A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World
Tag Archives: wild cats of asia
October 3, 2011Posted by on
Many of our ISEC Canada members are keen photographers, and include both amateur and professional photogs. We are always happy to showcase wild cat photos on this blog, so if you have any pictures you would like to brag about, please email them to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Williams is one of our members in the UK, and a wildlife photographer. He sent us some gorgeous Clouded Leopard photos taken at The Cat Survival Trust. These small leopards live in dense rainforest, and he’s done a great job of making these cats look as though they’re strolling through their native habitat. (Click photo to enlarge.)
September 22, 2011Posted by on
One of the things I find most fascinating about cats is that, while all members of the family have the same basic platform, you can see adaptations and variations among the individual species. To illustrate this, let’s compare the serval and the fishing cat.
Both are roughly the same size–the serval weighs between 7 and 18 Kg; the fishing cat, 5 to 16 Kg. They’re both around 60 cm long. They can easily be described as “medium sized cats,” but they clearly have different body types. They are also both nocturnal hunters.
The serval is a slender cat, with long legs and big ears. The ears allow them to hear their prey in the grasslands of Africa. The ears can rotate independent of each other.
Relative to body size, they have the longest legs of any species of cat. These legs allow them to reach down in burrows after rodents (as cat ambassador Cleo demonstrates). However, what servals most put their legs to use for is jumping. They can leap up to three-and-a-half meters in the air. Some have even pulled birds out of the sky.
To look at a fishing cat next to a serval, you’d see a stockier cat, with darker fur. The inner layer of their fur is dense, forming a waterproof layer.
Fishing cats are not jumpers, so they do not have the long legs. Unlike the serval (and, well, most any other cat), they are swimmers. Where the serval has a fairly short tail, the fishing cat has a long one, acting as a rudder. They have webbed feet to help move through the water. Fishing cats have semi-retractable claws (like a cheetah) that are curved like fishhooks to help, well, cat fish.
These are just a few examples of how different cats adapt to their environment. You can see many others, from the fur on the bottom of a sand cat’s foot to the mane of a lion.
September 9, 2011Posted by on
Though herbal remedies may be gentler on the human body than Western pharmaceuticals, in many cases they pose an environmental impact. Some ancient Chinese remedies formerly incorporated ingredients taken from tigers and other endangered wildlife.
Since the China tiger trade ban in 1993, tigers have been officially banned from use in Chinese medicine. However, some commercial interests and tiger farms assert that tiger parts are necessary ingredients for Chinese medicine, and seek to re-open the tiger trade.
San Francisco’s American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), working with the World Wildlife Fund, has developed a public outreach initiative on endangered species used in traditional Chinese medicine, and represents an important conservation milestone. Their collaboration has sent a strong message to the world: the established Chinese medicine communities – in China and abroad – want to uphold the Tiger Trade Ban, and they do not need these gravely endangered cats to save lives.
The partnership began in 1998, when the college first collaborated between the conservation community and traditional Chines medicine practitioners. ACTCM’s efforts have also involved the U.S Fish and Wildlife Fund, the World Bank, and the council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM). Just last year ACTCM played a key role in CCAOM’s passage of a resolution calling for the end of the use of tiger parts in any remedies, as well as a commitment of finding ways too ensure greater sustainability of Chinese herbal medicine.
Source: IUCN/SSC Cat News Spring 2011
June 20, 2011Posted by on
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May 9, 2011Posted by on
Wild cats can’t be saved without knowing what they need to survive in their natural habitat. What kind of habitat do they use? What are their activity patterns & social organizations? Without data collected by field biologists, conservation programs can’t be put in place. To further our educational efforts, we are posting regular Monday summaries of a paper written by wild cat field biologists, which briefly outlines their findings.
Snow leopard Panthera uncia are under threat across their range and require urgent conservation actions based on sound science. However, their remote habitat and cryptic nature make them inherently difficult to study and past attempts have provided insufficient information upon which to base effective conservation. Further, there has been no statisically reliable and cost effrective method available to monitor snow leopard populations, focus conservation effort on key populations, or asses conservation impacts.
To address these multiple information needs, The Snow Leopard Trust, The Snow Leopard Conservation Fund, and Panthera launched an ambitious long-term study in Mongolia’s South Gobi province in 2008. To date, 10 snow leopards have been fitted with GPS-satellite collars to provide information on basic snow leopard ecology. Using 2,442 locations we calculated MCP home ranges of 150-938 sq. km, with substantial overlap between individuals. Exploratory movements outside typical snow leopard habitat have been observed. Trials of camera trapping, fecal genetics and occupancy modeling have been completed. Each method exhibits promise, and limitations, as potential monitoring tools for this elusive species.
Tom McCarthy, Kim Murray, Koustubh Sharma, Orjan Johansson
IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter
March 4, 2011Posted by on
February 25, 2011Posted by on
February 9, 2011Posted by on
Pallas cats Otocolobus manul are small, very furry felids from Central Asia, Iran, Siberia & Tibet. Very little is known of their ecology, so this video from the Pallas Cat Study and Conservation Program in Mongolia is extremely unusual.
Learn more about these little cats on our Pallas Cat fact sheet