Margay (Leopardus wiedii)
The Margay is a solitary and nocturnal animal that prefers remote sections of the rainforest. Although it was once believed to be vulnerable to extinction, the IUCN now lists it as “Near Threatened”. The margay is found from southern Mexico, through Central America and in northern South America east of the Andes. The southern edge of its range reaches Uruguay and northern Argentina. They are found almost exclusively in areas of dense forest, ranging from tropical evergreen forest to tropical dry forest and high cloud forest. They are hunted mainly for their fur and this has resulted in a large population decrease - around 14,000 are killed a year. They also suffer from a loss of habitat, which is also a significant part of this decline.Of all of the felines, the Margay is most adapted for a true arboreal life. It is the only cat to possess the ability to rotate its hind legs 180° , enabling it to run head first down trees like squirrels. It can also hang from a branch by one hind foot! This cat eats small mammals (sometimes including monkeys), birds, eggs, lizards and tree frogs. It may also eat grass and other vegetation, most likely to help digestion.