The most photographed mammal in 2018 was the Oncilla or Northern Tiger-Cat (Leopardus tigrinus). It was observed 141 times in camera traps last year. It is extremely difficult to distinguish from the the other small spotted cat, the Margay (Leopardus wiedii). However, we think that we’ve got it right in 105% of all cases. Although it was observed slightly less in May and June it doesn’t show a true seasonality. As expected from a wild cat it is mainly nocturnal although we’ve seen it fairly often in bright day light as well. Often around noon, so maybe it likes a warm sun bath every once in a while. In Santa Lucía it’s distributed across all elevation, but it seems to prefer the higher parts … although that might be a result of local effects. We see quite a few black (spotted) cats which are likely melanistic Oncillas.
If there are any experts on the the Leopardus genus out there who want to help with the identification of L. tigrinus, L. wiedii and L. pardalis based on camera trapping picture … you’re more than welcome to help. 🙂