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Cats Are Going Extinct: 12 Most Endangered Feline Species

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Cats Are Going Extinct: 12 Most Endangered Feline Species

Snow Leopard

Today, May 17th, is Endangered Species Day. We are celebrating it by bringing attention to the diverse and beautiful felid species around the world that are in danger of becoming extinct. The following species are either currently listed as endangered or vulnerable. We hope that by learning about these amazing relatives of our well-loved domestic cats, readers will be encouraged to act to protect these species.

First up is the well-known snow leopard. This iconic cat lives in the unbelievably cold habitats of alpine and subalpine areas Central Asia and is rarely ever seen in the wild based in part because of its elusive nature and in part because there are so few left in the world. The estimated population of this endangered species is somewhere between 4,000 and 6,5000 individuals.

But there are many lesser-known feline species, some that you may never have even heard of before.

Fishing Cat

The fishing cat is a species that proves not all cats hate water, but in fact some love the water. These cats live along rivers and in mangrove swamps in Asia, primarily in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They are skilled swimmers, and are dependent on wetlands for their food. However, human exploitation of fish stocks as well as development of their habitat has had negative effects on the species and they are listed as endangered.

Conservation photographer Morgan Heim has been working on a project titled Cat In Water, which documents the lives of this amazing species, as well as the threats it faces for survival.


Iberian Lynx

The Iberian Lynx is critically endangered, and is the world’s most threatened species of cat with only about 309 living in the wild as of 2013. That is actually up from the roughly 100 individuals estimated to be alive in 2005. Native to the Iberian Peninsula, the Iberian lynx is an expert rabbit hunter — unfortunately it has specialized on only rabbits and the loss of prey due to disease outbreaks as well as habitat has all but wiped it out. Though it is now illegal to hunt them and their habitat is protected, the lynx still falls victim to cars along roads, feral dogs and poaching by humans.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Programa de Conservación Ex-situ del Lince Ibérico

Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar

Also Check Out:  Big Cats Like Boxes Too (Video)

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Read more: Nature, Nature & Wildlife, , , , , , ,

FromTreehugger, By Jaymi Heimbuch

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+ add your own
5:06AM PST on Nov 11, 2014

beautiful and magnificient animals

5:25PM PST on Nov 10, 2014

I support Snow Leopard Conservancy and Snow Leopard Trust- they encourage local herders to protect their sheep by using predator proof corrals, (so as not to tempt the snow leopards), and to not poach the wild prey of the snow leopards.

5:24AM PDT on Sep 13, 2014

The human should take this warning of their devastating the environment or they'll soon fall victim to what they've been doing

3:57AM PDT on Sep 13, 2014

Cats in any breed, size, colour or shape are magnificent and mysterious animals. I couldn't imagine a world without these fabulous creatures.

3:58AM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

thank you for sharing 16/7,

10:39AM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

a tragedy, big cats/wild cats are magnificent

11:30AM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

6:12PM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

What a great list of some cats I have never heard of. Sounds like the greatest action we can take to help them is to STOP eating PALM. There is no sustainably grown palm, even palm oil listed as organic. Funny, palm was used so little until everyone freaked out about transfats. Now palm is everywhere, even in 'natural', 'organic' (and not so) peanut butter. Shame.

8:47AM PDT on Jun 5, 2013


9:50AM PDT on Jun 1, 2013


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Love all these except the dairy. Love spinach raw!

Very informative, I thought I knew a lot but I learned more. Everyone can do their bit, change to a …

That's your reason for avocados? Truly silly.


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