IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category Year Assessed
Endangered Red List Criteria
Wilting, A., Hearn, A., Sanderson, J., Ross, J. & Sunarto, S. Reviewer/s
Nowell, K., Breitenmoser-Wursten, C., Breitenmoser, U. & Schipper, J. Contributor/s Justification
The Flat-headed Cat has a restricted and patchy distribution around wetlands in lowland forest on the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and the Malayan peninsula. Current status distribution is limited to presence/absence data, and there are few records in comparison with sympatric small felids. Wetland destruction and degradation is the primary threat faced by the species (Nowell and Jackson 1996). Over 45% of protected wetlands and 94% of globally significant wetlands in Southeast Asia are considered threatened (Dugan 1993). Causes include human settlement, draining for agriculture, pollution, and excessive hunting, wood-cutting and fishing. In addition, clearance of coastal mangroves over the past decade has been rapid. The depletion of fish stocks from over-fishing is prevalent and is likely to be a significant threat. Over 1.3 million ha of lowland forest are deforested annually on the island of Borneo, a rate which would result in their disappearance over the next 10-20 years (Rautner et al. 2007). Malaysia and Indonesia are the world's largest producers of palm oil (Koh and Wilcove 2007), and Southeast Asia has had the world's highest deforestation rate for years (FAO 2007). While there have been observations of Flat-headed Cats in secondary forests (Bezuijen 2000, Meijaard et al. 2005, Mohamed et al. 2009), Wilting et al. (2010) could not find any support that Flat-headed Cats can also live in oil palm plantations. According to their distribution model, over 70% of its predicted historical suitable habitat has been transformed to unsuitable habitats (Wilting et al. 2010). History
Based on rates of habitat loss and the threatened status of many wetlands in its range, a continuing decline in the Flat-headed Cat population of at least 20% over the next 12 years (two generations) is likely. It is difficult to estimate population size given its patchy distribution and lack of any density estimates, but it is suspected that the effective population size could be fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, with no subpopulation having an effective population size larger than 250 (IUCN Cats Red List Workshop 2007).