Melanism in the Brazilian pampas cat and range extension in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil

Izar Aximoff, Dione Sales, Ennio Painkow, Gonzalo Barquero, Clarissa Rosa, Anthony Caravaggi

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The biogeographical and natural history of the Leopardus colocola braccatus (Carnivora,Felidae), known as Brazilian pampas cat, including its coat colouration are poorly understood. Here we report new records of melanism in the Brazilian pampas cat, obtained from three localities in central Brazil. We also provide the southern most known record, extending its known distribution range by approximately 300 km into the Atlantic Forest domain. During the fieldwork for a mammal survey (2010–2020) we searched for records of melanistic individuals at ten sites spread across three Brazilian domains: Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, and Pantanal. We collected 50 Brazilian pampas cat observations. We obtained in total eight records of melanistic individuals in three protected areas: one site was located in the Atlantic Forest and two sites in the Cerrado (all located in Mato Grosso do Sul state). Despite the long-term camera-trap survey (29,000 nights of camera traps), only 16% of the records were of Brazilian pampas cat showing polymorphic phenotypes. Our findings provide important contributions to our understanding of the species and have potential ecological and evolutionary significance. We strongly encourage further research on this species
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-32
JournalCat News
Issue number74
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


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