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Kodkod facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Genus: Leopardus
Species: guigna
Distribution of the Guigna, 2015
  • Oncifelis guigna

The kodkod is the smallest cat in the Americas, found in Chile and Argentina. Its scientific name is Leopardus guigna, and it is sometimes called the güiña. They are closely related to the other small cats of South America, such as the Ocelot and the Margay.

Kodkods live in mixed temperate rainforests of the southern Andes. They also live in the coastal forests of Chile, which have bamboo in the understory of the forest. They prefer evergreen temperate rainforests. They are tolerant of altered habitats, and are found in secondary forest and shrub as well as primary forest, and on the fringes of settled and cultivated areas.

Kodkods are active during the day and night, but they only go into open ground under the cover of darkness. During the day, they rest in dense vegetation in ravines, along streams with heavy cover. They are excellent climbers, and easily able to climb trees more than a meter in diameter. They are terrestrial predators of birds, lizards and rodents in the ravines and forested areas.

Male kodkods maintain exclusive territories 1.1 to 2.5 square kilometres (0.42 to 0.97 sq mi) in size, while females occupy smaller ranges of just 0.5 to 0.7 square kilometres (0.19 to 0.27 sq mi).

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