Contents Cat News 48 - Spring 2008
 

 

 

   1. Editorial: The Sad Story of India’s Project Tiger by P. Jackson        

   2. Evidence of Wild Tigers in Southwest China - A Preliminary Survey of the Xishuangbanna National

       Nature Reserve by L. Feng, L. Lin, L. Zhang, L. Wang, B. Wang, S. Yang, J. L. D. Smith, S. J. Luo, L. Zhang  

   3. Population Monitoring of Snow Leopards Using Noninvasive Genetics by J. E. Janecka, R. Jackson,

       Yuguang Zhang, Diqiang Li, B. Munkhtsog, V. Buckley-Beason and W. J. Murphy    

   4. A Threat to Small Mammals in Central Gujarat by D. J. Gavali, J. J. Lakhmapurkar and V. V. Vyas       

   5. Asiatic Cheetah Cub Recovered From a Poacher in Iran by H. Jowkar, S. Ostrowski and L. Hunter   

   6. Felids of Abbasabad Reserve, Iran by M. S. Farhadinia, H. Akbari, M. Beheshti, A. Sadeghi and M. R. Halvani   

   7. First Evidence of Persian Leopard From Khaeez Area, Southern Iran by A. Abdoli, T. Ghadirian, A. Khaleghi Hamidi,

       H. Mostafavi, H. Moshiri, S. Pour‘salem and A. Ghoddousi     

   8. Sighting of a Manul or Pallas Cat in North Sikkim, India by P. Chanchani 

   9. Rusty-spotted Cat in Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve by S. Behera 

 10. The Neglected Asiatic Golden Cats of Bangladesh by M. Monirul H. Khan   

 11. Morphometry of Leopards From Maharashtra, India by V. R. Athreya and A. V. Belsare

 12. Occasional Jaguar Hunting for Subsistence in Colombian Chocó by S. Balaguera-Reina and J. F. Gonzalez-Maya

 13. Global Warming and the Northern Expansion of the Big Cats of Asia by E. Kashkarov, P. Baranov, O. Pomortsev

      and I. Ishchenko 

 14. Wild Cats and Climate Change by J. Seidensticker

 15. Ten Years of Ecological Research on Lions in Waza National Park, Northern Cameroon by H. de Iongh and H. Bauer 

 16. 2008 International Conference on Range-wide Conservation Planning for Snow Leopards: Saving the Species Across
       its Range by N. Williams 

 17. Breaking down the borders! Can we see the populations behind the administration? by J. Linnell and V. Salvatori 

 18. Indian Government Press Release on Tiger Census, 12 February 2008 

 19. European Parliament Calls for New Strategy to Save Tigers

 20. Diseases Threat to Scotland’s Wildcat   

 21. “Death Sentence” on Taxonomy in India     

 22. Gene Pools to Conserve Asiatic Lions      

 23. Pardhi Tribe Termed the Biggest Threat to India’s Wildlife

 24. Thai Police Catch Wildlife Dealers

 25. Maoists Say Nepal Royals “Stole Charity Cash”      

 26. Poacher Group in Manas National Park Surrenders    

 27. Netherlands Golden Ark Awards for Conservationists 

 28. Endangered Pelts Go Up in Smoke in Kashmir 

 29. Twelve Asian Countries to Jointly Save Tiger       

 30. Sumatran Tigers Being Poached to Extinction        

 31. Officials Refuse to Accept South China Tiger Photos Are Fake       

 32. African Lion Skulls Found at Tower of London       

 33. Lions Speared to Death Near Kenyan Park    

 34. Canada Slashes Spending on Wildlife Protection     

 35. First Evidence Since 1850 of Bobcat in Southwest Ohio      

 36. Clouded Leopard Skins Seized on Indo-Bhutan Border 

 37. Florida Panthers Face Hazards Before Adulthood     

 38. Eighty-one Gir Lions Dead in Last Two Years        

 39. Briefs     

 40. Obituary: Hormoz Asadi     

 

 


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Selected articles

 

Evidence of Wild Tigers in Southwest China - A Preliminary Survey of the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve
by L. Feng, L. Lin, L. Zhang, L. Wang, B. Wang, S. Yang, J. L. D. Smith, S. J. Luo, L. Zhang 

The tiger is critically endangered throughout Asia and the likelihood of locating a viable wild tiger population in China is rapidly diminishing. Yunnan province on the borders to Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar may hold the last promise for the survival of Indochinese tigers Panthera tigris corbetti in southwest China. However, a systematic assessment of tigers has not been conducted nor has direct evidence of tiger presence been documented except for several anecdotal reports in the past decade. In this report we detail the survey efforts in the region, provide a preliminary assessment of the tiger presence and habitat quality, and offer recommendations for future conservation strategies.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Population Monitoring of Snow Leopards Using Noninvasive Genetics
by J. E. Janecka, R. Jackson, Yuguang Zhang, Diqiang Li, B. Munkhtsog, V. Buckley-Beason and W. J. Murphy

Snow leopards Panthera uncia occur in rugged, high altitude regions of Central Asia, where they are endangered as a result of human induced factors including low prey densities and poaching. Information on the status of this felid is limited in many regions. We examined the feasibility of using noninvasive genetic methods to monitor snow leo­pard populations. Scats believed to be from snow leopards were collected in three separate geographic regions including northwestern India, central China, and southern Mongolia. We conducted species, sex, and individual identification using molecular methods and observed snow leopard scats in all three sites despite only brief 2-day surveys in each area.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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A Threat to Small Mammals in Central Gujarat
by D. J. Gavali, J. J. Lakhmapurkar and V. V. Vyas 

Central Gujarat has a semi-arid climate with dry tropical deciduous forests. These forests provide habitats for small mammals such as the rusty-spotted cat Prionailurus rubiginosus, the small Indian civet Viverricula indica, the common palm civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, the pale hedgehog Paraechinus micropus, the porcupine Hystrix indica, and the flying squirrel Petaurista petaurista. The results of a survey of cat species conducted in central Gujarat indicate that the jungle cat Felis chaus and the small Indian civet are seen more frequently than other cats. Expansion of agriculture and loss of natural forest areas are reducing the habitats of these animals. The present study indicates that collisions with vehicles and the consequent fatalities are posing a threat to jungle cats and small Indian civets.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Asiatic Cheetah Cub Recovered From a Poacher in Iran
by H. Jowkar, S. Ostrowski and L. Hunter   

A male Asiatic cheetah Acinonyx jubatus cub has been brought into captivity after being illegally removed from the wild by a sheep herder in Khar Touran National Park, Semnan Province, Iran.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Felids of Abbasabad Reserve, Iran
by M. S. Farhadinia, H. Akbari, M. Beheshti, A. Sadeghi and M. R. Halvani   

Iran has a high diversity of felids compared with other west Asian countries. A total of eight cat species, from the Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor to the sand cat Felis margarita, exist in the country today, and there used to be two other species, the Caspian tiger Panthera tigris virgata and the Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica, that are now extinct. As one of the latest reserves established in the country, Abbasabad has been officially protected since 2005 as a Hunting Prohibited Area. The present survey in this area was conducted in order to study five cat species: the Asiatic cheetah Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, the Persian leopard, the caracal Caracal caracal, the sand cat and the wild cat Felis silvestris ornata.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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First Evidence of Persian Leopard From Khaeez Area, Southern Iran
by A. Abdoli, T. Ghadirian, A. Khaleghi Hamidi, H. Mostafavi, H. Moshiri, S. Pour‘salem and A. Ghoddousi 

On 21 December 2007 one of the Stealthcam camera traps used in the carnivore survey carried out for the Atlas of Bushehr Wildlife project in the Khaeez free zone (40 km from the coast of the Persian Gulf) captured a photo of an adult male Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Sighting of a Manul or Pallas Cat in North Sikkim, India
by P. Chanchani 

A solitary manul Otocolobus manul was sighted on the Tso Lhamo Plateau of North Sikkim, at an altitude of 5,073 m on 8 September 2007 (see the cover photo of this issue of Cat News). The present sighting is the first record of this species in Sikkim, the only other sightings of the manul in India so far having been recorded in Ladakh. This sighting is also a new altitude record for the manul, being marginally higher than Fox & Dorji’s (2007) record of 5,050 m and significantly higher than the widely cited altitudinal limit of 4,800 m for this species. 

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Rusty-spotted Cat in Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve
by S. Behera

As part of fieldwork for tiger monitoring in Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve, Andhra Pradesh, a rusty-spotted cat Prionailurus rubiginosus was observed on two occasions.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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The Neglected Asiatic Golden Cats of Bangladesh
by M. Monirul H. Khan   

The Asiatic golden cat Catopuma temmincki is one of the most elusive and least-known animals in the world and is facing the threat of extinction even before its life history is properly understood. In Bangladesh the published documents barely mention the occurrence of the golden cat in the country.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Morphometry of Leopards From Maharashtra, India
by V. R. Athreya and A. V. Belsare

We have been involved in various research and capacity building projects related to human leopard Panthera pardus conflict in Maharashtra, India, since 2004. This paper provides information on the morphometry of leopards we collected between 2004 and 2006.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Occasional Jaguar Hunting for Subsistence in Colombian Chocó
by S. Balaguera-Reina and J. F. Gonzalez-Maya

Jaguar Panthera onca hunting for subsistence consumption by humans has not been reported in the scientific literature. Nowak (1975) reported jaguar hunting for legal fur trade as one of the main factors for population reduction in wild jaguar populations, where historically it was directed for black-markets with large numbers shipped internationally.  

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Global Warming and the Northern Expansion of the Big Cats of Asia
by E. Kashkarov, P. Baranov, O. Pomortsev and I. Ishchenko 

During the past 35 years we have witnessed a zoogeogra-phical phenomenon that has had no satisfactory explanation until now. The ranges of the snow leopard Uncia uncia, the Amur leopard Panthera pardus orientalis and the Amur tiger Panthera pardus altaica in Siberia have expanded to the north by more than 1,000 km. In our work we discuss this new wave of northern expansion of the big cats of Asia, based on the less known hundred-year cycle (on average 88 years) and data collected in the field, from hunters and from the literature.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Wild Cats and Climate Change
by J. Seidensticker 

With few examples, we see that, depending on the species of wild cat, there will be loss of critical habitats and range fragmentations, contractions, and expansion resulting from climate change. We have no choice but to learn to live with and work with these changes. I suspect most wild cats will not fare well, but we know so little about most wild cat species that making predictions is speculation. I do think we can confidently predict that the domestic cat will be just fine.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Ten Years of Ecological Research on Lions in Waza National Park, Northern Cameroon
by H. de Iongh and H. Bauer  

This paper covers 10 years of lion Panthera leo research in Waza National Park in North Cameroon. Population surveys resulted in a population of 50–60 lions. Research covered movements and home ranges of lions, social structure, prey availability and lion-livestock conflicts. Natural prey abundance is low and level of livestock predation high, especially during the wet season. Lions survive during the wet season on a prey buffer of livestock, while they switch to natural prey during the dry season.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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2008 International Conference on Range-wide Conservation Planning for Snow Leopards: Saving the Species Across its Range
by N. Williams

Over 100 snow leopard experts, enthusiasts, and government officials gathered in the outskirts of Beijing, China from March 7–11, 2008 for the first-ever International Conference on Range-wide Conservation Planning for Snow Leopards. Conference organizers included Panthera, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Snow Leopard Trust (SLT), Snow Leopard Network (SLN), and the Chinese Institute of Zoology.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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Breaking down the borders! Can we see the populations behind the administration?
by J. Linnell and V. Salvatori 

It is safe to say that there have not been more Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in Europe for several centuries. The last 50 years have seen the natural recovery of the Scandinavian, Baltic and Carpathian populations. The tiny Balkan population has persisted. A total of 15 reintroduction attempts have been made. The sum total of all this is that we are no longer talking about a crisis action of rescuing a species from the edge of extinction (although the Balkan population is of great conservation concern). Instead we are trying to reintegrate the large carnivore species into our landscapes and moving towards a long term, robust and flexible management system.

for full article see CAT NEWS No 48

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