Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 14 December 2020 | 12(16): 17171–17172


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


#6886 | Received 05 November 2020



Foreword to the third 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: 14 December 2020 (online & print)


Citation: Appel, A. & S. Mukherjee (2020). Foreword to the third special issue on small wild cats. Journal of Threatened Taxa 12(16): 17171–17172.


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 third special issue on small wild cats in the Journal of Threatened Taxa.  The authors of this special issue worked on seven small wild cats in eight countries and provide important updates on their distribution, behaviour, and their plights.

Two contributions focus on the Caracal Caracal caracal, one of Asia’s most neglected cat.  One accounts of the Caracal in India, where its range has been shrinking to just a fraction of its historical range at the turn of the 20th Century.  The other reports a promising locality record, the first in the United Arab Emirates since the mid 1980s.

Asia’s smallest cat, the Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus, motivated three author teams to share their camera trap and sighting records in northwestern India.  If you ever encounter kittens in the field, make sure to read the recommendations about rescues and reunions with their mothers!

The Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus revisited: multiple records obtained for the first time in far-western Nepal indicate that the population along the Nepal-India border is likely to be contiguous.  The authors emphasize that transboundary wildlife corridors are essential to maintain the connectivity between Fishing Cat population units in this water-rich area.

Rescued from wildlife trade in Bolivia: an Andean Cat Leopardus jacobita provided the first opportunity to study its physiological and morphological condition while nursed in captivity.  When healthy again, it was released into its natural habitat.

Caught in a cage trap: a Guigna Leopardus guigna showed up in an evergreen forest in far southern Argentina.  This locality record will hopefully spur further surveys to increase the knowledge about the conservation needs of South America’s smallest cat.

The Sunda Clouded Leopard Neofelis diardi in southwestern Borneo: the longest-running camera trap survey unveiled some facets of the behaviour of this cryptic cat.  The authors stress on the importance of long-term monitoring to answer questions essential for planning conservation measures.

Sadly, the Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa is the only cat, which does not make a live appearance in this issue. The authors provide crucial information on illegal trade of its skins in Nepal.

The authors of the three special issues covered work on 18 small wild cats living in 17 countries.  These special issues are an ideal platform for sharing information that is crucial for planning further research and identifying conservation measures.

We thank the following people for reviewing the submitted manuscripts in this special issue: David Mallon, Andrew Spalton, Dharmendra Khandal, Jimmy Borah, Yadvendradev Jhala, André da Pinto Silva, Hem Baral, Meraj Anwar, Cynthia Widmer, Jane Hopper, Jayanta Kumar Bora, Prachi Thatte, Irene Sacristán, Ricardo A. Figueroa, Muhammad Kabir, Aditi Mukherjee, Nicolás Gálvez Robinson, Steven Platt, Wanlop Chutipong, Lonnie Grassman, N.V.K. Ashraf, Marcus Chua, Will Duckworth, Wyatt Peterson, Maximilian Allen, Chris Shepherd, Jayasilan Mohd-Azlan, Mariya Gritsina, Heiko Wittmer, Ugyen Penjor, Bopanna Ittira Ponnappariya, Sahil Nijhawan, Priya Singh, Jennifer McCarthy, and Sangeeta Chaudri.

We thank Dharmendra Khandal for providing the cover image of a Caracal in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan.

The enthusiasm of the authors who contributed to this issue will hopefully inspire you to share your experiences and endeavours in the world of small wild cats as well.  Stay fascinated!!