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The bay cat in Kalimantan, new information from recent sightings

Through the use of camera traps we present new information on the distribution of bay cats (Catopuma badia) in Kalimantan including two new confirmed locations. Nine sites were surveyed between 2011-2014 across Central and East Kalimantan.

All new photographs were taken during daylight hours and only 1 of 4 cats was captured near water. We consider the presence and non-detection of bay cats in different forest types and at different elevations noting that the photos were obtained from cameras placed at or higher than the average altitude of the whole camera grid at each site and all from disturbed forest.

The distribution of cameras is not believed to affect detection of bay cats as long as all micro-habitat types are surveyed. We highlight the priority of peat-swamp forests for additional survey effort.

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/280154321_The_bay_cat_in_Kalimantan_new_information_from_recent_sightings

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Cat of the month

Borneo Bay Cat (Pardofelis Badia)

One of the world’s least-known and most endangered wild cats, the bay cat, has been photographed by Panthera grantees Jedediah Brodie (Universiti Malaysia Sabah/ University of British Columbia) and Anthony Giordano (S.P.E.C.I.E.S/Texas Tech University). Their photograph is the first record of this very elusive cat in the Borneo highlands, at 1460 meters (approximately 4,800 feet).

The records add to our very limited knowledge of the species, which was photographed alive for the first time only in 1998 and where most previous records are from dense lowland forest under 800 meters (approximately 2,600 feet).

Borneo’s bay cat is so elusive that it took over a century before researchers got a chance to study a live one in detail. Covered in striking, rust-red fur with white under the tail and face stripes, this cat was officially named in 1874 on the basis of a skull and torn skin sent to England by the famous naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. Naturalists didn’t have a chance to study a live one until a bay cat was captured in 1992, and the cat remains so difficult to find that researchers know very little about how this secretive cat actually lives. The fact that the cat is so difficult to find is all the more frustrating because conservationists list the felid as endangered. The deforestation of Borneo may wipe out the bay cat before scientists get a chance to find out more about it.

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