Meet The Margay

This adorable animal is the Margay, the Leopardus wiedii or the Tree ocelot. The habitat of the lovely creature is in the rainforests of Central and South America. The known places of the Margay are in Northern Mexico throughout Central America and into South America east of the Andes and as far south as Northern Argentina and Uruguay. Although it is still unsure of its presence in the United States there is one record of the species in Texas.  The size of the Margay is slightly larger than a house cat. Its head – body length is 42.5-79 cm and the tail length is 30- 51 cm. The weight of this cat is 2.6 to 9 kilograms or 5.7 to 19 pounds. This animal’s color resembles a leopard with the colors that vary from a tawny yellow to a greyish brown; the coat is marked with dark spots and open rosettes. The head neck and throat have bear black lines and the ears are black with a central white spot in which the white also outlines the ear. The fur is thick and soft as well. The Margay is closely related to the ocelot and is often confused with it. The ways that you can differentiate the Margay and the ocelot is that the Margay is smaller in size, has a more slender, proportionately large eyes (which is adorable) , a longer tail which is longer than the hind leg unlike the ocelot. The Margay is largely arboreal which mean that they live or spend a large amount of time in trees. They are also acrobatic climbers with their broad feet, flexible toes and large claws that give them a secure grip and the long tail adds balance. The hind feet can rotate inwards 180 degrees which allow the Margay to turn their feet to grip a tree trunk. The Status of this cat is Near threatened as classified on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. The Margay’s threats are that they are one of the most Heavily Exploited Latin American cats in International fur trade which happen particularly after the level of exploitation of the ocelot. To make a single fur coat 15 skins are needed. Illegal hunting is another threat because of the continuing   problem in some areas and the Margay is taken illegally for pet trade. The Main threat of the Margay is now considered habitat destruction do to deforestation.

Now for some Fun Facts:

  • Due to the flexibility and jumping prowess of the Margay it is one of the few wildcats who can spend their entire lives in trees.
  • The other wildcat with those abilities is the Clouded Leopard.
  • Margays are Carnivores and their favorite foods are Monkeys , Rodents, Birds , Lizards , and Insects
  • Margays are Nocturnal animals which mean they are known to attack at night.
  • The Margay makes a great domestic pet.
  • The Margay used to be found everywhere in Costa Rica but is no longer found everywhere do to deforestation.
  • They are solitary animals which means they do not like traveling with other cats
  • They can have up to two kitties but since they have a diminishing habitat and more are kept in captivity they are breeding less and less.

This entry was written by Mary A. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Meet The Margay

  1. Cathrina Tactay says:

    Cool! I want one as a pet 😀

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