New population of rare cat species discovered

Researchers working in Borneo have found a new population of a secretive wild cat. 

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New population of rare cat species discovered

Scientists carrying out wildlife surveys in the Rungan Landscape in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, have captured footage of a bay cat.

This camera trap video was recorded 64 km south-east of the species' known distribution range.

Watch the footage of the bay cat:

Video footage of the first bay cat seen in the area © Borneo Nature Foundation

“Wild cats can be some of the most difficult species to study in the wild,” said Dr Susan Cheyne, lead author and co-director of Borneo Nature Foundation.

“They are secretive, solitary and highly camouflaged. But, our knowledge and understanding of the secretive wild cats of Borneo is improving thanks to technology, like camera traps.”

Researchers from Borneo Nature Foundation have been working in collaboration with scientists from Muhammadiyah Universitas Palangka Raya (Indonesia) and the University of Exeter (UK) to carry out wildlife surveys, including the use of 52 camera traps in the forest.

The scientists have not released the exact location of the species, as the forest is not currently protected.

The bay cat is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and is threatened with habitat loss and hunting across Borneo.

“The bay cat is a protected species in Indonesia,” said Siti Maimunah, head of forestry at the Universitas Muhammadiyah and publication co-author. “Therefore if we are going to protect this species, we also need to protect its forest home.

 

Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine

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