Much of what we try and do here at FELIS is to bring to your attention to the fragile state of conservation regarding some of the worlds smaller wild cats. Most people know about the fact Tigers need saving or Snow Leopard numbers are low but how many are aware of the smaller, lesser known cats in danger of disappearing. Here we look at 5 species or sub species of cats that are most at risk.
The Iriomote Cat is a subspecies of the Leopard cat that lives exclusively on the Japanese Island of Iriomote. Classified as Critically Endangered in 2008 its main threats are loss of habitat, attacks by dogs, traffic accidents and getting caught in hunting traps set for bears. During the last survey, conducted between 2000 and 2007 there were only an estimated 100 cats left.
Find out more: http://www.jtef.jp/english/iriomotecat.html
Scottish Wild Cat:
Known locally as The Highland Tiger this is the UK’s only wild cat species and it’s in great danger of disappearing for good. Once this cat was found in both Wales and England but within the last 150 years is has completely disappeared. Exact numbers of this cat are largely unknown but estimates place them between 100-300. This cats main threat as a sub-species is hybridization with domestic cats, something very difficult to protect against.
Find out more: http://www.scottishwildcats.co.uk/
Whilst still endangered and in need of urgent conservation assistance the Iberian Lynx is in fact a success story and proof conservation efforts are meaningful and working. In 2002 it was thought there were less than 100 individuals remaining of this beautiful cat. Now it’s believed 404 cats live in the forests of the Iberian peninsula in Spain and Portugal. The main threats faced by this cat are habitat loss as new roads fragment the already small population, car accidents as cats are hit crossing these roads and a decreasing food base as epidemics such as myxamatosis have affected the rabbit population its main food source.
Find out more: http://www.iberlince.eu/index.php/eng/
Flat headed cat:
A cat we discussed in detail with our last post. Dwindling numbers saw this cat declared endangered in 2008 with no single population exceeding 250 adults. Considered extinct in Thailand these cats are quickly running out of space. Between 2000-2010 it’s thought they lost over 20% of their habitat. Other threats such as pollution and hunting has put this cats future in great danger.
Find out more: http://smallwildcats.com/tag/flat-headed-cat/
Bornean Bay Cat:
The world most elusive cat. Native to Borneo this cat was once considered to be a sub-species of the Asian Golden cat but has since been classified as its own endangered species. As with many cats the main threat to this cat is deforestation and a shrinking habitat. The UN recently reported that more than 27 million hectares of forest has been lost since 1990 in Borneo and if we continue at this rate all forest areas will be lost in the next 80 years. The main threat is the growth of Palm Oil plantations. To help this cat please support sustainable palm oilhttps://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/palm-oil-the-hidden-truth-lurking-in-your-home
Find out more: We couldn’t find any specific conservation projects for these cats so if anyone knows of any please get in touch