because every tiger counts...
 

News

>> 4 Leopards found dead at Manesar golf course   >> South Africa mulls legalising rhino horn trade   >> Poachers prowl for leopard parts   >> Virus threatens tigers existence   >> Leopard attacks: Govt plans mapping of conflict zone   >> Breeding centres may fall under wildlife Act   >> Karnataka, TN officials to meet in 10 days to discuss poaching issues   >> Operation launched in U.P. to nab stray tiger   >> Tiger skin, nails worth 1.25L seized   >> 3 govt agencies, NGO unite to save wildlife along border road   >> Poachers overtake conservation efforts   >> 2 Yr Old tiger found dead in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve   >> Rhino poached in Gorumara   >> First poaching incident in national park in 30 years   >> Four tiger cubs spotted in Bhopal reserve   >> Poachers use trains to move goods   >> Injured tigress dies at Pilikula   >> Street shows to highlight illegal wildlife trade   >> Tiger Population up along Indo-Nepal Border   >> Tiger population up along Indo-Nepal border   >> Global wild tiger population to be counted by 2016: international conference   >> UAV to Monitor poachers   >> Heartbreaking Moment Rhino seeks Solace in Car Shade after Poachers Kill Mother   >> Heartbreaking Moment Rhino seeks Solace in Car Shade after Poachers Kill Mother   >> Single and Ready to Mingle but grounded by Zoo Authorities   >> National Board for Wildlife reconstituted   >> Man’s best friend tops leopards’ menu   >> Govt plans creches for cubs, real time monitoring of reserves to protect tigers   >> Poached? Over 40 tigers go missing in Maharashtra   >> Poached? Over 40 tigers go missing in Maharashtra   >> Govt plans creches for cubs, real time monitoring of reserves to protect tigers   >> Tiger number dips in state   >> Protection force to check rhino killing in Kaziranga   >> Elephant carcass found near Kaziranga   >> Poachers arrested   >> 2 more Bengal tiger cubs die   >> India loses more foresters than any other country   >> Centre to set up Special Rhino Protection Force in Assam   >> Cases of Poaching Grossly Under - reported: Activists   >> Rise in Tiger Skin Seizures Raises Doubts over Conservation efforts   >> Free Kaziranga of Poaching: AGP to Javadekar   >> Asiatic lioness run over by train near GIR   >> Sariska welcomes two new tiger cubs   >> SC: Use radars to stop elephant deaths on Tracks   >> Red tape boosts TN man-animal conflict   >> SC to Bengal: Sterilising jumbos to check population is regressive   >> 22nd rhino killed in Kaziranga   >> Kaziranga should get proposed additions for better management : Assam Minister   >> Living with lions! Encouraging Conservation   >> Military units seek to display seized tiger skins as trophies   >> more >>   
 

News

back Go Back        Print

Foresters spot `mystery cat` in Sunderbans

The Times of India
Kolkata
22 Mar 2012

The deeper you go into the Sunderbans, the more mysterious it is. The camera traps that have snapped 18 Bengal tigers outside the core area of the mangrove forests also captured two photos of a never-before seen cat. It could be another species altogether, a eureka moment for conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts.

Forest officers scanning through a bunch of pictures of the wild stopped in their tracks when they came across a small, black cat with a long tail. Nothing of the sort had been seen in decades of documentation and exploration in the Sunderbans.

The Sunderbans is the only tiger reserve in India where leopards have never been seen. Its Bangladeshi side reported the last sighting of a leopard in 1931.
The cat spotted in the camera traps is bigger than a wild cat and smaller than a leopard, say sources. It`s not yet known whether it`s a new species but forest officials believe it is a melanistic leopard-cat , a rarity in the animal world.

In leopards, two genes determine whether the animal`s colour will be yellow with black spots or completely black. The black panther gets its colour from the black recessive gene.

"We have never seen any animal like this in the Sunderbans . Apart from the 18 tigers, scores of other cats, including jungle and fishing cats, were found during the exercise, which was done outside the reserve area for the first time. Most of them were expected till we came upon two sightings of a black cat with a long tail," said Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve director Pradeep Vyas.