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Paul Hoogeveen

Cub photo raises hope for Europe’s rarest and largest wild cat

Photo by: Panajot Chorovski

A first cub photo in over a decade of Europe’s largest and rarest cat, a wild Balkan lynx, raises hopes for the surival of this critically endangered animal.

With less than 50 cats remaining in the wild in the mountains of the Western Balkans, this subspecies of the eurasian lynx is close to extinction.

The lynx  faces habitat loss, illegal hunting, and revenge killing by farmers whose domestic animals they sometimes attack.

Just two years ago a cub was stoned by a local shepherd on Munella mountain in Albania — the only recent evidence of this subspecies rearing young.

Fight for survival

The biggest challenge is the population’s small size and low survival of cubs, says Mareike Brix from EuroNatur, who have been working on the protection of Balkan lynx for a decade with their partners. “Only 25 per cent of all kittens born reach adulthood,“ says Brix.

But now, a picture of a new live cub has been captured in a second location, the Mavrovo National Park in neighbouring Macedonia, suggesting there is a healthy reproducing population there.

More info….

Asiatic wildcat confirmed in Bandhavgarh for the first time

For a change, it’s not tigers that are hogging all the limelight at Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR). For the first time ever, presence of the elusive Asiatic wildcat has been confirmed here with photographic evidence, and has wildlife enthusiasts cheering. Asiatic wildcat is one of the five subspecies of the wildcat and is also a sub species of the desert cat.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-asiatic-wildcat-in-bandhavgarh-2381696

Manul – Pallas’s Cat

Manul – Pallas’s Cat

Otocolobus manul

The cat that people think of for high-altitude central Asian habitats is the snow leopard. However, there is another equally important cat for those ecosystems that tends to get overlooked (which is generally the case for small cats). It is the Pallas’s cat, Otocolobus manul. Weighing between 2.2-4.5kg, Pallas’s cats are recognizable by their compact body, short legs, thick coat, fluffy tail, and a bearded, flattened face with an expression that makes Grumpy Cat seem content.

Pallas’s Cat

Support the Plight of the leopards

The habitats of big cats are diminishing all over the world
Forcing them to co-exist with humans in urban environments
Meet Lily, the leopard brought to streets of Camden to raise awareness for this issue

Enjoy and share this hilarious awareness video!!!

A LEOPARD HAS ESCAPED FROM LONDON ZOO!! #LondonLeopard #Bigcatweek

Opslået af The Wall of Comedy på 9. marts 2017

Critical leopard situation in the (Eastern) Cape Region

The focus of our project in South Africa at this moment is our co-operation with three incredible Private Game Reserves (names mentioned at final stage) in the Eastern Cape, to have our leopard youngsters (Solo, Olive and later Bahati & Bella) released. The Reserves are very interested in leopards from our bloodlines and our ultimate mission is to have them released, and live wild and free roaming.

Of course as always the only obstruction, or delay, is by applying for the permits, or better: to have the forest dept. grant the permits.

While the leopards in certain parts of South Africa, like the Free State, are doing well in some National Parks and Private Game Reserves, the leopardpopulation in the Eastern Cape is almost extinct, and now also confirmed that even the Cape Leopard Population near Cederberg/Capetown, is having far more dramatic numbers than first was claimed.

While in the (Eastern) Cape not just the Cape Leopard is roaming freely, of course also the common African Leopard does have a place in this area, like in the whole of Africa, if people let them.

Nature Conservation is reluctant to grant permits for a release of common African Leopards in the Eastern Cape, for some not-valid reason, claiming “just” the Cape Leopard is living in this area of South Africa.

Of course we, and the managment of the Private game Reserves, don’t take no for an answer, and are working hard behind the scenes to collect info, to hand in motivation letters along with the application for the permits.

 

Maybe a good idea for all to read the following article, confirming how dramatically the numbers have declined in the Cape, and that is almost impossible to collect data, and to sight leopards in this area. Like we are saying all the time: leopard conservation, in-situ and ex-situ, is most essential at this moment. So the person basically saying “NO” to a release in the foremost Private Game Reserves in the Eastern Cape, will in fact be responsible to the leopard getting extinct in this area. Do they want to be responsible for this?

 

 

http://wildlifeact.com/blog/drakensberg-leopard-survey-preliminary-report/

 

“…….the complete absence of leopards is concerning. In total the survey effort was 2 334 days – substantially higher than the average survey effort in KZN of 1 692 days*. While this may not have been a sufficient period to obtain enough leopard pictures to generate a population density estimate, we would have expected to obtain some leopard pictures. Camera trap surveys in the mountainous regions of the Western Cape where leopard densities are similarly low (1 leopard per 100km2) have typically recorded at least 1 photo per 100 days of camera trapping.

*This is calculated by multiplying the number of camera trap sites / stations by the number of days spent in the field.

For example, studies in the Cederberg Mountains and Little Karoo both recorded leopards at a rate of approximately 0.012 leopard captures per day (Martins 2010, Mann 2014). A similar capture rate in the Drakensberg would have yielded around 27 leopard captures during this survey. While this is a coarse measure, it does show that leopard capture rates in the Drakensberg are much lower than have been recorded in other, reasonably analogous areas.

While it would be premature to suggest that leopards are absent from the southern Drakensberg, these results confirm a more general trend of extremely low leopard numbers in marginal habitat areas. This is of concern as these areas are generally considered to support extant leopard populations and account for a significant proportion of leopard habitat in South Africa (Swanepoel et al. 2013).

The results of this Drakensberg leopard survey suggest that, while leopards may persist in the Drakensberg, their numbers are possibly too low to constitute a functioning population. While monitoring leopard populations in mountainous areas is difficult and time-consuming, these are important refugia and habitat links in the context of the broader South African leopard population. We recommend further research to establish whether leopards are still extant in the southern Drakensberg, as well as to identify possible management interventions that could allow for population recovery.”


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Cat of the month

Jaguarondi (Herpailurus Yagouaroundi)

The jaguarundi (Herpailurus Yaguarondi) is a medium-sized wild cat. Not related to the jaguar, though the name seems to say otherwise, but it’s closely related to the cougar (puma) and also to the cheetah. It has short legs and an appearance somewhat like an otter; the ears are short and rounded. The coat is unspotted, uniform in colour, and varying from blackish to brownish grey (grey phase) or from foxy red to chestnut (red phase). The cat’s ranges from Southern Texas to South America.

As this cat is closely related to the much larger and heavier cougar, evident by its similar genetic structure and chromosome count count, the jaguarundi is also said to be in the genus Puma although it is more often classified under a separate genus, Herpailurus. Until recently both cats were classified under the genus Felis.

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