Common Name: Margay also called Tiger Cat
Range: The Margay is an animal that is found mainly in humid evergreen forests and Distributed from Mexico through Panama, northern Colombia, Peru, northern and eastern Paraguay, northern Uruguay and northern Argentina. These cats are very active in several parts of Costa Rica including National parks such as Corcovado National Parks, Santa Rosa National Park and others. It can be found in San Vito and La selva. They are available in the dense forested reserved thorough out Costa Rica.
Size: this particular Margay cat usually has a body length from 48 – 79 centimeter (19-31″), the tail can reach a length as 50 centimeter (20”). The male gets a maximum length of about 1.1 meters (3.5 ft), including with tail length 46 cm (18 inches) long, the female is usually smaller.
Weight: These small Margay cats are only weighing 3-5 kg. The female is normally smaller and has a fairly longer tail.
Diet: Margay is a carnivore. Its diet consists of smaller monkeys, mammals, rodents, lizards, birds, frogs and even vegetation and grass. It can hunts both on ground and in treetops. It could be seen chasing guinea pigs in ground or squirrels in trees. It is also reported to have the ability to mimic the call of other animals. It is mainly nocturnal but it is has also be seen hunting during the daytime.
Average life span: Margay average life span is18 years.
Habitat: The Margay usually lives in areas of dense forest up to the 3000 m high mountain forest. They have occasionally also been seen in coffee and cocoa plantations.
Breeding/Reproduction: Margay is diurnal, it means they usually adopt daytime lifestyle, and spend a large amount of their time in trees. Mating may occur any time during the year, but it happens only once during the year. The Gestation period is around 2.5 months; a single kitten is born in a nest made in an empty tree. The kitten color is grey and it has black spots all over. They open their eyes after 2 weeks. They come outside from their nest after five weeks. Weaning starts after 2 months.
The Margay cats look like the ocelot but have a longer tail and fuller face, highlighted by big, dark eyes with rounded ears.
Leopardus wiedii or Margay is a leopard found in the jungle of South America. It is a lone nocturnal animal that prefers its own company in secluded part of the jungle. It is listed as near threatened by the IUCN. Its weight varies from 2.6 to 4 kg while its length is in the range 48-79 cm. The length of its tail is around 33 to 51 cm.
Margay has large eyes, short head and long legs and tails. Its fur is brown with many longitudinal streaks and rows of rosettes in black or brown color. It has pale undersides and its tail’s tip is black and has many bands. There is round white marking in black at its ear’s back.
Margay prefers to live their life in solitary. There territories are as large as 11-16 kilometer square. They mark their territories by their urine and scratching on ground and tree branches. It becomes sexually active within 18 months of its birth. The female give birth to a kitten or rarely true after a gestation period of 80 days. It has a recorded lifespan of 24 years in capture.
Margay is known as the true jungle cat because of the time it spends at the top of the trees. It’s a very skilled and agile climber. It leaps and chases moneys and birds at the top of the trees. It has the ability to grasp tree branch with its paws and is even seen hanging from the tree with only one feet.
This endangered Margay cat is used to be common in Costa Rica, normally reside in dense forest from coastal valley to mountains. Their habitations are has been widely deforested for pastures and banana groves. Margays do not prefer to live in open areas and always preferred to confine themselves to the dense forested reserves up to and above 3000 meter high mountains all over the Costa Rica. They are available in large numbers in Santa Rosa National Park and Corcovado National Parks. They can also be seen Monterverde Cloud Forest Reserve, La Selve Biological Station, Sirena Biological Station and Penas Blancas National Park.
These Margay cats are like to ocelots, but greatly smaller. They contain golden ground color, with big spots. Their tail is very long that can reach to 70% of its total body length. They use their long tail for balance.
They have a small rounded head with big eyes. The mountainous areas Margays have darker black markings. They have the ability to rotate their ankles around 180º and climb down a tree head first, like a squirrel. They are normally confused with the two similar species the oncilla and ocelot; the Margay is in the middle between these two species in size.