International Society For Endangered Cats

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Tag Archives: wild cats in asia

News From The Field: Observations of the Flat-headed Cat

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.

Despite being one of only six wild cat species currently classified by the IUCN as endangered, the flat-headed cat Prionailurus planiceps has received relatively little conservation attention and is arguably the least known of all the world’s wild cats. Camera traps are increqasingly being used throughout the historical range of this species (Peninsular Thailand and Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra), yet it is infrequently recorded, raising concern as to its status. Here we provide details of three recent observations of flat-headed cats in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected but highly fragmented and degraded collection of forest patches along the Kinabatangan river in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

Andrew J Hearn, Joanna Ross, Benoit Goossens, Marc Ancrenaz and Laurentius Ambu

IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter

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News From The Field: Melanistic Marbled Cat

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.

In recent decades there have been an increasing number of camera trap studies occurring throughout Southeast Asia. Although not the target species, photographs of marbled cats are occasionally recorded and may give insight to some aspects of the species’ ecology. Here we report on a series of camera trap photographs that were recorded of a melanistic [black] marbled cat Prionailurus marmorata in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in southeastern Sumatra. These photos constitute the first documented indication of melanism in marbled cats.

Hariyo T Wibisono and Jennifer McCarthy

IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter

News From The Field: Does The Fishing Cat Inhabit Laos?

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.

No fishing cat Prionailurus viverrinus record from Laos is supported by an actual specimen or photograph. Historical reports derive only from works replete with major errors. Recent reports based only on tracks and/or villagers’ reports cannot be assessed for reliability. Of three recent field sightings, one was probably a leopard cat P. bengalensis, one was seen too poorly for identification, but one was well seen and characteristics fit the fishing cat. It was in a fast river running through degraded hill evergreen forest.

This habitat may be atypical for the species and the site may be unusually far inland: a critical review of south-east Asian distribution is needed. Typical 1990s-2000s mammal surveys in Laos were probably unsuited to detecting fishing cats. Their status in Laos will remain unclear pending a targeted survey. Further claims of this cat in Laos – indeed inland south-east Asia – require documentation of evidence for identification.

J.W Duckworth, Tony Stones, Rob Tizard, Sean Watson, James Wolstencroft

IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter

News From The Field: Camera-Trap Photos of Eurasian Lynx in Turkey

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.

Studying cryptic animals requires dedicated field work and careful planning depending on habitat and behaviour of the target animal. However, use of camera traps now provides a non-invasive technique to detect and monitor wildlife, especially nocturnal carnivores; it can also be used to estimate population sizes of animals with special markings or patterns. We have used systematic and opportunistic camera trapping in central and northeastern Turkey, respectively, to inventory local carnivores. Our surveys yielded six Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx photos in Artvin, and eight in Ankara, constituting the first time this species was documented by camera traps in Turkey.

Huseyin Ambarli,Deniz Mengulluoglu, C Can Bilgin

IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group Cat News newsletter

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