Current Issue - Contents and Abstracts

Local perceptions of puma-livestock conflict surrounding Torres Del Paine NP, Chile by A. Kusler, R. J. Sarno, N. S. Volkart, M. Elbroch and M. Grigione

Livestock depredation by carnivores is a leading cause of human-felid conflict worldwide. In Chilean Patagonia, the traditional practices of free-range sheep grazing suffersignificant livestock losses that are predominantly attributed to pumas Puma concolor. The escalating puma-livestock conflict in this area prompted us to examine the perceptions of local ranchers of pumas and other native wildlife, and to build support for further conservation research and management in the region. All rancherswe interviewed reported significant losses of sheep (range: N = 86-500 / year), and most had negative perceptions of pumas, culpeo foxes Lycalopex culpaeus and guanacos Lama guanicoe, suggesting that perceptions of carnivores and herbivore competitors was largely influenced by perceived risk or competitive impact on livestock.Our results indicated that in order to resolve wildlife conflict in this area, more in-depth research are needed to examine the role of puma predation on livestock herds, and to test potential conflict solutions.

New record of the Andean cat in the Puna of Jujuy province, north-western Argentina by F. R. González, P. E. Ortiz, S. d'Hiriart and J. P. Jayat

In the last decade, there has been a remarkable growth in the knowledge of the habits and behaviour of the Andean Cat Leopardus jacobita. This cat is mainly restricted to the Andean highlands. Most of the records from north-western Argentina are based on indirect evidences. We provide a new record from Jujuy province based on photographs and a video of one of two cats seen in this area. We observed the cat moving across rocky outcrops exhibiting a hunting behaviour during daylight hours. This filmic record is a valuable contribution for the promotion of the conservation of this species.


Supporting Online Material

Video V1

First confirmed record of margay in Nuevo Léon, north-east Mexico by J. L. Peña-Mondragón and E. de la Peña-Cuéllar

We confirmed for the first time the presence of margay Leopardus wiedii in the southern portion of the State Nuevo León, Mexico, by using camera traps. The record represents the north-eastern limit of the margay's distribution range in America. The species was pictured at a site with high livestock density, associated with disturbance.

Lions surviving in a conflict zone: recent developments in Waza NP, North Cameroon by I. Kirsten, E. Bakker, P. Tumenta, M. Babalé, H. Bauer, A. Ndjida, B. Mohamadou and H. de Iongh

Lion Panthera leo numbers in Waza National Park have been declining over the last decades. Recent conflicts around the border of Cameroon have added extra pressure on the already stressed small population. However, new research shows that this new threat has not affected the decline of lions in this park in North Cameroon.

Early disease risk control in free-ranging snow leopards taken into captivity by S. Ostrowski and M. Gilbert

We provide practical information on health care to recently rescued free-ranging snow leopards Panthera uncia taken into captivity. We aim to address the most frequently asked questions on snow leopard health by people involved in captive rehabilitation initiatives across range countries, who may have limited access to wildlife health expertise. Most of the recommendations we provide also apply to other big cat species.

Transboundary leopard conservation in the Lesser Caucasus and the Alborz Range by U. Breitenmoser, E. Askerov, M. Soofi, C. Breitenmoser-Würsten, A. Heidelberg, K. Manvelyan and N. Zazanashvili

Recent discovery of leopard reproduction in two sites at the south-western rim of the Lesser Caucasus and the Talysh Mountains give hope for a recovery of this regionally Critically Endangered large cat. Increasing fragmentation of the entire range of the Persian leopard Panthera pardus tulliana may however hamper the natural recolonisation of the Caucasus. The revision and update of the Strategy for the Conservation of the Leopard in the Caucasus Ecoregion, scheduled for April 2017, should hence emphasise the importance of the transboundary connectivity of suitable habitat and healthy prey populations across the Caucasus and with neighbouring mountain ranges.

Persian leopard semen collection at Tehran Zoo by J. Dias Ferreira and A. Sliwa

After integrating the Tehran Zoo into the Persian Leopard PL European Endangered Species Programme EEP, semen was collected from the 17 years old Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor male "Rica" to secure its genes for the breeding programme. The PL EEP is currently undertaking big efforts to improve its gene pool and to increase the reproductive output to be able to provide animals for the Persian leopard reintroduction in the Caucasus.

First record of Pallas's cat in Kavedeh No-hunting Area, Iran by Y. T. Otaghvar, N. R. Chahartaghi, P. Sepahvand, M. Kazari and A. S. Khayat

During a camera trapping survey to assess preliminarily the status of the Pallas’s cat Otocolobus manul in Central Alborz Mountains, a Pallas’s cat was pictured in Kavdeh No-hunting Area in summer 2016 for the first time. The closest place where the species is known to occur is almost 60 km - air distance - to the west in Kouh Sefid No-hunting Area where a Pallas’s cat was photographed by a ranger in 2010.


Supporting Online Material

Figures F1 and F2

GPS collars reveal transboundary movements by Persian leopards in Iran by M. S. Farhadinia, I. Memarian, K. Hobeali et al.

Comparatively little is known about the socio-spatial organisation of leopards Panthera pardus, and how it affects their probability of population persistence in west and central Asia where the species has lost around 84% of its former range. Remote habitat and cryptic nature make the leopards inherently difficult to study while sufficient information is crucial on which to base effective conservation. Here, we report preliminary findings from the first comprehensive telemetry study on Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in north-eastern Iran, near the Turkmenistan border. Between September 2014 and August 2016, we captured six adult leopards (5 males and 1 female) and fitted them with GPS-satellite Iridium collars to provide information on basic ecology of the Persian leopard. We calculated MCP 100% home ranges of 62.9 to 1,098.3 km2. With the exception of a young, possibly dispersing male, leopards had smaller ranges than that of the only other Persion leopard collared prior to this study. Two leopards crossed international borders and wandered into Turkmenistan,revealing that two countries may share connected leopard population across the Kopet Dag region.

First camera trap photos of leopard in the Galiat Forests of Abbottabad, Pakistan by M. Awais, T. Mahmood, I. Uz-Zamman and M. Waseem

During a recent study on leopard Panthera pardus distribution and human-leopard conflict in the Galiat Forests of Abbottabad district, Pakistan, during 2015/16 we camera trapped for the first time a common leopard.

Collaboration brings hope for the last Amur leopards by L. Feng, E. Shevtsova, A. Vitkalova, D. Matyukhina, D. Miquelle, V. Aramilev, T. Wang, P. Mu, R. Xu and J. Ge

In fall 2015 researchers from Beijing Normal University BNU China and Land of the Leopard National Park LLNP in the Russian Far East signed a collaborative agreement for transboundary cooperation in surveys and research of the Amur tiger Panthera tigris altaica and Amur leopard Panthera pardus orientalis. During this meeting,camera trap databases from both sides were combined for both species for the first time ever in a systematic way.


Supporting Online Material

Figures F1 and F2

Report of melanistic jungle cats from Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India by Y. K. Sahu, S. Bhattacharjee, Z. Kidwai, S. Sharma, D. S. Shaktawat and D. Khandal

The jungle cat Felis chaus is a habitat generalist and a quite commonly found wild cat on the Indian subcontinent. Earlier studies from South-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent reported melanism in wild felids such as in leopards Panthera pardus, Asiatic golden cats Catopuma temminckii, leopard cats Prionailurus bengalensis etc. A recently conducted camera trapping exercise confirmed the presence of a few melanistic jungle cats from the semi-arid dry deciduous forests of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve RTR in the state of Rajasthan, north-western India. This is the first photographic report of the melanistic form of the jungle cat from this part of the world.

First photographic record of Asiatic wildcat in Bandhavgarh TR, India by T. A. Rather, S. Kumar, S. Tajdar, R. K. Srivastava and J. A. Khan

The Asiatic wildcat Felis silvestris ornata is one of five subspecies of the wildcat Felis silvestris listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red list. Being previously unreported in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve TR, we provide here the first photographic evidences of Asiatic wildcat in Bandhavgarh TR from a camera trap survey. During subsequent camera trapping, we recorded kittens of Asiatic wildcat, strongly suggesting the existence of a breeding population in Bandhavgarh TR.

Recent records of the Pallas's cat in Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, Ladakh, India by N. Mahar, S. Shrotriya, B. Habib, S. Singh, J. Takpa and S. A. Hussain

Despite a wide distribution in Asia, Pallas’s cat or manul Otocolobus manul is a rarely recorded small carnivore in India. Here, we report three observations of this majestic furry carnivore in Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary CWLS. In India, there is little information available on the ecology and status of this threatened species.

First photographic record of Asiatic golden cat in eastern Nagaland, India by S. Longchar, K. Yhoshu and R. Pandit

Asiatic golden cat Catopuma temminckii was photographed by camera traps in one of the remotest locations of Nagaland. The cat was pictured in a community forest of Choklangan village at the border between India and Myanmar. This is a part of the Indo-Myanmar region, one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world. Habitat destruction through jhum (slash and burn cultivation) is probably the greatest threat for the Asiatic golden cat in Nagaland.

Photographic evidence of marbled cat from Dampa Tiger Reserve, Mizoram, India by J. Sethy, S. Gouda and N. S. Chauhan

The marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata is one of the rarest and the least known felid species. It is listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List and in Appendix I of CITES. In India, the species is restricted to eastern Himalayan foothills, especially Arunachal Pradesh. Twice a marbled cat was photo-captured in tropical mixed forestof Dampa Tiger Reserve at an elevation of 586 m in December 2015. In view of the fact that, there is a great paucity of information on the present status and distribution of the species, and that not many confirmed records are available, the photographic evidence of a marble cat in Dampa Tiger Reserve can contribute to determine its distribution and habitat.

Update on the situation of the Malayan tiger by M. de Vittorio

The Malayan Tiger Panthera tigris jacksoni was described in 2004. 13 years after its designation as a new subspecies, only 250-340 individuals may be left in the wild, and numbers seem to decline further throughout its range. Habitat loss, especially in forest reserves, increased human-tiger conflict, poaching and illegal wildlife trade represent the major threats to tigers in Peninsular Malaysia. In order not to let the Malayan tiger face extinction, bold and immediate action must be undertaken by the Malaysian Government, supported by the public.

High elevation record of marbled cat in Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo by P. Carter

The marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata has a broad distribution across the Indomalayanregion but is rarely seen and poorly known. This record at an elevation of 1,780 m on a sealed access road within the Kinabalu Park (Sabah, Malaysian Borneo) significantly extends the previously known range of elevation in Borneo, which includes records at 1,340 m and 1,550 m.

Incidental killing of Sunda clouded leopard in Sarawak, Malaysia by J. Mohd-Azlan, M. C. Ka Yi, J. Liam, L. Engkamat and O. B. Tisen

The Sunda clouded leopard Neofelis diardi is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and is protected throughout its range. Little is known of its hunting in Sarawak, Malaysia. We conducted an opportunistic survey on the distribution of clouded leopard in Sarawak based on skins and reports of its hunting from 2013 to 2016. We also visited 38 towns and villages during this period. We asked local hunters if they own skins of Sunda clouded leopard and if they could show them to us. Based on this survey, the distribution of Sunda clouded leopard in western Sarawak appears to be patchy. Most of the records showed that the species persists in secondary and primary forest in central and northern Sarawak. Based on skins, a total of nine areas with Sunda clouded leopard presence have been identified. Killing of Sunda clouded leopard was mostly incidental and occasionally in self-defense with little evidence of cross boundary trade.


Supporting Online Material

Figures F1-F3

Second record of a melanistic Asiatic golden cat in Sumatra by E. E Poor, A. Firman, E. Pajaitan, Tugio, Zulfahmi and M. J. Kelly

Asiatic golden cats Catopuma temminckii are currently listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List with a declining population trend, largely due to habitat loss and poaching. As one of the most polymorphic felids, multiple pelage morphs have been recorded in the northern parts of its range, while in the southern parts, the reddish-brown coat is dominant. In central Sumatra, field teams conducted an ad-hoc camera trap study in Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve from March - June 2016. Seven videos of golden cats were recorded, including one melanistic individual. Although camera trapping efforts have taken place throughout Sumatra for years, this is only the second recorded melanistic individual, suggesting rare occurrence of the recessive mutation leading to melanism in Sumatra, despite more common occurrence elsewhere.


Supporting Online Material

Video V1 and V2

First record of the bay cat in mosaic heath/peat-swamp forest, Kalimantan, Indonesia by S. M. Cheyne, Adul, F. J. F. van Veen, B. R. Capilla, N. Boyd, Armadiyanto and S. Maimunah

The Borneo bay cat Catopuma badia has been confirmed in mosaic heath/peat-swamp forest habitat for the first time. Through the use of camera traps, we present new location information on the distribution of bay cats in Kalimantan. This new location is approximately 64 km south-east outside the range depicted by the IUCN Red List assessment 2016 and is in a habitat type from which bay cats have not previously been recorded. Using 54 cameras over 28 locations, the bay cat was captured after 28 days (532 trap nights). The forest landscape in which this bay cat was discovered is not protected, thus the authors have taken the decision not to release the exact coordinates.

Steps in tackling the illegal cheetah trade by N. Mitchell and S. Durant

Recent analysis shows cheetah Acinonyx jubatus in the wild to be in decline across most of its range with around 7,000 individuals remaining, most of which are in unprotected lands. Meanwhile, the illegal trade in cheetah has emerged on an alarming scale with the live trade for exotic pets being fuelled by the rise of social media. The live trade mostly targets cheetah cubs in the Horn of Africa, located within easy reach to feed demand in the Middle East. Since 2013 CITES has cast a welcome spotlight on the illegal cheetah trade and at the end of 2016 the Parties to CITES approved a landmark set of recommendations and decisions for governments to implement. This has been accompanied by several steps that show a willingness to tackle the issue in both source and demand countries; UAE has enacted legislation to ban private ownership of dangerous and wild animals; and in the Horn of Africa, a formal strategy to tackle the cheetah trade in the region has been drafted. Such momentum from governments and other concerned bodies is encouraging but must be maintained without a dimming of the spotlight for public scrutiny. Given the precarious state of cheetah in the wild, virtually any level of illegal trade is likely to have an impact on wild populations.

Jaguar fangs trafficking by Chinese in Bolivia by A. M. Nuñez and E. Aliaga-Rossel

We present evidence of jaguar Panthera onca fangs trafficking promoted by Chinese citizens residing in Bolivia. Such events are a wake-up call for the negative effect of this illegal activity on jaguar populations. It requires effective immediate actions of awareness raising, prevention, and control at local, regional and international level to stop this new threat.