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Big Discovery in Big Cat Biodiversity

Tonic

3189 days ago   Article ID# 402088
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World Wildlife Fund

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (Tonic) - Kashmira Kakati, a wildlife biologist, had initially been on a quest to track and document gibbons in a remote, dense Indian rain forest. But monkeys are so 2004. This is the year of the tiger after all, and both World Wildlife Fund and National Geographic have made it their mission this year to draw special attention to the preservation of the world's remaining big cats.

As National Geographic reports, Kakati was first puzzled by and then curious to better understand the tracks she was observing. She ended up pursuing a detour in her field study that subsequently resulted in a surprising and terrific discovery: Kakati has found that the Jeypore-Dehing forest is home to seven separate species of large cats.

In a land area of just over 350 square miles, the find comes complete with photo documentation and represents a record level of confirmed biodiversity for large felines living within in a single ecosystem.

Telling National Geographic "I need to find out what's there," upon seeing paw print after paw print, Kakati understood that the forest and what was living there represented a mystery waiting to be explored, adding that regarding what she might find, "nobody had any clue. People who had been in the forest 30 years didn't know."

Through setting up a network of 30 camera traps, Kakati captured images of the seven distinct species living in the forest during a 2-year period from 2007 to 2009. National Geographic reports that in addition to the big cats, she captured shots of several other rare species as well.

Although the overall trajectory of the status of the world's remaining big cats continues to be dire, this major big cat biodiversity discovery offers great news, and it arrives during a year that could not possibly be more appropriate.

Copyright 2018 Tonic   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 3189 days ago   Article ID# 402088

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