Catopuma badia is endemic to the island of Borneo. (Nowak, 1991)
Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )
Other Geographic Terms: island endemic
Historically it probably occurred islandwide (Meijaard 1997, Azlan and Sanderson 2007). However, there are still no confirmed records from Brunei (J. Sanderson pers. comm. 2008). Meijard's (1997) records went up to 500 m elevation, and it may range up to 800 m (Giman and Boeadi, Indonesia mammal assessment, 2006) or higher - there is an unconfirmed record from 1,800 m on Mt. Kinabulu (Payne et al. 1985).
The map shows range within forest cover (European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 2003) to reflect patchiness caused by deforestation upon recommendation of the assessors (IUCN Cats Red List workshop 2007).
Catopuma badia occurs in two different colors, chestnust red, which is more common, and gray. Catopuma badia has dark colored, rounded ears, and a whitish stripe that runs down the ventral side of the body. Catopuma badia weighs between three and five kilograms, and is between 530 and 700 mm in length. (Sunquist et al. 1994)
Range mass: 3 to 5 kg.
Range length: 530 to 700 mm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Habitat and Ecology
The foods of this species include small rodents and birds, carrion, and even monkeys. While this cat is very small and rare, Catopuma badia can be extremely vicious, and it attack animals much bigger than itself. (Postanowicz, 2001)
Animal Foods: birds; mammals; carrion
Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates)
Life History and Behavior
Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual
Parental Investment: altricial
CITES: appendix i
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The Borneo Bay Cat appears to occur at low densities relative to other sympatric small felids, based on the paucity of both historical and recent records (Nowell and Jackson 1996, Meijaard 1997, Sunquist and Sunquist 2002, Dinets 2003, Azlan et al. 2003, Hearn and Bricknell 2003, Meijaard et al. 2005, Yasuda et al. 2007). The effective population size is suspected to be below 2,500 mature individuals (IUCN Cats Red List Workshop 2007).
- 1994Insufficiently Known(Groombridge 1994)
- 1990Rare(IUCN 1990)
- 1988Rare(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
- 1986Rare(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
Sabah: Danum Valley Conservation Area (Nowell and Jackson 1996)
Sarawak - Gunung Mulu National Park (Dinets 2003), Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (Azlan et al. 2003)
Kalimantan: Gunung Palung National Park, Bentuang Karimum National Park (Meijaard 1997), Sungai Wain Protection Forest (Yasuda et al. 2007)
The bay cat (Pardofelis badia), also known as the Bornean cat, Bornean bay cat, or Bornean marbled cat, is a wild cat endemic to the island of Borneo that appears relatively rare compared to sympatric felids, based on the paucity of historical, as well as recent records. In 2002, the IUCN classified the forest-dependent species as Endangered because of a projected population decline by more than 20% by 2020 due to habitat loss. As of 2007, the effective population size was suspected to be below 2,500 mature individuals.
Bay cats have historically been recorded as rare and today seem to occur at relatively low density, even in pristine habitat.
The bay cat is much smaller than the Asian golden cat. Its fur is of a bright chestnut colour, rather paler beneath, the limbs and the tail being rather paler and redder. The tail is elongated, tapering at the end, with a white central streak occupying the rear half of the lower side, gradually becoming wider and of a purer white towards the tip, which has a small black spot at its upper end. The ears are rounded, covered with a short blackish-brown fur at the outer side, paler brown within and with a narrow brown margin.
In the years between 1874 and 2004, only 12 specimens were measured. Their head-to-body length varied from 49.5–67 cm (19.5–26.4 in) with 30.0- to 40.3-cm-long tails. They were estimated to have an adult weight of 3–4 kg (6.6–8.8 lb), but too few living specimens have been obtained to allow a more reliable estimate.
The short, rounded head is dark greyish-brown with two dark stripes originating from the corner of each eye, and the back of the head has a dark ‘M’-shaped marking. The backs of the ears are dark greyish, lacking the central white spots found on many other cat species. The underside of the chin is white and two faint brown stripes are on the cheeks. Body proportions and the extremely long tail give it the look of the New World jaguarundi.
Distribution and habitat
Bay cats are endemic to Borneo and widely distributed on the island. But two concentrations are reported in the island's interior. The information suggests they occur over a wide range of habitat types, varying from swamp forests, lowland dipterocarp forest to hill forests up to at least 500 m (1,600 ft). In the mid 1990s, the most reliable sightings have been reported from the upper Kapuas River in West Kalimantan, and from the Gunung Palung National Park. One unconfirmed sighting occurred at 1,800 m (5,900 ft) on Mount Kinabalu.
They inhabit dense tropical forests, and have been observed in rocky limestone outcrops and in logged forest, and some close to the coast. At least three specimens were found near rivers, but this was probably due to collector convenience rather than evidence of habitat preference. In 2002, a bay cat was photographed in Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak. From 2003 to 2005, 15 bay cats were recorded in Kalimantan, Sabah, and Sarawak, but not in Brunei. These records consist of single opportunistic observations. Almost all the historical and recent records are from close proximity to water bodies such as rivers and mangroves, suggesting the bay cat may be closely associated with such habitats.
A camera trapping survey from July 2008 to January 2009 in the northwestern part of Sabah's Deramakot Forest Reserve in an area of about 112 km2 (43 sq mi) yielded one photo of a male bay cat in a total sampling effort of 1916 trap nights. This record expands the range of bay cats to the north.
Alfred Russel Wallace sent the first skin and skull of a bay cat from Sarawak to the British Museum of Natural History in 1855. A total of seven skins surfaced over the following decades, but a living specimen was trapped on the Sarawak – Indonesian border in 1992, and was brought to the Sarawak Museum, on the verge of death.
Ecology and behavior
The secretive and nocturnal behavior of bay cats, and possibly their low population density, may be an important cause of the rarity of sightings. Camera trapping surveys during 2003–2006 yielded only one photo of a bay cat in 5,034 trap nights. According to unconfirmed anecdotal records from Sarawak, a bay cat was observed on a branch 1 m (3.3 ft) from the ground close to the river during a night hunting expedition. A local animal collector near Lachau, Sarawak, claimed he accidentally trapped two bay cats on separate occasions in December 2003. He reported the bay cats entered his aviary and attacked his pheasants. One cat died in captivity, and the other was released.
Bay cats are forest-dependent, and are increasingly threatened by habitat destruction following deforestation in Borneo. Borneo has one of the world's highest deforestation rates. While in the mid-1980s, forests still covered nearly three-quarters of the island, by 2005 only 52% of Borneo was still forested. Both forests and land make way for human settlement. Illegal trade in wildlife is a widely spread practice.
Although Borneo supposedly has 25 wildlife reserves, only three are actually in existence, with the others only proposed. All of these reserves have been encroached upon by human settlement and logging. Unfortunately, local trappers and animal dealers are also well aware that foreign zoos and breeding facilities will pay US$10,000 or more for a live animal.
Pardofelis badia is listed on CITES Appendix II as Catopuma badia. It is fully protected by national legislation across most of its range. Hunting and trade are prohibited in Kalimantan, Sabah, and Sarawak. No bay cats are held in captivity.
Taxonomy and evolution
In 1874, John Edward Gray first described a bay cat under the binominal Felis badia on the basis of a skin and skull collected in Sarawak in 1856. This cat was first thought to be a kitten of an Asian golden cat. In 1932, Reginald Innes Pocock placed the species in the monotypic genus Badiofelis. In 1978, it was placed in the genus Catopuma.
Tissue and blood samples were acquired only in late 1992 from the female brought to the Sarawak Museum. Morphological and genetic analysis confirmed the close relationship with the Asian golden cat, and that the two species had been separated from a common ancestor for 4.9 to 5.3 million years, long before the geological separation of Borneo from mainland Asia.
The bay cat's classification as Catopuma was widely recognized until 2006. Because of the evident close relationship of the bay cat and the Asian golden cat with the marbled cat, all three species were suggested in 2006 to be grouped in the genus Pardofelis.
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