Tags: borneo | marbled | cat | camera

Borneo Marbled Cats, Rare and Endangered, Spotted on Camera

Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013 06:59 AM

By Morgan Chilson

Rare and endangered Borneo marbled cats, or bay cats, have been caught on video in an area of Borneo where researchers didn’t expect to find them.

Several of the cats were recorded, LiveScience said, which is only one of a very few times the animals have been taped. The first time they were photographed was in 2003.

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Scientists from the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College London set up the cameras. The Guardian called the cat, which is about the size of a house cat, “extremely secretive” and said it was considered extinct until new photos surfaced about 2009 or 2010.

The pictures were captured in an area that had been heavily logged, and a scientist with the Imperial College London said it was proof the cats could survive in such forest areas.

“We were completely surprised to see so many bay cats at these sites in Borneo where natural forests have been so heavily logged for the timber trade,” Dr. Robert Ewers told the Guardian. “Conservationists used to assume that very few wild animals could live in logged forest, but we now know this land can be home for many endangered species.”

The Guardian said camera traps, which are devices set to trigger photos when animals set off an infrared sensor, have completely changed the study of wildlife and conservation because scientists can now see evidence of species that are either endangered or difficult to find.

International Science Times said the spotted bay cat was first described in 1874. It was captured live once in a trap in 1992 but died soon after. Very little is known about the animal.

Scientists also grabbed images on their camera traps of four other wild cats: the Sunda clouded leopard, the leopard cat, the flat-headed cat and the marbled cat.

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