This small nocturnal cat faces the threat of deforestation, and unfortunately it has been placed on the “Near Threatened,” list in terms of its conservation status.
Margays are found from Southern Mexico to South America. They mostly live in dry or wet tropical forests and cloud forests. They can be spotted in Santa Rosa National Park, Peñas Blancas National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, Sirena Biological Station and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica, but they may not be so easy to catch glimpse of due to their nature.
Mating & Reproduction
Female Margays have a rotating cycle of 32 to 36 days. For four of those days, they are in heat and tempt male Margays with a long moaning call. Margays also scent mark their territory, and this may be used as a signal by a female that she wants to mate.
When a male Margay hears the moaning call, he will respond with trills and shaking his head from side to side. After a short but numerous period of copulations, the female will begin gestation which lasts around 80 days. The female will birth one kitten, sometimes two, that is born blind. The kitten will open its eyes after two weeks, and it will begin to ween at about seven weeks
The Margay could be considered an arboreal animal as it spends much of its life in trees. However, it will come down to hunt on the ground on rare occasions. Most likely when food supply in the trees are lacking. The Margay subsists on birds, eggs, tree lizards and frogs, grass and other vegetation. When it needs to supplement its diet, it will come down from the trees and hunt small rodents.
Margays face several issues in regards to their conservation status. They are threatened with deforestation, but another factor is their inability to mate successfully in captivity. They also have an infant mortality rate of nearly fifty percent. A Margay that reaches maturity can live more than twenty years.
Where to see it in Costa Rica: Santa Rosa National Park, Peñas Blancas National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, Sirena Biological Station, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Diet: rodents, birds, eggs, lizards, tree frogs, grass, vegetation
Migration Pattern: non-migratory
Habitat: dry & wet tropical forest, cloud forest
Size: length=48-79 cm weight=2.6-4 kg
Species: Leopardus wiedii