Rare Bornean Bay Cat Captured on Camera
The Bornean bay cat (Pardofelis badia) -- a rare, spotted feline living in the rainforests of Borneo -- has been caught on camera.
Researchers at Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Imperial College London recorded the movement of the elusive bay cat along with four other wild cat species in an un-surveyed and heavily-logged part of the forest.
This is the first time scientists have found all the five cats including the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) and marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata), to be roaming in this part of Borneo.
Oliver Wearn, one of the research teammates, said that these cats are known for their ability to stay hidden and avoid conservationists. Researchers would never have found the cats without the randomly placed camera traps in the rainforest. The latest study also shows that the cats can survive in heavily-logged forests.
"We were completely surprised to see so many bay cats at these sites in Borneo where natural forests have been so heavily logged for the timber trade. Conservationists used to assume that very few wild animals can live in logged forest, but we now know this land can be home for many endangered species," Dr Robert Ewers from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London
"Our study today shows solid evidence that even large carnivores, such as these magnificent bay cats, can survive in commercially logged forests," Dr Ewers added, according to a news release.
The bay cat is the world's least-known cat and was last seen in a video in 2003. After that, conservationists only got a few photographs of the cat in 2009 and 2010. Researchers are hopeful that the current data will help them understand its habitat. Bay cats are quite similar to domestic cats, but have long tails and reddish or gray coat.
Check the latest video, here.