National Geographic : 2017 Feb
Pallas’s cat Leopard cat Fishing cat Flat-headed cat Rusty-spotted cat Wildcat (Includes domestic cat) Chinese mountain cat Sand cat Black-footed cat Jungle cat Cheetah Jaguarundi Puma Eurasian lynx Canada lynx Iberian lynx Northern tiger cat Serval African golden cat Caracal Marbled cat Bay cat Asiatic golden cat Southern tiger cat Guiña Geoffroy’s cat Andean cat Pampas cat Margay Ocelot Bobcat Pardofelis Caracal Leopardus Lynx Puma Acinonyx Prionailurus Otocolobus Genus: Felis Catopuma Leptailurus Herpailurus 7.3 mya 8.2 mya 8.8 mya 9.8 mya 10.7 mya 11.5 mya 8.1 mya 6 mya 5 mya 3.5 mya 3.1 mya 6.3 mya 5.5 mya 5.7 mya 4.2 million years ago Domestic cat lineage Leopard cat lineage Puma lineage Ocelot lineage Caracal lineage Bay cat lineage Panthera lineage Lynx lineage Vulnerable Endangered Near threatened Least concern Pallas’s cat Black-footed cat Domestic cat Andean cat Iberian lynx Flat-headed cat Cheetah Jaguarundi Puma Serval African golden cat Marbled cat Bay cat Most recent common ancestor of the living species 1.6 ft (average) Small cats (seven line ages)Bigcats(onelineage) 114 national geographic • February 2017 López Fernández allows both rabbit hunters (when rabbit numbers are plentiful) and lynx on his nearly 700-acre property. López, whose fami- ly has ranched in the region for four generations, is clearly proud of his land, where cows wander hilly forests of holm oak and cork, accented with blooms of pink oleander. The lynx is “one of the most valuable spe- cies, because it only comes from here,” López tells me. Not all landowners agree that the cats should be protected. Some are wary of govern- ment interference and don’t want lynx on their land. But López believes that the lynx is part of Spain’s heritage and the country should make sure it thrives. At La Olivilla Breeding Center in Santa Elena, a critically endangered subspecies of the leopard cat that lives only on Iriomote Island. Cartoon cats plaster the sides of buses, and the animal even has a brand of sake named in its honor. And in Spain’s Sierra de Andújar Natural Park, near where Helena and her fellow lynx live, eco- tourism involving lynx-watching has sprung up in recent years alongside rabbit and deer hunt- ing, traditional mainstays of southern Spain. “ We are business partners,” Luis Ramón Barrios Cáceres, owner of the Los Pinos resort, says of the lynx, laughing. “ They pay the bills.” Lynx-watching tour groups often base their oper- ations at the country hotel, whose gift shop brims with tchotchkes inspired by the local star. On the nearby San Fernando Ranch, Pedro Small Cats in the Spotlight Advances in genotyping and sequencing reveal that Earth’s 31 small cat species hail from seven distinct lineages, each named for the first discovered species in the line. While modern cheetahs and pumas are large in size, they are genetically more closely related to small felines.