The Bornean bay cat was recently caught on camera trap — in an environment outside of the cat’s documented native range.
The Bornean bay cat (Catopuma badia) is currently listed as Endangered on the IUCN list and is predicted to lose up to another 20% of its population by 2020. Less than 2,500 individuals currently inhabit the island, threatened primarily by habitat loss.
Bay cats are normally chestnut in color with lighter hued tails and limbs and long white-streaked tails. The animals boast rounded ears and are generally about two feet in length, weighing between six and nine pounds.
A low population density attributes to the rarity of these unique cats, in addition to their nocturnal, solitary behavior.
This elusive animal has recently been captured on camera trap more than forty miles outside of its normal distribution range.
A collaboration of scientists out of Oxford Brookes University, Muhammadiyah University Palangka Raya, and the University of Exeter set up more than fifty camera traps in more than 28 locations across the Rungan Landscape in Central Kalimantan, Borneo.
Footage of the rare chestnut feline was attained after nearly a month, in an unusual environment for these particular cats that included peat swamps and heath. They normally inhabit tropical forests, including rocky limestone outcrops.
The cat’s exact location has been kept confidential for purposes of protection.
“There is still a lot we don’t know about the forests of Borneo and the clock is ticking. More surveys are needed to understand the distribution and ecological needs of Borneo’s wildlife if we are to save species on the brink of extinction,” the team said in a statement to Mongabay.