What is Clouded Tiger Cat?

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A new species of tiger cat, the clouded tiger cat, discovered in Brazil, faces threats from deforestation and illegal hunting.

What are Tiger Cats?

  • Also known as the oncilla, tiger cats are small spotted cats that quietly stalk Central and South America, perfectly adapted for clambering in trees and hunting small prey.
  • They are among the shyest and smallest wild cats in the Americas, weighing between 1.5 to 3 kilograms (3.3 to 6.6 pounds), much smaller than most domestic house cats.
  • Until recently, they were split into two species: the northern tiger cat (Leopardus tigrinus), and the Atlantic Forest tiger cat (Leopardus guttulus), along with a handful of subspecies.
    • The northern tiger cat is native to the savanna and shrublands of the Guiana Shield and central Brazil, while the Atlantic tiger cat lives further south in forested areas of central to southern Brazil, down through Paraguay and northeastern Argentina.
  • Researchers recently concluded that the family includes a third species: the clouded tiger cat (Leopardus pardinoides).

About Clouded Tiger Cat

  • It is a new species of forest-dwelling tiger cat.
  • Scientific Name:Leopardus pardinoides
  • Geographic Distribution: It is found in the cloud forests of the southern Central American and Andean Mountain chains, which stretch from Costa Rica through Panama, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.
  • Features:
    • It is a long-tailed cat with short-round ears, weighing 2.27 kg.
    • The new species has a remarkably margay-looking head, which has a nice dense soft fur of a rich reddish/orangish/grayish-yellow background color adorned with irregularly shaped medium-large ‘cloudy’ rosettes that are strongly marked and often coalesce.
    • Distinctively, it has only one pair of mammae/teats.

Q1: What is Savanna vegetation?

It is a vegetation type that grows under hot, seasonally dry climatic conditions and is characterized by an open tree canopy (i.e., scattered trees) above a continuous tall grass understory (the vegetation layer between the forest canopy and the ground). The largest areas of savanna are found in Africa, South America, Australia and India etc.

Source: Explained: Why this new tiger cat species has the risk of an uncertain future