Sumatran wild cats captured on camera

Nov. 17, 2011 at 5:51 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Five of the seven wild cat species on the island of Sumatra were caught on camera in a tract of forest being lost to deforestation, conservationists say.

A World Wildlife Fund survey captured images of the Sumatran tiger, clouded leopard, marble cat, golden cat, and leopard cat in a forest of rich biodiversity known as Bukit Tigapuluh or Thirty Hills, an area threatened by encroachment and forest clearance for industrial plantations, a WWF release reported Thursday.

WWF-Indonesia is urging companies and authorities to take immediate steps to save the valuable area.

"Four of these species are protected by Indonesian government regulations and are listed as threatened by extinction on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List," said Karmila Parakkasi, Coordinator of the WWF-Indonesia Tiger Research Team.

"These amazing cat photos ... remind us of how much we could lose as more of these fragile forests are lost to logging, plantations and illegal encroachment."

Bukit Tigapuluh is designated a "global priority Tiger Conservation Landscape," one of six landscapes the government of Indonesia pledged to protect at last year's International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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