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Range DescriptionThe Guia, the smallest felid in the Americas, also has the smallest distribution, being found primarily in central and southern Chile(30-48S)and marginally in adjoining areas of southwestern Argentina (39-46S west of 70W) from sea level to 2,500 meters. Its extent of occurrence is estimated at approximately300,000 km2. The Guia occurs over most of its range, butits area of occupancy is fragmented due to loss of its native temperate forest habitat.A metapopulation approach estimated that there were 24 separate subpopulations in central Chile (Acosta-Jamettet al.2003). On the eastern limit of the range, in Argentina, it is sympatric with the Geoffroys Cat (Lucheriniet al.2001). It is also found on the large island of Chiloe off the coast of southern Chile (Sandersonet al.2002).
Two subspecies are recognized based on morphological and genetic data:L. guigna tigrillo(from 30-38S in Chile) inhabits mediterranean matorral and sclerophyll woodlands and forests in northern and central Chile and has a lighter coat and larger body size.L. guigna guigna(from 38-48 in Chile and 39-46S in Argentina west of 70W) inhabits more-dense Valdivian temperate rainforest and north Patagonian forest in southern Chile and the Andean Patagonian forest in southwestern Argentina and is darker and smaller (Napolitano et al. 2014).