Target: Andean Cat Alliance
Goal: Continue efforts to prevent the extinction of the Andean Mountain Cat.
The Andean Mountain Cat is one of the rarest species of cats in the world. It is found exclusively in the high-altitude deserts of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru and, until recently, very little was known about the species. Even today, there is no official population total of the Andean Mountain Cat, due to its rarity. The Andean Mountain Cat faces a variety of threats and the Andean Cat Alliance has been created to research and protect this species from extinction. Help support the Andean Cat Alliance and encourage continued research and protection methods.
The Andean Mountain Cat is well-adapted to survive in the Andean mountains where they experience frequent freezes, intense thermal variations, and low precipitation. Due to the conditions under which they live, the Andean Mountain Cats experience a naturally low amount of available prey, which includes small rodent-like animals such as chinchillas. However, there has been a reduction in available prey as chinchillas are hunted and captured as pets. Another major threat to the Andean Mountain Cat is loss of habitat, due to livestock grazing, mining, and firewood extraction. The final major threat is that cat skins are often used in traditional indigenous ceremonies and are often considered sacred, which results in the killing of the Andean Mountain Cat by indigenous communities when it is found.
The Andean Cat Alliance created a Conservation Action Plan in 2004 and continue to review current threats and conservation programs. They are required to have a unique approach as the range of the Andean Mountain Cat stretches through four countries and they must work with each individual country. To date, they have made major headway in the research of the animal as well as implementing education resources. However, the threats to the Andean Mountain Cat continue to increase and it is well on its way to extinction. Encourage the Andean Cat Alliance to increase protection for this endangered cat!
Dear Andean Cat Alliance,
Thank you for your efforts thus far to protect the Andean Mountain Cat. You are faced with a unique problem in attempting to research and protect such an elusive animal throughout 4 separate countries. All of the research that has been done so far is very important and provides us with important information. However, it is time to focus more on protection of the species rather than research.
Please expand and continue your attempts to save the cat from extinction through increased public awareness and working with the governments to protect its habitat. With so few Andean Mountain Cats in the wild, it is vital to work now to ensure their survival, as I’m sure you know. We must show the public and everyone how important these animals are.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons