Monday, October 26, 2009

Recent News from the Field
It's been an exciting time for CLP supported researchers studying Borneo's wild cats. We just received word from Andy Hearn and Jo Ross that after two months of incredibly difficult work setting up camera traps in Sabah's Tabin Wildlife Reserve they have captured five photos of clouded leopards representing at least three individual animals. In addition, they've photographed two marbled cats, a species that usually proves challenging to capture with cameras.

However, not all visitors to the camera traps are as welcome. Although it is the world's smallest bear species, the sun bear is proving to be quite a nuisance to Andy and Jo's project. Recently a bear ripped two cameras from their trees and gave them the chew toy treatment. The dying act for both cameras was to photograph their murderer! At least it looks like the bear had some fun, right?

Despite the damage, the team was able to repair the cameras so they can be placed back out in the field. While these events are amusing to us, they can be devastating to researchers who count on every piece of data they can get for their project. Andy and Jo also just had two cameras stolen by poachers. We hope this is the end of their bad luck with the cameras.

This photo is so great I wanted to share it too. This elephant stolled down the trail just 20 minutes before Andy and Jo arrived to check the camera. How cool is that?

For more information and stories of the tribulations of studying elusive cats in the tropics, visit the Bornean Wild Cat blog.

In other field news, Dr. Susan Cheyne, working on the CLP supported Sabangau Felid Project in Indonesian Borneo, has captured two marbled cats on camera in the space of two months. This is an especially noteworthy achievement since no previous sightings of marbled cats have taken place in this area since 1994. For more information, visit the project blog.


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