Rusty-spotted cat spotted in ShuklaphantaRusty-spotted cat, one of the smallest wild cat species, has been captured in camera for the first time in Nepal.
Rusty-spotted cat, one of the smallest wild cat species, has been captured in camera for the first time in Nepal.
The cat was captured about a month ago by a camera set up in the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve (SWR) for tiger census.
A group of wildlife experts led by Babu Ram Lamichhane, in-charge of the Shuklaphanta Conservation Programme of the National Trust for Nature Conservation, confirmed the existence of rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) in Nepal. The picture has been sent to an international scientific group for final verification, said Lamichhane.
With the discovery of the rusty-spotted cat in the SWR along the Terai Arc Landscape, the number of cat species in the country has reached 12, including tiger and leopard. This smallest cat species is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is earlier said to be found only in India and Sri Lanka.
“This is a positive discovery,” said Lamichhane.
According to an article published in wildcatconservation.org, the main threat to these small cats is destruction of their habitat, while they are often mistakenly persecuted as cubs of leopard and hunted for meat or skins.