Sunday 19 May
Guigna (Leopardus guigna)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Guigna fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
The secretive guigna (Leopardus guigna) is the size of a tiny house cat, earning itself the distinction of being one of the smallest cats in the southern hemisphere, joined only by the oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) (2). Its diminutive body is covered with buff to greyish-brown fur, heavily patterned with small black spots that sometimes form broken streaks on the head and neck (2) (4). Its small head bears low-set ears, the backs of which are black with a white spot in the centre. The short tail is bushy and marked with narrow, black bands (2), and the rather large feet hint at this cat’s proficient climbing abilities (4).
- Also known as
- Chilean cat, guiña, huiña, kodkod.
- Felis guigna, Oncifelis guigna.
- Guina. Top
Small Cat Conservation Alliance:
- The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
- Active at night.
IUCN Red List (October, 2007)
- Sunquist, M. and Sunquist, F. (2002) Wild Cats of the World. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
CITES (October, 2007)
- Nowell, K. and Jackson, P. (1996) Wild Cats Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
- Acosta-Jamett, G., Simonetti, J.A., Bustamante, R.O. and Dunstone, N. (2003) Metapopulation approach to assess survival of Oncifelis guigna in fragmented forests of central Chile. Mastozoologia Neotropical, 10(2): 217 - 229.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Stalking though the thick vegetation of its forest habitat, this secretive predator feeds on a variety of birds, including domestic geese and chickens, and also consumes rodents and small lizards (2) (4). Although it hunts its prey on the ground, the guigna is an excellent climber (2), and will climb trees when escaping the pursuit of a predator or to take temporary shelter in the branches (4).
The guigna is primarily a nocturnal cat, although it can also be active during the day (2) (4), and it spends its periods of rest in dense vegetation, often hidden amongst almost impenetrable bamboo (2).
Male guignas occupy large areas, which overlap the smaller ranges of one or more females (2). Female guignas give birth to litters of one to four young, after a gestation of 72 to 78 days. These small cats are thought to live for up to 11 years (4).Top
The guigna is found only in Chile and Argentina. It occurs in the central and southern regions of Chile, including the islands of Chiloé and the Guaitecas Archipelago, and in a small region on the eastern slopes of the Andes in Argentina (2).Top
The guigna is most threatened in central Chile, where forest habitat has been cleared for agriculture and logging, resulting in a decline in guigna numbers (4). Elsewhere, the guigna’s habitat is less threatened; for example, the forests in the southern part of its range are well protected and less inhabited by humans (4). However, hunting poses a threat in all areas. Fur of the guigna has been seen for sale in local markets and in some areas the guigna may be killed in the belief it attacks poultry and livestock (2).Top
Find out more
For further information on the conservation of the guigna see:
Authenticated (09/03/2009) by Gerardo Acosta-Jamett. PhD student, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.Top
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.