long, bushy tail that would drag on the ground if held down. Fur on neck reversed, slants towards head. Long legs with large, broad feet. Muzzle short, eyes brown, large. Eyeshine bright yellow.
Activity: Mainly nocturnal and arboreal; hunts in trees but may travel on the ground at times.
Habits: Poorly known, probably solitary. This species is the most arboreal of the Neotropical cats. Unlike other cats, it can rotate the hind feet and descend head first down a vertical tree trunk. It usually rests well above ground in hollow branches or among vine tangles. The diet is mainly small mammals such as climbing mice, opossums, and squirrels; birds and larger mammals are sometimes taken. Sounds are seldom heard in the wild.
Habitat: Mature forest; seldom recorded in second growth or disturbed areas.
Signs: Front and hind tracks are about the same size (35 mm wide in adults); tracks are seldom encountered as this cat is uncommon and mainly arboreal.
Status: Uncommon. Listed on CITES Appendix I.
Distribution in Iwokrama

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