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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.



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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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


11:52AM PDT on May 27, 2013

It's really sad that because of us, these extremely beautiful creatures could dissappear :(

4:07PM PDT on May 26, 2013

What magnificent creatures these are. We need fewer humans on this earth and more animals. I'm all for the death penalty for humans. If they must be criminals, then I have no problem with eliminating them from this earth. Fence in the humans and give back the land to the animals.

3:07PM PDT on May 24, 2013

Truly heartbreaking news.

7:14AM PDT on May 24, 2013

"I am forever appalled by the way we humans tame and treat animals for our own selfish ends. In the final analysis this arrogance that we display towards "lesser" life and towards nature is going to recoil on us. I am convinced that the deterioration in our humanity is directly related to our abuse of life and nature.”

What a very sad story......

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Exactly how MANY apples or peaches, for example, must one eat before getting the painkilling effect …

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