Santiago Turcatti is doing excellent work in Uruguay to protect the Munoai’s pampas cat (Leopardus munoai) which is the most threatened small cat in the Western Hemisphere.  The Munoai Pampas Cat is even more threatened than the Andean Mountain Cat that is IUCN Red List Endangered. Santiago’s network is expanding & we’re getting more vitally needed information but we need your help to continue funding him beyond the $5,000 Big Cat Rescue already contributed to his work. Check back to this page often as he has many photos and videos to share of his work and we know you will be so excited to see them and learn more about this conservation hero.

  • M.Sc. Santiago Turcatti Oviedo
  • Biología – Zoología 
  • Uruguay
  • @rockandpampa on Instagram

Who is the Pampas Cat?

The Pampas cat, also known as Leopardus colocola, is a fascinating and mysterious creature that has captured the attention of scientists for many years. ​ This small-sized felid, weighing around 3 kilograms, is found in South America and is known for its long hairs, dark stripes, and unique features like an erectile spinal crest and a lingual cavity between its lower canine teeth. ​ But what makes the Pampas cat even more intriguing is its complex taxonomic history. ​

Over the years, there have been conflicting classifications of the Pampas cat, with different scientists proposing various species and subspecies. ​ This confusion led a team of researchers to undertake a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the Pampas cat, using an integrative approach that combined morphological, molecular, and ecological data. ​ Their goal was to clarify the species composition of the Pampas cat and test the validity of the previously proposed subspecies. ​

The researchers collected a wide range of data, including information on the cat’s physical characteristics, genetic makeup, and its preferred habitat. They also studied the cat’s evolutionary history and its relationship with other closely related species. By analyzing all these different lines of evidence, the researchers were able to reach some fascinating conclusions.

The results of the study revealed that the Pampas cat is not a single species with multiple subspecies, as previously believed. ​ Instead, the researchers identified five distinct species within the Pampas cat complex: L. braccatus, L. colocola, L. garleppi, L. munoai, and L. pajeros. ​ These species were found to have unique morphological traits, occupy different climatic niches, and show clear genetic differences. ​

Pampas cat sub species ​include five distinct species within the Pampas cat complex: L. braccatus, L. colocola, L. garleppi, L. munoai, and L. pajeros.

This taxonomic revision has important implications for our understanding of the Pampas cat and its conservation. ​ By accurately defining the different species within the Pampas cat complex, scientists can now develop targeted conservation strategies for each species, ensuring their survival in their respective habitats. ​ It also highlights the need for further research, particularly in the central Andean region, to fully understand the evolutionary history of these fascinating creatures.

In conclusion, the taxonomic revision of the Pampas cat has shed new light on this enigmatic species. ​ By combining different types of data, scientists have been able to clarify its taxonomy and identify five distinct species. This research not only deepens our understanding of the Pampas cat but also provides valuable insights for its conservation. ​ More in these 3 reports:

Genetics Report:

2020 Report:

2023 Report:

Why Be Concerned About the Munoai Pampas Cat

This report highlights the urgent need to save the Munoa Pampas cat, a wild cat species at risk of extinction. ​ Human activities like agriculture and deforestation are destroying their habitat, and the small population size and limited protection further threaten their survival. Urgent conservation efforts are needed, including expanding protected areas and promoting sustainable farming practices. ​ Without action, these elusive cats may disappear forever. Read more here:

  1. Did you know that the Munoa Pampas Cat is an endemic felid found only in the Uruguayan Savanna ecoregion? ​ It is highly endangered and faces limited habitat connectivity. #MunoaPampasCat #EndangeredSpecies #UruguayanSavanna
  2. The Munoa Pampas Cat, scientifically known as Leopardus colocolo munoai, was first described as a new subspecies in Uruguay in 1961. ​ It is a unique and distinct population of Pampas Cat. ​ #MunoaPampasCat #LeopardusColocolo #UniqueSubspecies
  3. A recent study revealed that the Munoa Pampas Cat has a high risk of extinction due to habitat loss and limited habitat connectivity in the Uruguayan Savanna ecoregion. ​ Conservation efforts are crucial to protect this endangered felid. ​ #EndangeredSpecies #Conservation #MunoaPampasCat
  4. Did you know that the Munoa Pampas Cat is facing threats from policy-driven forestry expansion in Argentina? ​ Balancing forestry expansion and wetlands conservation is essential to ensure the survival of this unique felid. ​ #MunoaPampasCat #ForestryExpansion #WetlandsConservation
  5. The Munoa Pampas Cat is a fascinating felid with limited distribution and unique adaptations to the Uruguayan Savanna ecoregion. ​ Learning more about this endangered species can help raise awareness and support conservation efforts. #MunoaPampasCat #EndangeredSpecies #Conservation

Learn more about Pampas Cats at

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