New Hampshire PBS
   share this page
NATUREWORKS!
Home     About     Watch     Nature Files     Teachers     Order DVD     Contact

Margay - Leopardus wiedii

Characteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior

 Classification

 Phylum:
Chordata
 Class: Mammalia
 Order: Carnivora
 Family: Felidae
 Genus: Leopardus




ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least Concern Near Threatened
US Fish and Wildlife - US Status: Endangered in US Endangered
  Characteristics
MargayThe margay is about two feet tall from feet to shoulders, three feet long and weighs about five to twelve pounds. It has gray to golden-brown fur with black and brown spots. The spots on its sides are often different shapes and are often black with a brown center. Its undersides are white. The margay has a small head, large ears and eyes and a long tail.

  Range
mapThe margay can be found from Mexico to Argentina. It was once found in the United States in Texas. The last margay seen in the United States was spotted in Texas in the 1850s.




  Habitat
The margay makes its home in tropical and subtropical forests.
  Diet
The margay eats a wide-variety of food including birds, bird eggs, small mammals, reptiles and fruit. It hunts primarily in trees.
  Life Cycle
Margays mate year-round. Females give birth to one or two young three to four months after mating. The kittens begin to eat meat when they are about eight weeks old.

  Behavior
MargayThe margay is nocturnal. It is a very good climber and jumper. It has joints in its ankles that rotate 180 degrees. This helps it climb down vertical trees headfirst. It is the only cat in North America that can do that! It can also hang from tree limbs by one hind foot. It spends most of its time in the tree canopy hunting for birds, small mammals, reptiles and eggs.




 


Advertisement: