The Leopard Cat

Spotted Saturday @ Sakaerat Najas Project

The Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is a small felid species with a range spanning India to the Far East of Russia and Indochina. It is a solitary animal, living mostly in tropical evergreen forests. One of our field researchers was lucky enough to spot one crossing the road here at Sakaerat SERS recently.

Leopard Cats hunt at night, and feed mainly on prey such as small mammals, lizards and birds as well as large insects. Here in Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve they share their environment with the Asian Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii) which is larger and able to predate even on deer species, therefore direct competition is rare.

(Not) Fun fact: The Leopard Cat has been mated with domestic cats since the ‘60s to produce hybrid offspring known as the Bengal cat. Since these hybrids are often sterile, the demand for pure Leopard Cats is high and the species continues to be hunted throughout most of its range for fur, food, and as pets.

This image shows a Leopard Cat in front of the shelter of a radiotracked Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia).

 

Photos By Trail Camera

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Spotted Saturday’s

Camera Traps….a vital tool used in the research carried out by the Najas Project.

To study snake behaviour within their chosen habitats our field researchers place devices in situ and analyse images to collect data. Camera traps are set up on timelapse mode. Unfortunately ‘PIR ‘(movement detection) is not effective for documenting cold blooded animals, however, timelapse allows us get an insight into the lives of these secretive animals.

Attached is a female Naja kaouthia who on this occasion inhabited a termite mound.

Our camera traps last for approximately three days post-placement, therefore, unsurprisingly we also capture images of the vast amount fauna within Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve.

Every Saturday – ‘Spotted Saturday’s’ – we will present these interesting and sometimes amusing images.

Enjoy!