Camera Traps Find New and Incredibly Rare “Borneo Bay Cat” On Borneo

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There is little known about the bay cat; one of the five wild cat species found on Borneo. Scientists have struggled to gather basic information on the animal’s biology, behaviour and distribution due to its elusive nature.

image/text credit: borneonaturefoundation

But, researchers from Borneo Nature Foundation are one step closer to understanding this secretive species. They have captured incredible camera trap footage of the bay cat in a forest, where people thought it did not exist.

image/text credit: borneonaturefoundation

The location of the video was approximately 64 km south-east outside its known distribution range. This exciting discovery was published in Cats News a publication of the Cat Specialist Group, of the Species Survival Commission SSC, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this month.

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This short clip, showing a male bay cat walking across the sun-dappled bark of a fallen tree, was captured by one of 52 camera traps set up by researchers in Central Kalimantan, a part of Indonesian Borneo where bay cats were not thought to live.

While the new clip shows the bay cat in all its beauty, with its reddish coat, small head, stubby ears and long, elegant tail, the footage also has high conservation value for those wanting to protect Borneo’s wildernesses.

Not only are their numbers thin on the ground, fewer than 2,000 survive, they are extremely shy animals, preferring to hunt under the cover of darkness and avoid any contact with humans.