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Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 232533158

Quechua women united for the conservation of Andean Cats in Ayacucho, Peru

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 232533158) - Andean Cat - Awarded $6,000 on February 23, 2024

In la locality of Ccarhuacc Licapa, sightings of the three high Andean felines have been recorded in the Polylepis forests: the Andean cat (Leopardus jacobita), a lesser-known small feline in the region; the Pampas cat (Leopardus garleppi); and the Andean puma (Puma concolor). These forests are characterized as fragile ecosystems due to the various ecosystem services they provide, such as water reservoirs, provision of resources, and shelter for wild flora and fauna species, many of which are endemic. However, there is a significant lack of information regarding the population status of these felines in Peru.

The three species of wild felines are categorized internationally and nationally under some threat category. The Andean cat, globally classified as Endangered, and the Pampas cat, categorized as Near Threatened worldwide, are listed under the Data Deficient category at the national level. Meanwhile, the Andean puma is considered Vulnerable in Peru.

However, the Andean puma faces greater challenges in Ccarhuacc Licapa due to the existing conflict with local community members engaged in alpaca farming. The interaction between these human activities and the presence of high Andean felines raises significant concerns for the conservation of these species in such a crucial ecosystem as the Polylepis forests. Preserving the population of high Andean felines becomes a key aspect in maintaining balance and biodiversity in this region.

In Licapa, women play a fundamental role in the education of their children and demonstrate a profound awareness of the importance of local natural resources. In this context, the project aims to contribute to the empowerment of Quechua women in the conservation of high Andean felines, seeking to improve their quality of life with a clear focus on gender equity.

Given the significance of Andean women in raising their children and their constant interaction with wildlife while herding their alpacas, the intention is to enhance their involvement in various activities. The purpose is to mitigate conflicts between humans and felines in the Ayacucho Region, recognizing the crucial role these women play in the sustainability of the local environment.

To achieve this purpose, various activities are being carried out, including:


  • Environmental education workshops aimed at Quechua women and their children, with the goal of promoting understanding and appreciation for the importance of high Andean feline conservation.
  • Build chicken and guinea pigs coops
  • Distribution of cold-resistant grass seeds for alpacas.
  • Development of behavior change campaigns through workshops and textile production, involving women in creating textiles with themes related to high Andean felines and their past experiences.
  • Community art initiative with the creation of the first thematic mural, focused on women's activities and coexistence with Andean cats, marking the beginning of a process for creating textiles with this theme.
  • Impact assessment using camera traps, a tool implemented by the women's group to monitor and raise awareness about the presence of species such as the Andean cat, Andean mountain cat, and puma in the Ayacucho Region.



Project 232533158 location - Peru, South America