Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 17 February 2020 | 12(2): 15219–15220


ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print) 


#5770 | Received 11 February 2020



Foreword to the second special issue on small wild cats


Angie Appel 1 & Shomita Mukherjee 2


1 Wild Cat Network, 56470 Bad Marienberg, Germany.

2 Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Anaikatty, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641108, India.

1 (corresponding author), 2





Date of publication: 17 February 2020 (online & print)


Citation: Appel, A. & S. Mukherjee (2020). Foreword to the second special issue on small wild cats. Journal of Threatened Taxa 12(2): 15219–15220.


Copyright: © Appel & Mukherjee 2020. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.





We are delighted to present the second special issue on small wild cats that covers seven species with important updates on their distribution, tenacity and adaptability.  Obtaining such information is now possible because of camera trapping becoming affordable and popular.  The enthusiasm of the authors who contributed to this issue will hopefully inspire you.

Two contributions focus on the Iberian Lynx Lynx pardalis, one of the most endangered wild cat species in the world (Simón 2011).  One accounts of a population that benefits from a long-term conservation program in southern Spain, where reintroduced Iberian Lynx have been settling in agricultural land since 2011.  The other contribution sheds light on the trophic niche of an isolated population in central Spain.  It shows that molecular methods are gaining prominence when studying cryptic taxa.

The European Wildcat Felis silvestris is the only Wildcat population living on a volcanic island (Anile et al. 2009).  In 2009, camera traps set up around Mount Etna in Sicily detected an individual that was again photographed in 2018 at the very same spot!

The Jungle Cat Felis chaus, however, was recorded for the first time in a landscape where nobody would have expected it: in a remote valley above 3,000m in the Annapurna Himalaya.  On the other hand, in northern Pakistan, it was detected amidst factory buildings.

The Asiatic Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii was first reported in 1831 to inhabit the Himalayan foothills in Nepal (Hodgson 1831).  In 176 years, it was photographed only twice in Nepal, viz, in May 2009 by Ghimirey & Pal (2009) and in November 2017 by Rai et al. (2019) in the country’s eastern part.  Farther west, it remained elusive until a team of researchers ventured into the central Himalaya.  It was also photographed in far eastern Bhutan – an account that again reveals its many costumes.

The Flat-headed Cat Prionailurus planiceps is perhaps the most cryptic small wild cat, as it lives in almost impenetrable landscapes.  Incidental observations in peat swamp forests in northern Borneo provide insight into its secretive lifestyle.

The Pampas Cat Leopardus colocolo is widely distributed in South America but was recorded in northwestern Peru only in 2016 (Garcia-Olaechea & Hurtado 2016).  Both authors have been working in this area ever since and now share their findings about the Pampas Cat and another little known carnivore.

The Andean Cat Leopardus jacobita is endemic to the highlands of the Andes, where a skin turned up in an unexpected location in northwestern Argentina.  This finding bridges a gap between two evolutionarily significant units of this little known species.

The authors of the first and second special issues covered work on 16 small wild cats living in 15 countries.  These special issues are a good platform for sharing information that is crucial for planning conservation measures.

We thank the following people for reviewing the submitted manuscripts for this special issue: Pedro Monterroso, Aitor Gastón, Carl Traeholt, Andrew Hearn, Azlan Mohamed, Jennifer McCarthy, Tashi Dhendup, Jimmy Borah, André da Pinto Silva, Sriyanie Miththapala, Zaheer Khan, Flavia Tirelli, Susan Walker, Matthias Waltert, Jorge Lozano, Galo Zapata-Ríos, Claudia Kanda, Juan Ignacio Reppucci, Arash Ghoddousi, Carlos Fernandes, Tawqir Bashir, Wyatt Petersen, Priya Singh, Babu Ram Lamicchane, and Yadav Ghimirey.

We look forward to your experiences and endeavors in the world of small wild cats. Stay fascinated !!




Anile, S., L. Bizzarri & B. Ragni (2009). Camera trapping the European Wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) in Sicily (southern Italy): preliminary results. Hystrix: Italian Journal of Mammalogy 20(1): 55–60.

Garcia-Olaechea, A. & C.M. Hurtado (2016). Pampas Cat conservation in northwestern Peru. Small Wild Cat Conservation News 2: 10.

Ghimirey, Y. & P. Pal (2009). First camera trap image of Asiatic Golden Cat in Nepal. Cat News 51: 19.

Hodgson, B.H. (1831). Some account of a new species of Felis. Gleanings in Science III: 177–178.

Rai, J., K. Yadav, S . GC, R. Acharya, K. Thapa & Y. Ghimirey (2019). First record of Asiatic Golden Cat from Tinjure-Milke-Jaljale Area, Nepal. Cat News 69: 31.

Simón, M.A. (ed.) (2012). Ten years conserving the Iberian Lynx. Consejería de Agricultura, Pesca y Medio Ambiente. Junta de  Andalucía, Seville, 328pp.