Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rare African wild cat spotted in Dubai

Rare wild cat located in Wadi Wurayah

Posted on: Tuesday November 24 , 2009 10:31:43 AM (GMT+4) Submit Press Release

Dubai - Camera traps set up in the mountainous area of Wadi Wurayah have captured an image of a rare breed of Wild Cat (Felis silvestris lybica).Until this photo, the presence of the Wild Cat was only assumed based on elusive tracks despite four years of intensive surveys by EWS-WWF and Fujairah Municipality teams., The find demonstrates the high ecological value of the area to the on-going preservation of the UAE and Middle East’s wildlife.

Commenting on the discovery, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Director of EWS-WWF stated: “The discovery underpins the importance of protecting the Wadi Wurayah area. We have not seen a Wild Cat for many years and it is vital that we do our utmost to protect the area, allowing the wildlife residing there to flourish.”

The Wild Cat is a small feline native to Europe, the western part of Asia, and Africa. Its food is very eclectic ranging from invertebrates to reptiles
, small mammals, birds and fish, and its habitat varies from scrub deserts to forests. Showing a variety of colours and sizes according on their habitats, they are generally grey-brown with black stripes on their back and tail, weighing up to 8kg and 80cm in length.

The species is threatened by genetic pollution with escaped domestic cats to a point that scientists believe the UAE population of Wild Cats might not be pure anymore. The competition for food with feral cats, the introduction of diseases by feral cats,, the maltreatment of carnivores by trapping and poisoning, and the destruction of natural habitats have impacted the survival of this species in the wild.



Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org

No comments: