A new species the clouded tiger cat (Leopardus pardinoides) discovered in the lush rainforests of Brazil.

The Clouded Tiger cat

  • This small wild cat, similar in size to a domestic house cat, is characterized by its distinctive spotted coat which provides camouflage in its natural habitat.
  • Despite its size, its discovery highlights the importance of further exploring biodiversity in remote regions and its conservation.


The size of a tiger cat is approx 2.27 kg. Its margay-like head and dense fur (reddish/orange/grayish-yellow) are topped with unique “cloudy” rosettes for camouflage. It has only one pair of mammae. 

  • Camouflage, also called cryptic coloration, is a defense or tactic that organisms use to disguise their appearance, usually to blend in with their surroundings. 


  • It is founded in the cloud forests of the southern Central American and Andean mountain chains.
  • The clouded tiger cat’s range stretches from Costa Rica through Panama, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.


  • This species faces several threats like rampant deforestation and habitat destruction. 
  • Illegal hunting is also a big threat in the region for the clouded tiger cats.
  • Conservationists fear that unless quick action is taken, the clouded tiger cat may become extinct before concentrated attempts to protect it can begin.

Classification of Tiger species

In 2013, scientists reclassified the Tiger cat also known as oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) into two separate species:

  • The northern tiger cat or savanna tiger cat (Leopardus tigrinus) IUCN Conservation status (Endangered in Brazil and Vulnerable in Colombia)
  • The southern tiger cat or Atlantic tiger cat (Leopardus guttulus), IUCN conservation status (Vulnerable)

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