Monday, November 02, 2009

Small Wild Cat News for Nov 2009

International Society for Endangered Cats Wild Cat News

Vol 27 Nov 2009


In this issue
Photo Gallery
From the Inbox
Observing a Marbled Cat in the Wild
Social Media Genius Found

Dear Friend,

This month's featured feline is the least studied wild cat species in South America.The Pampas Cat Oncifelis colocolo is a resident of many South American countries, as well as the Pampas Grasslands of Argentina, from which they take their name.Learn more about these small cats here

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Photo Gallery~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And this would be....What species do you think this relaxed little wild cat is? We'll give you the answer in next month's newsletter.If you can't wait for a month, just drop us a note!

From the Email Inbox~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I run a small NGO in Nicaragua and one of our current projects is with communities located within a protected area on the slopes of Volcán Telica, an active volcano in the west of Nicaragua. Our work is mainly focused on assisting poor communities in developing sustainable livelihoods. The area where they live is suffering from severe environmental degradation through deforestation, forest fires, hunting and unsustainable farming practices. We have become aware that the area hosts at least one endangered small cat species. One report says that Oncilla Leopardus tigrinus and/or Ocelot Leopardus pardalis is present, whilst another report states that Margay Leopardus wiedi is present. I do not have much confidence that these sources are correct, so it is possible that any one, or even all three, of these species are present. What I do have for sure is a photo I took of a fur from an animal hunted in the area. I wonder if you can help me with the identification, or put me in touch with someone who can? Once we have a definitive identification, I can then look for relevant conservation guidelines and advice.Dr A Longley, Nuevas Esperanzas UK [Editor's Note: I forwarded this email and photo (above) to the researchers of the Wild Cats of Brazil Project. They identified the pelt as an ocelot, based on the spot pattern and background color. It was mostly the spots, as those on the ocelot tend to merge with each other. We also informed Dr. Longley that only the margay and ocelot are found in Nicaragua, as the oncilla does not live that far north.]

Observations of a Wild Marbled Cat~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marbled cats are among the least known felids. Apart from a few published observations and limited ranging data, there is no available information on their natural behaviour.This encounter occurred near the Way Canguk Research Station in Sumatra, collaboratively run by Wildlife Conservation Society WCS and the Indonesian Department of Forestry and Nature Conservation PHKA. It is a protected forest with relatively low levels of encroachment and poaching. The particular spot where the marbled cat was observed was in an isolated area far from the more regularly walked trails, about 1.2 km from the research station and 5 km from the nearest village.On Sept 30, 2008, I observed an adult marbled cat for about one hour. I was looking for a group of siamangs, the focus of my research. At 10:35 I visited a fruiting tree that the apes had fed in on previous days. I decided to wait for the siamangs there, and after about a minute I noticed the marbled cat, lying on the ground 12 m from me with its head half lifted up, looking at me and whipping its tail. As I made no attempt approach it, it stayed in the same position, at times dozing off (for less than a minute at a time), then looking back in my direction, and at times scanning the surroundings.At 11:18 it stood up and remained sitting on its hind legs until 11:27, while looking alternately at me and the surroundings. It then quietly and slowly moved away, without looking in my direction, keeping a constant 10 m distance as it turned a quarter of a circle around me. An interesting consideration is that at 9:16 of the same day, I had spotted a large, adult clouded leopard resting on a low horizontal branch above a trail, about 180 m from the marbled cat. The leopard silently and quickly fled as soon as it spotted me.Another intriguing aspect of this encounter is that the marbled cat might have been under that tree for the same reason I was, namely to wait for the animals attracted to the ripe fruits. The few data on the diet of the wild marbled cats suggest that they feed mainly on birds and rodents. Although there are no published accounts of wild marbled cats stalking or killing primates, this species has the arboreal characteristics required to successfully hunt primates in the forest canopy.Source: Luca Morino, IUCN/SSC Wild Cat News, Spring 2009

Social Media Genius Found!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A huge thank you to Jennifer Osborn, Jared Fuller and Ivy Schnepp who have volunteered to be the face of the small wild cats on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, respectively.On behalf of the small wild cats, we thank you from the bottom of our paws for coming forward to help!
Thank you for caring about the small wild cats!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The International Society for Endangered Cats (ISEC) Canada is a non-profit conservation group working for the small wild cats. All proceeds raised go directly to wild cat conservation programs around the world.Wild cats don't have nine lives, and they need all the help they can get. Become an ISEC member, contribute to field research, purchase products or make a donation. Learn how you can participate in wild cat conservation by visiting our website today. Help spread the word - forward this email to a friend with the link below!Website Email Phone: 1-800-465-6384


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