Rusty Spotted Cat - New Addition in Corbett

The Rusty Spotted Cat (Felis rubiginosa) is a new addition to the list of cat species in Corbett (photographs on pib.nic.in). The Rusty Spotted Cat is a highly endangered cat species, which has been accorded the highest statutory protection under schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, besides appendix I of the CITES. The species is little smaller than the domestic cat with a rufescent or fawn grey coat. It is targeted by professional track hunters for its valuable fur.

This Cat is endemic to India and Sri Lanka, and has been reported mainly in the Western Ghats, besides possibly in some pockets of Jammu and Central India. During the recent country level estimation of tigers and co-predators (in 2010), its presence has also been reported in the Western areas of Pilibhit.

Corbett Tiger Reserve has the unique distinction of being the first 9 tiger reserves where Project Tiger was launched in 1973. The reserve and its landscape, especially around Morghati, Pakhro and nearby areas harbour a number of cat species like Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, besides a very high density of tiger.

The current tiger occupancy as per the assessment of 2010 in the Corbett Block covers an area of 2287 sq.km. with an estimate of 214 (190-239 tigers). The Corbett area has the highest tiger density in the world (9.4 tigers per 100 sq.km.) at the landscape scale.

This rare elusive cat was photographed by a research team of the Wildlife Institute of India at a camera trap station on the road on 28th July and 3rd August, 2011, near the well-known Morghati Forest Rest House within the Reserve. 

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