In this series, we introduce animals that occur in the wild in Belize. The Royal Burgers’ Zoo maintains a 235 km2 nature reserve in this tiny Central American country. It is worth noting that more than five different species of feline live at this reserve! Today, we are going to talk about four kinds of ‘small felines’!
Lightweight tree climber: Margay
The beautiful, spotted margay has the same bodyweight as the average house cat, with a light and lean build. As a distinguished occupant of the rainforest, it spends most of its time in the treetops. It can turn its back paws outward, so that it can climb down a tree with its head facing downward—an adaptation that is also observed in the binturong, which is completely unrelated to the margay! For cats, margays reproduce extremely slowly: they have only one child every two years. This species always occurs in low population densities, which makes the margay a threatened species of animal.