The pampas cat or gato de las pampas (Leopardus pajeros or Leopardus colocolo) is a small wild cat that lives in the Andes mountain range. They live in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia. Some scientists think this cat is really three species, L. colocolo, L. braccatus, and L. pajeros. Other scientists think they are all one species.
This cat mostly eats small rodents such as guinea pigs and mice, but they also catch birds, for example flamingoes. Scientists saw pampas cats going to penguin nests to eat eggs and baby penguins. Farmers say that this cat can kill goats and chickens.
In most of the countries where the pampas cat lives, it is illegal to kill one. The pampas cat is in danger of dying out because humans are using or want to use the land that it lives on for farms. Indigenous people of the South America like the pampas cat because it is a sign of fertility and they believe killing a pampas cat brings bad luck. But the same people also like to have a dead pampas cat's skin or whole body for ceremonies.
This cat's body is 42 to 79 cm long and its tail is another 22 to 33 cm long. It can weigh 3 to 4 kg. Its fur is thick and long. It can be pale yellow to dark gray-brown or dark dull red in color. It can have stripes or spots or not. It almost always has rings on its legs and tail. 
The first visual recordings of the pampas cat, a movie and photos, were made in 2006.
References[change | change source]
- Lucherini, M.; Eizirik, E.; de Oliveira, T.; Pereira, J.; Williams, R.S.R. (2016). "Pampas cat: Leopardus colocolo". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T15309A97204446. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T15309A97204446.en. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
- Alexandra Powe Allred (May 14, 2014). Cats' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Mysterious Mousers, Talented Tabbies, and Feline Oddities. Potomac Books. ISBN 9781612342931. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
- "Pampas Cat". International Society for Endangered Cats (ISEC) Canada. 21 December 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
- Anelisie da Silva Santos; Tatiane Campos Trigo; Tadeu Gomes de Oliveira; Leandro Silveira; Eduardo Eizirik (2018). "Phylogeographic analyses of the pampas cat (Leopardus colocola; Carnivora, Felidae) reveal a complex demographic history". Genetics and Molecular Biology. 41 ((1 Suppl 1)): 273–287. doi:10.1590/1678-4685-GMB-2017-0079. PMC 5913729. PMID 29668017.
- Alvaro Garcia-Olaechea; César Lautaro Chávez-Villavicencio; Jorge Novoa (2013). "Leopardus pajeros (Desmarest, 1816) (Carnivora: Felidae) in Northern Peru: First record for the department of Piura, at the Mangroves San Pedro de Vice, and geographic extention. (Abstract)". Check List. 9 (6): 1596–1599. doi:10.15560/9.6.1596. Retrieved December 23, 2020.