(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803)
Variety of habitats from arid thorn forests to dense forests and swampy grasslands
|Conservation Status |
The Jaguarundi or Eyra is a small wild cat native to southern North America and South America.
The Jaguarundi has an unusual appearence. With its flattened head, slender body and short legs, this unspotted cat looks like a weasel or otter. Jaguarundi kittens are born with spots. These soon fade to a plain coat. They can change the color of their fur. The two colors were once thought to represent two distinct species: the grey one was called the Jaguarundi and the red one was called the eyra.
The Jaguarundi is widely distributed. They live in North, Central and South America, ranging from southern Texas to as far south as northern Argentina. Jaguarundis live in a variety of habitats, from grasslands to tropical forests, thickets, and even scrubland. Preferring to live near water, they are usually found near lakes, streams, or swamps. These cats do not make their own den; instead they prefer to find a natural den within a cave, hollow log, or dense undergrowth. They spend most of their time on the ground, but are expert climbers and garner part of their food in the trees and bushes.
Little information is available concerning the history of the Jaguarundi. Most of what is known comes from anecdotal or historical writings and information gained through the study of Ocelots in south Texas.
- The word 'Jaguarundi' comes from the Guarani word, Yaguarundis.
- They are closely related to the puma.
- Jaguarundis can jump as high as 6.5 feet to catch a bird in flight.