Sunday, November 18, 2012

Animal of the Day: Rusty-Spotted Cat

The Rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus), found only in Sri Lanka and India, and is the smallest member of the cat family.  The IUCN has the Rusty-spotted cat listed as "Vulnerable" since 2002, and according to a study taken in 2007, it is suspected that fewer than 10,000 mature individuals remain in the wild.  These numbers are in continuous loss due to habitat loss and hunting for the cat's pelt.  However, they have been observed with increasing frequency, sometimes even appearing nearby and within villages, although in other parts of the cat's range it is glimpsed with increasing rarity.  They tend to occupy moist and dry deciduous forests as well as scrub and grassland, and do not appear in the evergreen forests of India.

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