First photographic evidence of the elusive bay cat from Ulu Temburong National Park

Researchers from the Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research (IBER), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) have captured video footage of a rare Bornean cat, the bay cat (Catopuma badia) from Ulu Temburong National Park (UTNP). The bay cat is one of five felid species on Borneo and is endemic to the island. The reddish-brown colored animal is one of the least known wild cats in the world. It is listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

For over three years, the team with support from UBD (IBER FIC Block Grant), Panthera and the Robertson Foundation, have been surveying the mammal diversity with camera trapping in the area. The research group consists of Dr Salwa Khalid (IBER UBD), Prof Ulmar Grafe (FOS UBD) and Dr Andrew Hearn (Oxford University).

The camera that captured the bay cat was set strategically by IBER research assistant Joremy Tony. Along with the  first footage of the bay cat, the team also recorded the first video of the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) and the marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) for the area. Another camera recorded the more common leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) marking a root in its territory. These camera trap images (and others) add to our understanding of the distribution of cats and their ecology which will aid in creating informed conservation strategies for felids in UTNP.

Text by Dr Salwa Khalid. Video by Salwa Khalid & Ulmar Grafe. Video edited by Joremy Tony.
Disclaimer: Quality of video has been modified to fit website requirement.

Acknowledgement: The research team would like to thank the Brunei Forestry Department, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) for granting an entry permit (ref. no. JPH/UND/17) to conduct research. We are indebted to Joremy Tony, Justin Jeffrey and Mazaini Mahari for their assistance with camera trap deployment and data collection. We are grateful for the support by the Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research (IBER), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Panthera and the Robertson Foundation.