Extinct Bornean Bay Cat spotted in Malaysia
One of the world's most elusive wildcats - long believed extinct after it was last seen in 2003 - has been spotted in pictures from camera traps set up on Malaysian Borneo.
Three pictures showing two or three of the Bay Cats were taken in the northern highlands of Sarawak state in Borneo by researchers working for the forestry department.
The last pictures of the Bay Cat were taken in Lanjak Entimau wildlife sanctuary in southern Sarawak in 2003 and it had since been classified as extinct.
The new images - taken in 2009 and 2010 but not released until a wildlife study was completed - give fresh hope to researchers as much of the primary rainforest had been cut down by illegal loggers devastating the natural habitat.
Researcher Wilhelmina Cluny said the Bay Cat was extremely secretive, so the new images represented a highly exciting development.
"I do feel encouraged, this photograph was taken in a logged forest. When we saw this it made us wonder whether this kind of habitat can sustain wildlife, even for rare and important species like the Bay Cat," she said.
However, she added that little research had been done into the Bay Cat.
But at least those captured in the camera trap images were heartening as they were of the even rarer grey variety.
Author: Ian MacKinnon | Source: The Telegraph [January 13, 2011]