Guigna

He is a wild animal

Origin
Chile and Argentina
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
The possession of this animal is not authorized Royal Decree establishing the list of mammals not kept for production purposes that may be kept (M.B. 24.08.2009)
The Guigna, also known as the Chilean Cat and Kodkod, is a feline of the genus Leopardus. America's smallest feline, the Guigna is characterized by a small head with round ears, a short, bushy tail and broad paws. Its fawn-grey to brown coat with black flecks is similar to that of Geoffroy's Cat.

A territorial and solitary feline, the Guigna is highly dependent on the forest: it has never been observed in habitats where the vegetation is less than forty centimetres high. Small rodents and lagomorphs form the bulk of its diet. It occasionally attacks farmyard birds.

Its range covers central and northern Chile and a small area of Argentina. The Guigna is mainly threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. Poaching is the second biggest threat. Considered "Vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Guigna is protected throughout its range.

The Guigna is the smallest of America's wild cats. The length from head to base of tail is 40 to 52 cm, with a tail length of 19 to 25 cm. This feline weighs from 1.5 to 3 kg, averaging 2.2 kg, about half that of a domestic cat. Males are larger than females.

The head is rather small, with large, round ears set low on the skull. The thick, bushy tail is short, accounting for a third of the cat's total length.

The coat is studded with numerous small, rounded black spots on a grayish tan to brown background. The coat is lighter on the abdomen, always spotted. The throat is barred with a dark mark. The tail is ringed with ten to twelve black stripes. The spots form discontinuous bands on the shoulders and head. Facial markings consist of dark lines starting at the outer corner of the eye and crossing the cheeks, a white marking around the eye and two vertical black stripes running up the forehead from the top of the eye. The back of the ear is black, with a white spot in the center. Melanism is common; in this case, the mottled marking remains visible in bright light.

Color varies from region to region: in northern and central Chile, the hue is lighter, and in southern Chile more colorful. Melanism is more common in the north of the range. It is common on the island of Chiloé and the Guaitecas archipelago, in Queulat and Laguna San Rafael national parks and, in Argentina, in Neuquén province. The feet are spotted in the north of the range, but not in the south; in any case, the soles are black.

The Guigna is well adapted to climbing; it is able to climb trunks from five centimetres to over a metre in diameter; and it may use tree branches to stalk its prey in areas of very dense vegetation.

The Guigna is a hunter of small rodents, reptiles and birds. It hunts mainly on the ground. In Argentina, it hunts mice more frequently, while in Chile its diet is more varied. The Guigna is primarily a hunter of rodents, which make up at least 80% of its food bowl, such as the long-tailed pygmy rice rat, Bridges' stork and black rat. Other mammals in its diet include marsupials such as the Elegant Mouse-Opossum and lagomorphs, notably the Wild Rabbit.

Among its secondary prey are numerous species of birds, both low-flying and ground-nesting, such as the Southern Robin, Synallaxe rayadito, Lapwing tero, Tourco huet-huet, Tourco robin and domestic goose. Chiloe lizards and invertebrates such as Acanthinodera cumingii and scorpions also feature in its diet.

The Guigna attacks chicken coops and occasionally eats carrion. Cases of predation on nesting boxes suspended at human height have been observed in the south of central Chile: mostly taking place at night, if not at dusk or dawn, the capture rate (14%) and the type of birds captured (small cavity-nesting birds) probably indicate opportunistic behavior rather than a genuine hunting habit.

No comments

The latest updated breeds

  • Highlander

    Highlander Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Highlander is a breed of cat that originated in the United States. The Highlander is a recent breed and still very rare. A brief historical overview Descended from hybrid breeds, the Highlander is a magnificent feline reminiscent of the Lynx.The Highlander is a recent and still very rare...
  • Havana brown

    Havana brown Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Havana brown, also known as the Swiss Mountain cat or Chestnut Oriental Shorthair, is a cat breed originally from Great Britain. This cat is characterized by its chocolate-colored shorthair coat. A brief historical overview The ancestors of the Havana brown existed in the kingdom of Siam...
  • German rex

    German rex Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The German rex is a breed of cat that originated in East Prussia (now Baltic Russia). This medium-sized cat is characterized by its short, wavy and very soft coat. A brief historical overview The German rex is thought to be the first breed of cat with curly or wavy hair. The first subject was...
  • Exotic shorthair

    Exotic shorthair Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Exotic shorthair or simply Exotic is a cat breed originating in the United States. The result of an attempt by American breeders to improve the American shorthair in the 1950s, the Exotic shorthair was recognized as a breed in its own right in the 1960s. A brief historical overview n the...
  • European shorthair

    European shorthair Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The European shorthair, also known as the Européen or Celtic shorthair, is a breed of cat originating in Europe, the ennobled representative of the common cats of Europe. The breed is popular in Scandinavian countries, where it is appreciated as a natural breed, never polluted by...
  • Donskoy

    Donskoy Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Donskoy, also known as Don Sphynx and Sphynx du Don, Don Hairless, originated in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. The Donskoy remains very rare. In France, 57 pedigrees were issued between 2003 and 2014. A brief historical overview The discovery of the Donskoy dates back to 1987, when a schoolteacher...
  • Devon rex

    Devon rex Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Devon rex is a cat breed originating in the United Kingdom. The Devon rex is characterized by a conical head, marked by high cheekbones, a short muzzle and large ears. A brief historical overview In the 1960s, a harecat with curly fur was spotted in an abandoned tin mine near Buckfastleigh in...
  • Cymric

    Cymric Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Cymric is a cat breed from the Isle of Man (British Isles). This cat is the semi-long-haired variety of the Manx, which has the particularity of not having a tail. A brief historical overview Like the Manx, the Cymric originated on the British Isle of Man. As the island's cat population was...
  • Colorpoint shorthair

    Colorpoint shorthair Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Colorpoint Shorthair is a cat breed originally from Thailand. This medium-sized cat is characterized by its colorpoint coat and blue eyes. A brief historical overview The origins of the Colorpoint Shorthair are the same as those of the Siamese, since it is the same breed.The breed is said to...
  • Chantilly

    Chantilly Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Chantilly is a semi-long-haired cat breed created in the United States in the 1960s from two kittens of undetermined breed. On the brink of extinction in the 1980s, breeding was revived in Canada. The breed remains very rare and is only recognized by a few North American federations, mostly on an...
  • California Spangled

    California Spangled Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Californian Spangled is a breed of cat native to the United States. This endangered cat is characterized by its leopard-like spotted tabby coat. A brief historical overview Paul Casey, an American screenwriter, created the breed in 1970. He had just returned from a trip to Africa and wanted a...
  • Brazilian shorthair

    Brazilian shorthair Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Brazilian shorthair, also known as the Pelo Curto Brasileiro, is a breed of cat native to Brazil. This medium-sized cat is characterized by the fact that it is the first internationally recognized Brazilian breed and is extremely rare. Standard The current standard published by the...
  • Japanese Bobtail

    Japanese Bobtail Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Japanese Bobtail is a breed of cat native to Japan. This cat is characterized by its short, curled tail. A brief historical overview The breed, when tortoiseshell and white, is known as the Mi-ké (three hairs = three colors) in its native Japan, where it is considered a symbol of...
  • Kuril Bobtail

    Kuril Bobtail Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Kuril Bobtail is a cat breed from the Kuril Islands in Russia. This cat is characterized by its very short pom-pom tail, the result of a natural mutation. The breed exists in shorthair and longhair varieties. A brief historical overview This natural breed originated on the Kuril Islands, on the...
  • Russian blue

    Russian blue Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Russian Blue or Russian is a cat breed with controversial origins, usually considered a natural breed that originated in cold countries such as Russia and Scandinavia. Often described as a calm breed that is very attached to its master, the Russian Blue is well suited to life in an...
  • Balinais

    Balinais Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Balinais is a cat breed that originated in the United States. This medium-sized cat is the semi-long-haired variety of the Siamese. Standard The French standard specifies that the Balinais, although fine, must not be too thin. A brief historical overview The Balinais is the semi-long-haired variety...
  • Australian mist

    Australian mist Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Australian Mist, also known as the Spotted Mist, is a breed of cat native to Australia. This medium-sized cat is characterized by its short-haired coat with a spotted tabby or blotched tabby pattern. A brief historical overview The origins of the Australian Mist go back to the late 1970s,...
  • Anatoli

    Anatoli Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Anatoli, also known as the Anatolian shorthair or Turkish shorthair, is a cat breed of Turkish origin. It is the short-haired variety of the Van Turk. Standard The Anatoli is said to be a natural Turkish breed, like the Van Turk and Turkish Angora. The Anatoli was recognized by the WCF in 2001. A...
  • Californian rex

    Californian rex Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Californian Rex is a breed of cat native to the United States. This cat is characterized by its wavy, semi-longhair coat. It is the semi-long-haired variety of the Cornish Rex. A brief historical overview As its name suggests, this variety was discovered in California in the 1960s.Today, it...
  • Cornish rex

    Cornish rex Translation Francis Vandersteen Origin The Cornish rex, also known as the Cornish rex, is a breed of cat native to the United Kingdom. This cat is characterized by its very short, notched, soft coat. A brief historical overview The Cornish rex, originally from Great Britain, is the result of spontaneous mutation. The breed's founder...