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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Rare Cat Sighting

Rare Cat Sighting

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, October 26, 2019/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, video, environment

The Bay Cat is a rare feline indeed.

Foound only on the island of Borneo, this small cat is little known, seldom seen, and declining even in pristine habitats. It is thought that less than 3000 of the endemic tawny cats exist on the large island. What makes a sighting especially exciting is that a camera trap observed a young cat on a daytime stroll in a deforested landscape of second growth forest. According to Imperial College of London wildlife researchers:

“Conservationists used to assume that very few wild animals can live in logged-over forests, but we now know this land can be home for many endangered species. Our study shows solid evidence that even large carnivores, such as these magnificent bay cats, can survive in commercially logged forests.”

Camera traps are increasingly useful wildlife observation tools. The are non-invasive, survive long durations in harsh conditions, and allow 27-7 monitoring of animal movements and behavior. The captured imagery of such a rare animal trying to survive in spite of declining habitat shows their utility. Illegal Logging for palm oil plantations and timber exports continue to destroy Borneo forests. Next step may require trapping some of surviving bay cats for captive breeding efforts and future re-introduction into safer and restored forest habitats.



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