BNF’s Cameras for Cats initiative aims to bring together leading experts, NGOs and government partners to identify priority wild cat populations, tackle threats and raise awareness of these lesser known species. Ultimately, our goal is to create species action plans and drive forward on-the-ground conservation efforts.
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Borneo’s rainforests are a global hotspot for small cat biodiversity. Five species are endemic to the island: the Sunda clouded leopard, Sunda leopard cat, bay cat, marbled cat and flat-headed cat. Little is known about these animals, but most populations are believed to be in decline due to widespread habitat destruction and poaching.
In response to these threats, we have launched a multi-landscape camera trapping project, which will better inform our conservation actions and shed light on the secret lives of Borneo's elusive wild cats.
Borneo’s rainforests are rich with biodiversity. However, the biodiversity is increasingly threatened by habitat loss, environmental degradation and poaching. The island’s wild cat species are of particular concern, as they naturally occur at low densities and have received relatively little research or conservation focus to date.
Founded on more than 10 years of camera trap survey data collected in the Sebangau National Park, we have launched our Cameras for Cats campaign to support the innovative project and remedy this situation. We are proposing a new, visible focus on the conservation of wild cats in Indonesian Borneo, including the island’s largest predator, the Sunda clouded leopard, and the endemic bay cat, which is found nowhere else on Earth.
4 of the 5 species of wild cat in Borneo are declining due to human activities, putting them at risk of extinction.
This project runs across three very different and unique landscapes: Barito Ulu, deep in the geographical heart of Borneo; Rungan, which encompasses a sizeable chunk of mostly-intact lowland forest; and the Sebangau National Park, one of the largest peat-swamp forests in the world.
Using camera trap footage, we will determine the distribution of Borneo’s five cat species across multiple landscapes for a comprehensive assessment of their populations and distribution. By evaluating the ways these animals are adapting to human disturbance, we can develop targeted species action plans, which will lead to improved conservation management to directly combat imminent threats to these beautiful animals.