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Cats Are Going Extinct: 12 Most Endangered Feline Species

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Flat-Headed Cat

This unusual species is perhaps one of the least-known felid species in the world. It is native to Borneo, Sumatra and the Thai-Malay Peninsula. The Flat-Headed Cat is one of the smaller species of wild cat, and lives among wetlands. It is listed endangered, with fewer than 2,500 mature individuals left in the wild, and the loss of the species is due primarily to the destruction of the wetlands on which they depend. Like the fishing cats, this species is great at catching fish and have even been seen washing objects in the same way that raccoons do. But, the loss of habitat — mostly do to conversion into palm oil plantations — may mean it will disappear along with the forest.


Bay Cat

This is the Bay Cat, and it may disappear from the planet before we even learn anything about it. This, like the flat-headed cat, is not a well-studied species and researchers know very little about it. Indeed, it wasn’t even photographed until 1998! The Bay cat is found only in Borneo, and is quickly disappearing due to the deforestation of its habitat for commercial logging and oil palm plantations. Only an estimated 2,500 of these cats exist, and the population is in decline. This may be a species that remains a mystery until it disappears.

 

Tiger

Tigers are perhaps the most iconic cat species in the world, next to the African lion, and one of the most loved animal species worldwide. And yet, despite the respect, admiration and fear it inspires, it is endangered and disappearing from the wild at a rapid clip. There are six subspecies of tiger, including the more familiar Sumatran Tiger and Bengal Tiger, and some are more threatened than others. But the tiger as a species is in danger everywhere. Threats include a loss of habitat, but also they are hunted for their skins, and for parts of their bodies used as pain killers and aphrodisiacs (though there is zero scientific evidence that any part of a tiger has any medicinal properties). Though protected through CITIES, the black market trade in tigers (both alive and in pieces) is thriving. Today, the captive tiger populations for several subspecies outnumber the wild populations. Without more stringent protections and better enforcement, these big cats may disappear from the wild entirely.

Photo Credit: Jim Sanderson

Photo Credit: Jim Sanderson

Photo Credit: Phillippe Put

Also Check Out: 10 Most Threatened Animal Species (Slideshow)

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

FromTreehugger, By Jaymi Heimbuch

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TreeHugger

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

179 comments

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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

Tragic!

9:50AM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

THANK YOU FOR SHARING

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