Leopard caught by a camera trap in the Jeypore-Dehing forest. Photo by: Kashmira Kakati.
Using camera traps over a two-year period, wildlife biologist Kashmira Kakati has discovered seven species of wild cats living in the same forest: the Jeypore-Dehing lowland forests in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Yet the cat-crazy ecosystem is currently threatened by deforestation, unsustainable extractive industries, including crude oil and coal, and big hydroelectric projects. Some of the cats are also imperiled by poachers. In light of this discovery, conservationists are calling on the Indian government to protect the vulnerable forest system.
Kakati captured on camera traps (see photos) the jungle cat Felis chaus), leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), golden cat (Catopuma temminckii), the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata), the leopard (Panthera pardus), and the world’s largest cat, the tiger (Panthera tigris).
Photos: highest diversity of cats in the world discovered in threatened forest of India
Classified as Vulnerable, the clouded leopard in the Jeypore-Dehing forest. Photo by: Kashmira Kakati.
The marbled cat is considered Vulnerable. Photo by: Kashmira Kakati.
The golden cat is considered Near Threatened. Photo by: Kashmira Kakati.
The leopard cat is not endangered. Photo by: Kashmira Kakati.
The jungle cat is not endangered. Photo by: Kashmira Kakati.
India’s biggest predator, the tiger, pictured here from a camera trap in the Jeypore-Dehing forest. Photo by: Kashmira Kakati.