Jaguarundi

Endangered Species

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Background Information

They have slender, elongated bodies, short legs, a small flattened head, long "otter-like" tails and sleek unmarked coat. Adults can weigh as little as 6 pounds or as much as 20 pounds. They stand 10-14 inches at the shoulder and reach a length of 35-55 inches. Jaguarundis occupy a wide range of both open and closed habitats from dry scrub, swamp and Savannah woodland to primary forests. Jaguarundis are solitary or forage in pairs. They have a wide variety of vocalizations, with 13 distinct calls having been documented.

Threats or Causes for Extinction/Endangerment

Generally not exploited for trade, they are still caught by traps that were intended for commercially valuable species. Their biggest threat is habitat destruction and human encroachment.

Possible Courses of Action for Protection

Though the jaguarundi has been listed as endangered in the U.S. since 1976, it has been all but forgotten. Habitat loss is widely recognized as the most serious threat to the jaguarundi, but the FWS has never designated critical habitat, never written a recovery plan specific to the jaguarundi, and has failed to allocate adequate funds towards jaguarundi habitat acquisition. Currently, the jaguarundi is relying on small islands of suitable habitat surrounded by vast expanses of agriculture and urban lands. Critical habitat designation could safeguard both occupied and unoccupied habitat necessary to jaguarundi survival and recovery. Protection of unoccupied habitat would ensure that jaguarundi populations could expand and connect to each other. Species with critical habitat designations are twice as likely to recover as those without. WildEarth Guardians has ensured FWS will develop a recovery plan for the jaguarundi and is fighting hard to get critical habitat designated for this rare cat

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Works Cited

"Jaguarundi Facts." Big Cat Rescue, 15 Mar. 2015. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.


"Jaguarundi Herpailurus Yagouaroundi." Wild Earth Guardians, n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2015.