Some people use the term "big cat" to refer to members of the Genus Panthera, while others use the term with much broader meaning. The group of big cats can also include the: tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, cougar, cheetah, snow leopard, and clouded leopard.
The analysis focuses on the same set of large terrestrial mammalian carnivores as singled out in Ripple et al. (). This concerns the 31 species of Carnivora, not including pinnipeds, that have an average adult body mass of 15 kg or more. It is duly realized that comparable conservation issues, including legal ones, may arise with respect to slightly smaller carnivores such as Asiatic golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), caracal (Caracal caracal), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) and wolverine (Gulo gulo), to name a few. One has to draw the line somewhere, however, and for the sake of coherence it makes sense to focus on the same selection as Ripple et al. (). Consequently, where the term ‘large carnivores’ is used below, this should be taken to refer to the 31 aforementioned species. With regard to these species, the present paper examines to what extent current legal instruments already apply to them, and what potential exists for enhancing the significance of the international legal framework for their conservation. Some of the findings presented below may also apply to smaller carnivores.
Thankfully, the team at (RER) — an eco-restoration initiative that aims to restore the peat forest areas in Indonesia’s Kampar Peninsula — is working hard to restrict illegal activities and reforest degraded sites. Soon, chances of long-term forest growth and sustainability of endangered animals like the Sunda clouded leopards will increase.
The conservation status of South-east Asia's nine species of non-Panthera cat is imprecisely known. Flat-headed cat , bay cat and Sunda clouded leopard are confined to South-east Asia, while Asiatic golden cat , marbled cat and mainland clouded leopard occur mostly there. The recent great increase in camera-trapping is generating many verifiable records of non-Panthera cats, usually as by-catch to the surveys' foci. Inspection of such records from Myanmar,Thailand and Vietnam (whole country reviews) and Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Sumatra (Indonesia; single-landscape reviews) show that the evergreen forest species - the two allopatric Catopuma species, the two parapatric clouded leopard species, leopard cat and marbled cat - are all recorded widely. In well-protected areas of suitable habitat the yare found mostly commonly; but densities are much reduced, even in large little fragmentedand little-degraded landscapes, where snaring is heavy (Vietnam andNakai-Nam Theun, Lao PDR). Leopard cat is considerably more resilient than are the others. By contrast, only Cambodian dry forest was found to hold many jungle cats (apparently suitable habitat in Myanmar is poorly surveyed); fishing cat records are exceptional outside surveys specifically for them, and the species seems to have a small, fragmented and vulnerable range in South-east Asia; flat-headed cat has been found widely, but rarely, within its (also fragmented) range. These last three, particularly fishing cat, are served poorly by South-east Asian protected areas. The global priority species for South-east Asiaare arguably flat-headed cat because it occurs nowhere else, and fishing cat becauseno large populations are known from anywhere. By contrast, jungle cat is still apparently numerous outside South-east Asia. With no major near-term increase in conservation attention likely for these nine cat species, regular reviews, duly attending to misidentification risk, of their camera-trap by-catch records could help track, coarsely, seven species' status. Fishing cat, however, requires directed monitoring because of both its apparent perilous status and its non-overlap with typical cameratrap areas; flat-headed cat would also benefit strongly from this.
Although small cats are presumed important as mesopredators in mammalian food chains, they have been largely ignored by biodiversity assessments of Thailand’s protected areas. In November 2009, a workshop involving regional specialists and participants from local universities, conservation organizations and government agencies was convened to assess the current status and distribution of small carnivores. In this paper, we review the small cat by-catch from 24 camera-trap surveys primarily targeting tigers and other large mammals, two radio-telemetry studies, and a small number of direct sightings from 16 protected areas across Thailand. These data were collected between 1996 and 2011 and form the most current available information on distribution and threats for small cats in the country. A total of seven small to medium cat species have been recorded in Thailand. No cat species is restricted to Thailand and while some (leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis, mainland clouded leopard , Asiatic golden cat and marbled cat ) are evidently widespread across the country where habitat is available, abundance and ranging patterns in the recorded sites are poorly understood. Fishing cat , jungle cat and flat-headed cat are each known from few Thai records and localities, and populations may be particularly threatened due to persecution, and loss and degradation of habitat. Small and medium cats in general may be persecuted but seldom appear in wildlife trade inside Thailand with the exception of the clouded leopard. A thorough review of Thai historical records of small cats, to look for patterns of range contraction and habitat use, is needed, with a focus on those species which have not been widely found today (fishing cat, flat-headed cat and jungle cat).
The marbled or clouded pattern is thought to be a variation of the classic tabby pattern. It's a term given to the horizontally aligned swirling of the tabby pattern in certain breeds. The centre of the dark markings contain areas of agouti i.e. the markings are "hollow" or "outlined." This type of pattern occurs in the "Marbled Mist", the marbled variety of Australian Mist (derived from Burmese, Abyssinians and domestic tabbies). Marbled also occurs in a different form in the Bengal (above) through the interaction of wild-type spotting (from the Leopard Cat ancestor) and domestic-type classic tabby. Marbled patterns may be found in other wild/domestic hybrids as more and more of these are developed. The marbled tabby pattern is occasionally been seen in cats with no known Bengal (or other wild-type) ancestry. Other breeds have chosen different terms for this pattern - in the Highland Lynx breed, the marbled tabby pattern is known as "clouded leopard". In some countries with a long indoor/outdoor tradition of cat-keeping, the random-bred population contains a hotch-potch of genes that can come together to create similar patterns.
Guggisberg noted that leopards can be extremely variable in their patterns. In a paper about panthers and ounces of Asia, Pocock used a photo of a leopard skin obtained from southern India; it had large black-rimmed blotches, each containing a number of dots and it resembled the pattern of a jaguar or clouded leopard. Another skin from southern India shown by Pocock had the normal rosettes broken up and fused and so much additional pigment that the animal looked like a black leopard streaked and speckled with yellow.