Pampas Cat Split (5 Species?)

In a March 2020 article in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the authors provide a wide suite of evidence for splitting the pampas cat complex five ways.

Whether you agree with them or not I suppose depends how splitty you are versus how lumpy (and in turn often that has to do with how many you have already seen yourself), but it’s convincing enough for me to post the range maps here.

Based on their data, I made a map up that has the authors’ info and abstract, plus proposed Latin names and ranges. This has been talked about in some cat forums but I have not seen it here yet.

Here it is

Charles Hood /

  1. Vladimir Dinets 2 years ago

    We discussed it here a few months ago. This is not a new idea, but the evidence presented in the paper is weak and there is no data from contact zones. I think the split of the Andean form might be valid (it’s the only form with no known intermediate specimens) but everything else is just good subspecies.

    • Mattia from Italy 2 years ago

      This splitting-mania is simply ridicolous. It ruined even a couple of books of HMW (hoofed mammals, primates…).

      At this point the big question is: what is a species?

  2. Theo Linders 2 years ago

    It will also ruin the HMW illustrated checklist, in which this split is accepted and in which the bogus bovid splits are retained. Some sensible splits (Cervus hanglu, 3-way split of Giraffes) are also included though. It is a shame they are unable to use the same taxonomic approach, as their masterlist has little value this way…

    • Jon Hall 2 years ago

      I am reminded of the old joke – originally about Economists…. “If you laid all the world’s taxonomists end to end, they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion”

  3. Vladimir Dinets 2 years ago

    BTW, here’s the best-substantiated giraffe taxonomy, with 3 spp:

  4. Mandy 2 years ago

    Hi there,
    What is the process when a new taxonomy is proposed?
    Are the IUCN Specialist Groups the final authority? For example an updated Felidae taxonomy was published by the IUCN Cat Specialist Group in 2017.

    Do any new taxonomic proposals just remain as proposals until formally accepted and published by the IUCN?
    Many thanks.

  5. Vladimir Dinets 2 years ago

    There is no final authority for mammals. Which is a good thing, because each potential one (HBW editors, IUCN, etc.) has a history of making really bad decisions. The only exception is the checklist of marine mammals published by the Society for Marine Biology (; it is not perfect but there is an overview of controversial points if you scroll down.

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