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Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata)

The range of the Marbled Cat extends from Northeast India, with subspecies in Nepal, and through Southeast Asia including Borneo and Sumatra, linked to the mainland of Asia. It is similar in size to the domestic cat, with a longer, more thickly furred tail. Its fur pattern is blotched and banded like a marble and usually compared to the markings of the much larger Clouded Leopard. In colour, the base fur ranges from pale yellow to brownish grey with lighter under parts being a lighter variation. The weight is about 4,5 kg (10lbs).

Closest relatives of the Marbled cat are the Asian Golden Cat and the Bay cat, members of the genus Catopuma.

The forest provide the Marbled Cat with much of its prey: birds, squirrels, other rodents and reptiles. It is rarely sighted in its densely forested habitat and so little studied or understood. It’s population is estimated under 10.000 mature individuals. Due to its forested habitats that have been shrinking, the Marbled Cat is listed as vulnerable in IUCN.

The only captive Marbled Cats registered by ISIS are a pair kept at a breeding center in the United Arab Emirates and a male kept in the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Thailand.

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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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