|Subspecies:||L. c. braccatus|
|Leopardus colocola braccatus
The Pantanal cat (Leopardus colocola braccatus) is a Pampas cat subspecies, a small wild cat native to South America. It is named after the Pantanal wetlands in central South America, where it inhabits mainly grassland, shrubland, savannas and deciduous forests.
The Pantanal cat is brown agouti on the back with a little darker spinal crest. In the face it has two transverse dark lines across each cheek. Its ears are reddish on their base, creamy-white on the outer side and bordered with a black band. Its throat is whitish and blending into orangish towards the sides and on the belly. It has some dark brown rosettes on the flanks and stripes on the legs between elbow and wrist. The tip of the tail and paws are black. It is about the size of a domestic cat.
Distribution and habitat
Pantanal cats are found from sea level to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in east-central Brazil, Uruguay, and neighbouring regions of central South America (Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina). Within this region, they inhabit a range of habitats from open grassland to dense forest, although they are specifically named for the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. It has also been reported from agricultural land, and therefore must have some limited tolerance for human disturbance.
Ecology and behaviour
In 1994, it was suggested that its distinct pelage colour, pattern and cranial measurements warrant a specific status. But results of phylogeographic analysis did not support this. The validity of the genetic work has been questioned.
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