Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples, FL - NAS
MAMMAL MONITORING PROGRAM - JOBS
While it’s a bit hard to see at dusk, this bobcat managed to catch a young hog up on Wild Turkey Strand Preserve in Lee County. If you are or know a recent college graduate that might be interested in being part of this project, apply for our 6-month Land Stewardship Internship Program before the end of July! 
Audubon Internship

MAMMAL MONITORING PROGRAM - JOBS

While it’s a bit hard to see at dusk, this bobcat managed to catch a young hog up on Wild Turkey Strand Preserve in Lee County. If you are or know a recent college graduate that might be interested in being part of this project, apply for our 6-month Land Stewardship Internship Program before the end of July!

Audubon Internship

The Cat that Loves Water:

Determined scientists and photographers finally capture images of the rare and elusive fishing cat

by Morgan Heim

WE KNEW OUR INTENTION TO PHOTOGRAPH FISHING CATS in the wilds of Southeast Asia wouldn’t be easily accomplished. Other than National Geographic Society filmmakers Belinda Wright and Stanley Breeden, who took a few pictures of the cats in the 1990s, few people had seen, let alone photographed, the animals in the wild. In fact, since 2003, Thai biologist Passanan Cutter, founder of the Fishing Cat Research and Conservation Project, has observed only one free-roaming cat.

Science knows little about the fishing cat, which embraces a rather unfeline affinity for water. The animal lives in Southeast Asian swamps, where it swims and hunts fish. Weighing up to 30 pounds, it has adapted to its aquatic environment: It has webbed feet, short legs, tiny ears, spotted, almost water-resistant fur and a muscular tail it uses as a rudder.

Jim Sanderson, a member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and founder of the Small Cat Conservation Alliance, believes the species numbers no more than 3,000 individuals, scattered mostly throughout Thailand, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Rampant habitat destruction, persecution and the bush-meat trade have caused an estimated decline in the cat’s numbers of more than 50 percent since those photos taken by Breeden and Wright in the 1990s…

(read more: National Wildlife Federation)

photos by Morgan Heim

Mother bobcat and her three kittens

Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex, California

For a few years the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex, in California, has had some resident bobcats that we often see hunting around Visitor’s Center or in the equipment yard nearby. Sometimes staff or visitors are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the female when she has a litter of kittens - this time they were hunting near the VC and Refuge residence where staff have been doing some work on the vegetation. These photos were taken from a distance, so as to not disturb the animals.

Photography by Mark Stewart, USFWS

(via: Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR)

Watch The Earth Shattering Moment This Pallas’s Cat Discovered a Camera Outside His Den

by Stephen Messenger

Motion-sensing “camera traps” placed deep in remote ecosystems have been instrumental in recording the natural behavior of some of the world’s most elusive animals — though sometimes they do catch something else: the earth-shattering moment they seem to realize that they’re being watched.

Just watch as this ferociously furry Pallas’s cat discovers the camera placed outside his den then move in for a better look.

These small felines, standing roughly the same size as a domestic house cat, are notoriously shy in their mountainous habitat high in the Himalayan mountain range. Footage like this, gathered from camera traps, is often the only evidence researchers have to go on that they are actually there.

In fact, just earlier this year,  these majestic little Pallas’s cats was discovered living in Nepal for the first time ever — offering tantalizing clues that the notoriously shy species’ range is larger than previously thought.

(via: The Dodo)

BABY KITTENS IN THE NEWS:

Pallas’s Cats Born at Wildlife Park in Scotland

Although they are a fairly common species in zoos, very little is known about the Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul) in the wild.

David Barclay, one of the senior keepers at the Highland Wildlife Park, manages the European breeding programme for Pallas’s cat and maintains the International Studbook which records all captive Pallas’s cats anywhere in the world. Although only classed as Near Threatened, one of the low risk threat categories, we have seen how the status of a species that was long considered common can become highly threatened in a very short period of time…

(read more: Highland Wildlife Park - Youtube)

Size Matters: Small Mammals More Abundant in Fragmented Forests, Large Animals Not So Much
by Jose Hong
Habitat fragmentation and hunting are both distinct critical issues facing forests today that require their own countermeasures. Yet, much research has chosen to conflate the two, potentially leading to ineffective ecosystem management.

According to a new study recently published in mongabay.com’s open access journal, Tropical Conservation Science, the interaction of both factors can contradict the effects of hunting and fragmentation alone, revealing a research and management gap that urgently needs to be filled.  The research, authored by Andrew Kosydar, Loveday Conquest and Joshua Tewksbury of the University of Washington, and Damián Rumiz of the Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, studied several sites within both contiguous and fragmented Chiquitano forests of southeastern Bolivia. To record animals, they used track-plots and camera-traps…

(read more: MongaBay)

photo of margay, a smaller cat species, by Malene Thyssen

Size Matters: Small Mammals More Abundant in Fragmented Forests, Large Animals Not So Much

by Jose Hong

Habitat fragmentation and hunting are both distinct critical issues facing forests today that require their own countermeasures. Yet, much research has chosen to conflate the two, potentially leading to ineffective ecosystem management.
According to a new study recently published in mongabay.com’s open access journal, Tropical Conservation Science, the interaction of both factors can contradict the effects of hunting and fragmentation alone, revealing a research and management gap that urgently needs to be filled.

The research, authored by Andrew Kosydar, Loveday Conquest and Joshua Tewksbury of the University of Washington, and Damián Rumiz of the Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, studied several sites within both contiguous and fragmented Chiquitano forests of southeastern Bolivia. To record animals, they used track-plots and camera-traps…
(read more: MongaBay)
photo of margay, a smaller cat species, by Malene Thyssen
grotesquerie

biomorphosis:

Sand cats (Felis margarita) live in sandy, stony deserts and the only species of cat that survive without water for long period of time (couple of months). Unlike other species of cats, sand cat is poor climber and jumper but proficient digger. It digs burrows in the sand where it hides from the harsh desert sun. 

Paws covered with thick fur protect the cat’s feet from the hot desert sand. These feet cushions also act like snowshoes. They prevent the cat from sinking into the sand and leaving footprints [x].

More leg room, less contact with cars for Ocelots. 
That’s the Rx for ocelots in Texas, says Natl Geo (source). Wildlife highway crossings coming this year may help reduce collisions like the one that killed OM (ocelot male) 276 in November, at Laguna Atascosa Refuge, in south Texas. Finding more space for ocelots to roam will be tougher. The refuge has 12 resident ocelots. 
Photo: US Fish & Wildlife Service
(via: USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System)

More leg room, less contact with cars for Ocelots.

That’s the Rx for ocelots in Texas, says Natl Geo (source). Wildlife highway crossings coming this year may help reduce collisions like the one that killed OM (ocelot male) 276 in November, at Laguna Atascosa Refuge, in south Texas. Finding more space for ocelots to roam will be tougher. The refuge has 12 resident ocelots.

Photo: US Fish & Wildlife Service

(via: USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System)

Black-footed Cat Kittens Born at Philly Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo’s female Black-footed Cat Aza gave birth to a litter of kittens on April 8, 2014: the first Black-footed Cats ever to be born at the Philadelphia Zoo! Their names are Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion. Drogon and Viserion are male and Rhaegal is female.

Before making their debut, the kittens underwent a routine wellness check to make sure they’re healthy. In addition to weighing and sexing them, veterinarians completed full physical examinations of each kitten. A keeper is present to monitor them throughout the day to make sure they’re maneuvering through their habitat well, but as you can see in these photos, they are feeling quite at home already…

Learn more and see a video: ZooBorns