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Guide to the Cats of Manu

Many different cat species are found in Manu, so we put together a small guide!


The third biggest cat in the world, and the biggest in South America, the Jaguar is easy to identify. It has a spotted coat similar to a leopard but is larger and more heavily muscled. Well camouflaged and reclusive it is difficult to spot but if you do see one the experience will stay with you forever.


Also known as the dwarf leopard, the ocelot is a smaller cat than the jaguar or puma. It also has a spotted coat, but in the case of the ocelot some of the spots merge together to form stripe like patterns on the back of the animal.


Leopardus weidii 1 by Marcio Motta

Very similar looking to an ocelot but smaller in size the margay is an excellent climber and spends much of it’s time in trees, hunting for food amongst the branches, leading to it’s other name the tree ocelot.


The jaguarundi is another small cat, although unlike the margay and ocelot it is not spotted but comes in two colour phases, a chesnut or red colour and a black or brownish grey colour. These were once thought to be two different species but are in fact the same.


The second largest cat in Manu after the jaguar, the puma, or cougar, is a very adaptable species with a range from Canada to the Southern Andes, one of the largest in the world.  It’s coat is a plain brownish colour like that of the jaguarundi, to which it is more closely related than the more similarly sized Jaguar.

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