Saturday 22 October 2011

Why is the Andean cat endangered?

Andean mountain cat
The reasons why the Andean cat is endangered are listed below:
  • the top threat to the survival of this species is "traditional hunting". Local people consider this cat a sacred animal and stuffed Andean cats are used in festivals probably as a attempt to improve harvests.
  • the probable main prey of the Andean cat, the mountain chinchilla, was hunted nearly to extinction for the fur trade. 
  • the current top prey of this cat the mountain vizcachas has a fragmented range due again to being hunted by local people.
  • habitat destruction through mining is another threat.
  • the hunting of the Andean cat by local people to protect livestock is also a threat and
  • the genetic diversity of this species is low making reproduction less viable due to poor sperm quality because of inbreeding.
In conclusion the Andean cat is endangered by the activities of people in one form or another.

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