The tigrina inhabits both forests and grasslands. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Deyvid Setti
A completely new cat species known as the tigrina has been identified in northeastern Brazil.
The discovery was made when two populations of cats that were thought to have belonged to the same species where found to be in fact two distinct and separate species.
"So much is still unknown about the natural world, even in groups that are supposed to be well-characterized, such as cats," said study lead author Eduardo Eizirik. "In fact, there are many basic aspects that we still donít know about wild cats, from their precise geographic distribution and their diets."
The discovery is particularly significant because not only does it represent the identification of a new cat species but it also has implications for the conservation efforts in the region. Wildlife officials will be looking to determine the best way to protect the tigrina from poachers and other threats.
"Very little was - and still is - known about this species," said Eizirik. "There have been some initial studies on its diet, but still most of its basic biology remains poorly known, including density, habitat use, and population trends."
Source: National Geographic | Comments (8)