Peruvian Desert Cat

Ecology and conservation
of the Peruvian desert cat

The pampas cat or Peruvian desert cat (Leopardus colocola), is a small feline that has been poorly studied despite its wide distribution range in South America, from northern Ecuador to southern Argentina. Most of it research has been conducted in the Andean region of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, and in the Cerrado in Brazil. Thus, there is a great lack of information about its desert and dry forest populations from northern Peru and southern Ecuador.

Because of this, the first part of the project was asses it distribution range and evaluate the human perception toward this feline in the Sechura Desert and dry forest of Peru and Ecuador.  Using camera-traps and compiling information we reported for the first-time pampas cat presence in 12 localities, and of them, two were the firsts records for the Ecuadorian dry forest. Additionally, we found two groups of audiences: those that do not know the species, and those that considered it a threat.

In the second part of the project, we have focused in the Sechura Desert, the most arid ecosystem from Perú. Currently, we are studying it spatial ecology through GPS collars, with the aim to identify key areas for its survival,  comparing its home range, movement patterns and habitat use in two habitat types: in a small mangrove forest and in a “true desert” area, the Illescas Reserve Zone. Furthermore, we are conducting environmental education workshops for local people highlighting the importance of the Peruvian desert cat in this ecosystem.

Share your talent

We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers that want to collaborate with the project. You can support in different ways, currently we need volunteers to design of educational material for children and/or environmental education workshops. Additionaly, you could help us to design our logo.

If you are interested in joining us or you have another ideas, please send us an e-mail to [email protected].

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Male pampas cat fit it with a GPS collar
Field team attempting to download the GPS data

Sechura desert, Piura - Perú

Some infographics

Our articles on scientific journals

Leopardus pajeros (Desmarest, 1816) (Carnivora: Felidae) in Northern Peru: First record for the department of Piura, at the Mangroves San Pedro de Vice, and geographic extention

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First record in NW Peru.pdf

Assessment of the current distribution and human perceptions of the Pampas cat Leopardus colocolo in northern Peru and southern Ecuador

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Distribution and human perceptions.pdf

Temporal overlap between two sympatric carnivores in northwestern Peru and southwestern Ecuador

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Temporal overlap between cats and foxes

Ecology and conservation of Pampas Cat Leopardus colocola in northwestern Peru

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Ecology and conservation in NW Peru.pdf

Several newspapers and websites have cover our project. Among them, Mongabay Latin America stands out with its news “Peru: in the footsteps of the pampas cat or desert cat” and El Tiempo newspaper with its article “Do you know the Desert cat? Collaborate with the research and conservation of this feline species “

Support this project

If you want to help to conserve this charismatic small cat, through scientific research, education, and awareness, you can support us financially through the website of the International Society for Endangeret Cats of Canada.  Select Pampas cats of Peru.

Current alliances:

Past alliances: