A bay cat — one of the rarest cats in the world — has been spotted on camera in Borneo.
Ecologists from the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College London used camera traps all over the jungle in Borneo to snap photos of the creature.
Up until 2009, researchers believed the cat to be extinct. Photos in 2009 and 2010 confirmed that at least a few of the cats still existed.
The bay cat was first spotted by researchers only in 2003.
The new photos were taken in a heavily logged forest.The take-away from the cat's appearance is that large mammals are still able to survive in such environmentally strained areas.
“We were completely surprised to see so many bay cats at these sites in Borneo where natural forests have been so heavily logged for the timber trade,” said Robert Ewers of the SAFE tropical forest conservation project in Borneo.
“Conservationists used to assume that very few wild animals can live in logged forest, but we now know this land can be home for many endangered species.”
The Guardian reported that camera trap technology have revolutionized conservation and increased the ability to determine the existence of certain species.
The camera takes a flash photo each time an animal triggers an infrared sensor, causing little disturbance but offering researchers an invaluable look into the wildlife.
From a look at the photos, it turns out the jungles of Borneo are crawling with exotic cats. The researchers also spotted the Sunda clouded leopard, the leopard cat, the flat-headed cat (which likely resents its name) and the marbled cat.
The findings were published in the journal PLoS ONE.