A photo of an elusive cat, the size of a domestic cat and reddish or grey in colour, has caused a stir of excitement. Rarely seen and captured on film just a few times before, camera traps have revealed that the Bornean Bay Cat (Pardofelis badia) is surviving in heavily logged areas of Borneo’s rainforest.
Camera traps set up in a study by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Imperial College found the Bornean Bay Cat and four other cat species including the Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi), Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) and Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) living in a heavily logged area of forest where they were not expected to thrive.
Listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the major threat to the Bornean Bay Cat is commercial logging and the continued spread of oil palm plantations on the island of Borneo that result in the loss of natural rainforest and the habitat it provides for many species. The evidence that endangered cats are living in areas where logging occurs is a good sign for their future survival.
ZSL and Imperial College will continue to study the effects of logging on wildlife populations, not just on cats, but on other mammals both large and small, and less charismatic animals will not be forgotten either. Information gathered in the study will lead to the development of ways in which oil plantations can be more mammal friendly and determine the best options for preventing the loss of Borneo’s mammals.
See this elusive cat for yourself on the ZSL website.