by Matt WalkerEditor, Earth News The Sundaland clouded leopard, a recently described new species of big cat, has been caught on camera. The film, the first footage of the cat in the wild to be made public, has been released by scientists working in the Dermakot Forest Reserve in Malaysia. The Sundaland clouded leopard, only discovered to be a distinct species three years ago, is one of the least known and elusive of all cat species. Two more rare cats, the flat-headed cat and bay cat, were also photographed. Details of the discoveries are published in the latest issue of Cat News, the newsletter of the Cat Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). “Clouded leopards are one of the most elusive cats. They are very hardly ever encountered and almost no detailed study about their ecology has been conducted,” says Mr Andreas Wilting of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany. Mr Wilting is leader of a project that evaluates how changes to the forest in the Malaysian part of Borneo impact carnivores living there. As part of that project, the team places a network of camera traps in the forest, that automatically photograph passing animals. The team, which includes the Malaysian field scientist Azlan Mohamed, also conducts regular surveys at night, by shining a spotlight from the back of a vehicle driven around the Dermakot Forest Reserve in Sabah. During one of these surveys, they encountered a Sundaland clouded leopard walking along a road. “For the first eleven months we had not encountered a single clouded leopard during...
The Great Cats and Rare Canids Act gets overwhelming approval in House of Representatives. Posted: April 24, 2009, 3 a.m. EDT Wildlife advocates are praising the recent passage of an act that seeks greater protections for endangered and iconic cat and dog species, including leopards, cheetahs and African wild dogs. The Great Cats and Rare Canids Act, introduced by Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., garnered overwhelming approval by the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 21. Passage of the act supports conservation programs, educational resources and increased monitoring and law-enforcement measures to prevent poaching and illegal trafficking. The legislation would provide financial resources to restore populations of rare wild cat and canine species and protect their habitats. The bill was approved by a vote of 290-118.The bill defines “rare felid” to: (1) mean any of the felid species lion, leopard, jaguar, snow leopard, clouded leopard, cheetah, Iberian lynx, and Borneo bay cat, including any subspecies or population of such a species; and (2) exclude any species, subspecies or population that is native to the United States and any tiger. The act, HR 411, builds upon an existing program, the Multinational Species Conservation Fund, which provides funds to benefit tigers and other wild animals. This new legislation expands that program to provide funds for additional wild cats, according to the World Wildlife Fund. “Wild and rare cat and dog species are some of the most iconic animals on the planet,” said Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf, managing director of species conservation at World Wildlife Fund. “The bipartisan bill that passed the House will help ensure these majestic creatures continue to roam the wild...
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