WWF Cameras Catch 5 Rare Wildcats On Film
November 17, 2011

WWF Cameras Catch 5 Rare Wildcats On Film

The WWF said that its survey in the forest Bukit Tigapuluh (Thirty Hills) in Indonesia has captured five rare wild cat species on camera.

The survey captured the Sumatran tiger, clouded leopard, marble cat, golden cat, and leopard cat on camera.

All of the wild cats were found in an unprotected forest corridor between the Bukit Tigapuluh forest landscape and the Rimbang Baling Wildlife sanctuary in Riau Province.

"Four of these species are protected by Indonesian Government regulations and are listed as threatened by extinction on the IUCN Red List," Karmila Parakkasi, Coordinator of the WWF-Indonesia Tiger Research Team, said in a press release.

"This underscores the rich biodiversity of the Bukit Tigapuluh landscape and the forest corridors that connect to it. These amazing cat photos also remind us of how much we could lose as more of these fragile forests are lost to logging, plantations and illegal encroachment."

During the survey, the camera trapped 404 photos of wild cats, including 226 of Sumatran tigers, 77 of clouded leopards, 70 of golden cats, 4 of marbled cats, and 27 of leopard cats.

WWF-Indonesia released a video in May 2011 from a camera trap that showed three young tiger siblings playing with a leaf.  The footage was taken in the same area of the current batch of wild cat photos.

"Unfortunately much of the natural forest area in the landscape is threatened by large scale clearance for industrial logging, pulp and paper, as well as illegal encroachment for palm oil plantation development," Aditya Bayunanda WWF-Indonesia's Coordinator for the Global Forest Trade Network Program said in a press release.

"The abundant evidence of these five wild cat species suggests that the concession licenses of companies operating in these areas, such as Barito Pacific, should be reviewed and adjusted according to Indonesian Ministry regulations, which state that concession areas with the presence of endangered species should be protected by the concessionaire."

Bukit Tigapuluh is designated a "global priority Tiger Conservation Landscape" and is one of six landscapes the government of Indonesia pledged to protect at least year's International Tiger Forum.


Image Caption: This Sumatran tiger lives in a region that timber company Barito Pacific has slated to cut down. Indonesia law states that concession areas with presence of endangered species, such as this tiger, should be protected. WWF is encouraging Barito Pacific to protect this concession. © WWF-Indonesia/PHKA


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