During a two-year study in northeast India seven different species of big cats were discovered roaming a single rainforest. Instead of the usual bad news out of the Eastern Himalayas -- wildlife threatened by deforestation, poaching and other human causes -- wildlife biologist Kashmira Kakati discovered an area with the highest diversity ever recorded.
Before you breath a sigh of relief, biologist Jim Sanderson of the International Union for Conservation of Natures Cat Specialist Group warns, The importance of Kakatis findings cannot be underestimated. To discover what is most likely the maximum number of wildcat species sharing a single area gives us a mere glimpse of what species the Jeypore-Dehing forests hold. That such a place still exists will attract naturalists and scientists alike to make even more discoveries, but only if the Jeypore-Dehing forests receive the protection they so clearly deserve.
Kashmira Kakatis research was supported by the Forest Department, Government of Assam, and funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), a global initiative that provides assistance in safeguarding the earths biodiversity hotspots, the Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program and the Rufford Small Grants Foundation, U.K.
Pictured here, leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).
Pictured here, the rare and elusive clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa).
Pictured here, a golden cat (Catopuma temminckii).
Pictured here, a tiger (Panthera tigris).
Pictured here, a jungle cat (Felis chaus).