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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Studying Cats in Sumatra


Jennifer McCarthy, a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amhearst has recently begun her research project studying the cats of Indonesia's Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park on the island of Sumatra. The goal of the project is to capture clouded leopards, marbled cats, and golden cats and fit them with VHS or GPS collars for tracking. Trapping efforts in one site within the park yielded no felids, so they have now moved to another site where camera trap images indicate a high felid density. On December 13 after only thirteen days of trapping in the new site they captured a female golden cat! The cat is now being tracked using a VHS collar. She is the first golden cat collared in Indonesia and only the third Asiatic golden cat ever collared. The data gathered through tracking her movements and activity will provide much-needed information about this little known cat. We wish Jennifer and her team well and hope they will be successful in catching a clouded leopard soon!

Thanks to Jennifer for sharing her field report. Check it out if you'd like more detail on the project.

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