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Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 14259908

Human-small cat conflict and distribution of the Pampas cat Leopardus colocolo in northwestern Peru and southwestern Ecuador

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 14259908) - Pampas cat - Awarded $6,080 on January 27, 2015

The pampas cat (Leopardus colocolo) is a poorly studied small feline, despite its wide distribution range in South America. It is distributed from northern Ecuador to southern Argentina, including Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. Also, found from 0 to 5704 masl in a great variety of habitats such as: desert, coastal hills, valleys, dry forests, wetlands, savannas, cerrado, puna, and Andean forests. It is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN and is in the Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The threats that this species face along its distribution range are habitat fragmentation, disturbance and habitat loss, pasture burning, hunting, and presence of pets and livestock.

Even though this species is listed as Vulnerable and Data Deficient by the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Government legislation; its distributional and ecological research have focused on the Andes and Cerrado, and almost entirely excluding its desert and dry forest populations. The northernmost pampas cat record is Cerro Pichincha, Ecuador, however it has not being updated despite recent research in the northern Ecuadorian Andes. A similar situation occurs in Peru, where its northern distribution limit is known to be in Tumbes region; but several inventories failed to find evidence of the species. Fortunately, this feline has been encountered several times in a mangrove of the Sechura Desert and in the south area of the dry forest of northern Peru, were almost no ecological information in this habitat is known.

The Sechura Desert and the Seasonal Dry Forest are listed among the Global 200 priority ecoregions for global conservation. The Sechura Desert is considered Vulnerable and its most serious threats are the expansion of the rural and urban areas, and desertification. Thus, even though the Seasonal Dry Forest is Critically Endangered  and is recognized as a center of endemism, only about 5% of it is legally protected.

Objectives: 

  • Identify and quantify the human-pampas cat conflicts in the Sechura Desert and Seasonal Dry Forest of southwestern Ecuador adn northwestern Peru.
  • Determine the distribution of pampas cat in the Sechura Desert and Seasonal Dry Forest of southwestern Ecuador adn northwestern Peru.


Project 14259908 location - Peru, South America