Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi)

Photograph of the Jaguarundi


Texas Status
U.S. Status
Endangered, Listed 6/14/1976
Jaguarundis is slightly larger than a domestic cat, weighing 8 - 16 pounds. Their coat is a solid color; either rusty-brown or charcoal gray.
Life History
Jaguarundis move in a quick weasel-like manner. They eat birds, rabbits, and small rodents, hunting during early morning and evening. Although Jaguarundis hunt mostly on the ground, they also climb trees easily and have been seen springing into the air to capture prey. Historical accounts from Mexico suggest that Jaguarundis are also good swimmers and enter the water freely. They are solitary (live alone) except during the mating season of November and December. Jaguarundis are active mainly at night, but also move around during the day, often going to water to drink at midday. They live 16 to 22 years in captivity.

Jaguarundis are endangered because the dense brush that provides habitat has been cleared for farming or for the growth of cities. Jaguarundis still exist in Mexico, but they are now very rare in Texas. People in the Lower Rio Grande Valley are working together to plant native shrubs and restore habitat for the Jaguarundi, Ocelot, migrating songbirds, and other animals.
Like the Ocelot, the Jaguarundi is found in dense, thorny shrublands.
Distribution of the Jaguarundi (Herpailurus
 yaguarondi)It is found in the south Texas brush country and lower Rio Grande valley. Jaguarundis are also found in northern Mexico and central and south America.
The Jaguarundi is so elusive that researchers have been unable to estimate how many are left in the wild.