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25 Amazing Cats That Are In Danger Of Disappearing From The Wild

All cats are the best cats, even cats that live in the wild, and especially the really big cats!

Here’s a list of 25 cats, with some descriptions about each one, that are either endangered or are otherwise disappearing from the wild. Which one is your favorite?

All images/descriptions are courtesy of Wikipedia.

#1 Asiatic Cheetah

The Asiatic cheetah survives in protected areas in the eastern-central arid region of Iran, where the human population density is very low. Between December 2011 and November 2013, 84 individuals were sighted in 14 different protected areas, and 82 individuals were identified from camera trap photographs.As of December 2017, fewer than 50 individuals are thought to be remaining in three subpopulations that are scattered over 140,000 km2 (54,000 sq mi) in Iran’s central plateau. In order to raise international awareness for the conservation of the Asiatic cheetah, an illustration was used on the jerseys of the Iran national football team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

#2 Snow Leopard

The snow leopard or ounce (Panthera uncia) is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals and decline about 10% in the next 23 years. As of 2016, the global population was estimated at 4,500 to 8,745 mature individuals.

#3 Fishing Cat

The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. Since 2016, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Fishing cat populations are threatened by destruction of wetlands and declined severely over the last decade. Fishing cats live foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps and mangroves.

#4 Borneo Bay Cat

The bay cat (Catopuma badia), also known as the Bornean cat, Bornean bay cat, or Bornean marbled cat, is a wild cat endemic to the island of Borneo that appears to be relatively rare compared to sympatric felids, based on the paucity of historical, as well as recent records. In 2002, the IUCN classified the forest-dependent species as Endangered because of a projected population decline by more than 20% by 2020 due to habitat loss. As of 2007, the effective population size was suspected to be below 2,500 mature individuals.

#5 Flat-Headed Cat

The flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) is a small wild cat native to the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo and Sumatra. Since 2008, it has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to destruction of wetlands in its habitat. It is suspected that the effective population size could be fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, with no subpopulation having an effective population size with more than 250 adult individuals.

#6 Andean Mountain Cat

The Andean mountain cat (Leopardus jacobita) is a small wild cat native to the high Andes that has been classified as Endangered by IUCN because fewer than 2,500 individuals are thought to exist in the wild.

It was first described by Emilio Cornalia who named it in honour of Jacobita Mantegazza. It is one of only two cat species for which no subspecies has been described.

#7 Pallas’s cat

The Pallas's cat (Otocolobus manul), also called the Manul, is a small wild cat with a broad but fragmented distribution in the grasslands and montane steppes of Central Asia. It is negatively affected by habitat degradation, prey base decline, and hunting, and has therefore been classified as Near Threatened by IUCN since 2002.

#8 Iberian (Spanish) Lynx

The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is a wild cat species native to the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe that is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It preys almost exclusively on the European rabbit. In the 20th century, the Iberian lynx population declined because of sharp declines in rabbit populations, caused by myxomatosis, rabbit haemorrhagic disease and overhunting, fragmentation of grassland and forest habitats and poaching.

#9 Caracal

The caracal (Caracal caracal) is a medium-sized wild cat native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and India. The caracal is characterised by a robust build, long legs, a short face, long tufted ears and long canine teeth. Its coat is uniformly reddish tan or sandy, while the ventral parts are lighter with small reddish markings. It reaches 40–50 cm (16–20 in) at the shoulder and weighs 8–18 kg (18–40 lb). It was first scientifically described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1777. Eight subspecies are recognised.

#10 Margay

The margay (Leopardus wiedii) is a small cat native to Central and South America. A solitary and nocturnal cat, it lives mainly in primary evergreen and deciduous forest.

Until the 1990s, margays were hunted illegally for the wildlife trade, which resulted in a large population decrease. The margay has been listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN since 2008 because remaining populations are thought to be declining due to loss of habitat following conversion of forests.

#12 African Golden Cat

Not to be confused with Asian golden cat or Bay cat.

The African golden cat (Caracal aurata) is a wild cat endemic to the rainforests of West and Central Africa. It is threatened due to deforestation and bushmeat hunting and listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

#13 Asian Golden Cat

The Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii, syn. Pardofelis temminckii), also called the Asiatic golden cat and Temminck's cat, is a medium-sized wild cat of the northeastern Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2008, and is threatened by hunting pressure and habitat loss, since Southeast Asian forests are undergoing the world's fastest regional deforestation.

#14 Sand Cat

The sand cat (Felis margarita), also known as the sand dune cat, is the only cat living foremost in true deserts. This small cat is widely distributed in the deserts of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. It was listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2002 because the population was considered fragmented and small with a declining trend. It was downlisted to Least Concern in 2016.

#15 Amur Leopard

The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a leopard subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and the Jilin Province of northeast China. It is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. In 2007, only 19–26 wild Amur leopards were estimated to survive. As of 2015, fewer than 60 individuals are estimated to survive in Russia and China.

#16 Sumatran Tiger

The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) is a tiger subspecies that lives in the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It was listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List in 2008, as the population was estimated at 441 to 679 individuals, with no subpopulation larger than 50 individuals and a declining trend.

#17 Clouded Leopard

The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is a wild cat occurring from the Himalayan foothills through mainland Southeast Asia into China. Since 2008, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Its total population is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing population trend, and no single population numbering more than 1,000 adults. The clouded leopard is the state animal of the Indian state of Meghalaya.

#18 Marbled Cat

The marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) is a small wild cat of South and Southeast Asia, where it is suspected to occur over a large range. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.

The marbled cat was once considered to belong to the pantherine lineage of cats. Genetic analysis has shown it to be closely related to the Asian golden cat and the bay cat, all of which diverged from other felids about 9.4 million years ago.

#19 Leopard Cat

The leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is a small wild cat native to continental South, Southeast and East Asia. Since 2002 it has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List as it is widely distributed but threatened by habitat loss and hunting in parts of its range.

Historically, the leopard cat of continental Asia was considered the same species as the Sunda leopard cat. As of 2017, the latter is recognised as a distinct species, with the taxonomic name Prionailurus javanensis.

#20 Maltese Tiger

The Maltese tiger, or blue tiger, is a reported but unproven coloration morph of a tiger, reported mostly in the Fujian Province of China. It is said to have bluish fur with dark grey stripes. Most of the Maltese tigers reported have been of the South Chinese population. The South Chinese tiger today is critically endangered, due to their illegal and continued use in traditional Chinese medicine and the "blue" alleles may be wholly extinct. Blue tigers have also been reported in Korea.

#21 Golden Tabby Tiger

A golden tiger, golden tabby tiger or strawberry tiger is a tiger with a colour variation caused by a recessive gene. The coloration is a result of captive breeding, inbreeding and can simply not occur in the wild. Like the white tiger, it is a color form and not a separate species.

No official name has been designated for the colour. It is sometimes referred to as the strawberry tiger due to the strawberry blonde coloration. Their striping is much paler than usual and may fade into spots or large prominent patches. Golden tigers also tend to be larger and, due to the effect of the gene on the hair shaft, have softer fur than their orange relatives.

#22 Anatolian Leopard

The Anatolian leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana), also called the Asia Minor leopard, was proposed in the 19th century as a distinct leopard subspecies native to south-western Turkey. Based on morphological analysis, it was proposed to retain the name 'Anatolian leopard' for the population that lived in south-western Turkey, where leopards are considered extinct since the mid-1970s. To date, no leopard has been recorded in this area.

#23 Rusty Spotted Cat

The rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) is one of the cat family's smallest members, of which historical records are known only from India and Sri Lanka. In 2012, it was also recorded in the western Terai of Nepal. Since 2016, the global wild population is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List as it is fragmented and affected by loss and destruction of prime habitat, deciduous forests.

#24 European Wildcat

The European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) is the wildcat nominate subspecies that inhabits forests of Western, Southern Central and Eastern Europe up to the Caucasus Mountains. It is absent in Scandinavia and has been extirpated in England and Wales.

In France, European wildcats are predominantly nocturnal, but are also active in the daytime when undisturbed by human activities.

#25 Black Footed Cat

The black-footed cat (Felis nigripes), also called small-spotted cat, is the smallest African cat and endemic to the southwestern arid zone of Southern Africa. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2002, as the population is suspected to decline due to bushmeat poaching, persecution, traffic accidents and predation by domestic animals.[

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Written by Skeptical Kitten

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