International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

News From The Field: Cats in Indian Biosphere Reserve

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.

Dihang-Dibang Biosphere Reserve in northeastern India covers part of Eastern Himalaya and Mishmi Hills. The elevation in the reserve ranges from 500 m to above 5000 m above sea level allowing a diverse habitat ranging from tropical rain forest to snow. A survey for mammals and birds was conducted in 2002-04 and 2008. Among 26 species of carnivores, eight species of cats were recorded during this study. The major conservation issues in the reserve and its vicinity are poaching for meat and trade in body parts, intrusions by poachers from Tibet (China), habitat loss owing to shifting cultivation and felling of trees, and construction of mega dams. Other issues are lack of adequate enforcement and awareness. Easy availability of firearms has greatly enhanced the rate of poaching/hunting.

Anwaruddin Choudhury

IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter

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