top of page
Leopardus guigna

Credit: Jerry Laker (Fauna Australis)

Chilean wildcat.

Forecasting conservation needs for endangered fauna: integrating landscape ecology and ethnoecology to predict habitat quality for the kodkod cat (Leopardus guigna) in the Chilean temperate rainforest


This postdoctoral fellowship explored how the kodkod cat, an endangered wildcat endemic to the heavily impacted Chilean temperate rainforest (Araucania region) copes with fragmentation and past and present persecution by humans. We collected stories on the kodkod cat by school-children and tried to understand the signficance of this cat in traditional Mapuche legends and in-depth interviews (Herrmann et al. 2013). We also asked children to draw this elusive cat and published a bilingual (Mapuche-Spanish) book containing their stories and drawings (see Figure below). We worked with camera-traps studying how the fragmented forests and anthoropogenic pressure shaped the kodkod cats' occupancy (Fleschutz et al. 2016) as well as which socioecological drivers influenced their and other carnivores' decline in the region (Gálvez et al. 2018). We further used radio-telemetry to asesss habitat use under fragmentation by individual cats. After 3323 trap nights, we managed to place radio-collars on five individuals and figured out that they effectivley used forest edges, but maintained larger home ranges to compensate for non-forest space (Schüttler et al. 2017).

Drawings of the kodkod cat

Figure: Drawings of the kodkod cat (Leopardus guigna) by school-children in the Araucania region of Chile, published in our bilingual Mapuche-Chilean book Kozkoz (section Dissemination)

bottom of page