International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

The Mystique of Small Cats

For me, the most intriguing and magnetising thing about small wild felines is their sublime mysticality.

If you gaze into the eyes of a wild cat, looking beyond their striking coat, further yet – beyond their deep intelligence, you may see something of a mysterious aura, perhaps more spiritual than visual, that is the very essence of these animals.

My appreciation for nature began at an early age. My parents used to take my sister and I to the coast on a weekend, and when the tide was out we would go exploring all the little rock pools. We also went on holiday a few times every year, usually abroad, and would always spend plenty of time outdoors. It was this adventurous start in life that helped shape me into who I am today, as I’m sure most of you will have similar stories of your own.

It’s never too late to be inspired by nature, by our planet.

Cat conservation still remains heavily focused on the big cats. When I became involved in the field of conservation, stories such as that of the rare bay cat and elusive Andean cat enticed me to learn more about the felids which share our world. Today, the more I learn about these stunning predators, the deeper my intrigue and amazement. And we still have so much more to learn. Research is ongoing. Preservation efforts continue.

Perhaps until we know everything there is to know about small wild cats, then felines such as the endangered Bornean bay cat, whose habitat remains a mystery, will continue to elude and mystify people for many years to come.

Photo © Global Canopy Program Jo Ross and Andrew Hearn

Researchers suspect there are less than 2,500 mature bay cats left in the wild. The species is endemic to Borneo and rampant deforestation is the main threat.

About the author: ISEC Canada member Brad Parsk is a conservationist and wild cat enthusiast from the U.K. He has assisted in projects throughout Europe and North America preserving threatened species and their habitats.

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