Main Article Content
One of the common challenges for wildlife rehabilitators and conservationists is dealing with displaced young animals, needing intervention and help. Most commonly, such displaced animals are moved to zoos or rescue centers where they are hand-raised. In some cases, the hand-raised animals are rehabilitated back in the wild following suitable protocols. For young animals that are not injured or ill, however, reuniting them with their mothers in the wild might be the best option. There are few reports on such reunion efforts. We report successful reunions of 26 Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus kittens with their mothers in the period of six years in the Junnar Forest Division, Maharashtra, India. The kittens found by the villagers were examined for injuries or signs of sickness, and physiological parameters were recorded. If found healthy, they were placed in a plastic basket at the same location in the evening of the same day for a reunion with their mothers. In all cases, the mother cat was in the vicinity and took the kittens away after a brief period. The success of reunion effort was confirmed by direct observation or vocalization of the kittens combined with the presence of pugmarks of an adult cat at the site, or just by the presence and appearance of pugmarks. The results of our efforts show that displaced kittens of small wild cats can be successfully reunited with their mothers, provided that the time gap between separation and reunion effort is minimized.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors own the copyright to the articles published in JoTT. This is indicated explicitly in each publication. The authors grant permission to the publisher Wildlife Information Liaison Development (WILD) Society to publish the article in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The authors recognize WILD as the original publisher, and to sell hard copies of the Journal and article to any buyer. JoTT is registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which allows authors to retain copyright ownership. Under this license the authors allow anyone to download, cite, use the data, modify, reprint, copy and distribute provided the authors and source of publication are credited through appropriate citations (e.g., Son et al. (2016). Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the southeastern Truong Son Mountains, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(7): 8953–8969. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2722.214.171.12453-8969). Users of the data do not require specific permission from the authors or the publisher.
Athreya, V. (2010). Rusty-spotted Cat more common than we think? Cat News 53: 27.
Athreya, V., M. Odden, J.D.C. Linnell & K.U. Karanth (2011). Translocation as a Tool for Mitigating Conflict with Leopards in Human-Dominated Landscapes of India: Human-Leopard Conflicts. Conservation Biology 25(1): 133–141. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01599.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01599.x
Athreya, V., M. Odden, J.D.C. Linnell, J. Krishnaswamy & K.U. Karanth (2016). A cat among the dogs: Leopard Panthera pardus diet in a human-dominated landscape in western Maharashtra, India. Oryx 50(1): 156–162. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605314000106 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605314000106
Barman, R., B. Choudhury, N. Ashraf & V. Menon (2014). Rehabilitation of Greater One-horned Rhinoceros calves in Manas National Park, a World Heritage Site in India. Pachyderm 55: 78–88.
Bora, J.K., N. Awasthi, U. Kumar, S. Goswami, A. Pradhan, A. Prasad, D.R. Laha, R. Shukla, S.K. Shukla, Q. Qureshi & Y.V. Jhala (2020). Assessing the habitat use, suitability and activity pattern of the Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus in Kanha Tiger Reserve, India. Mammalia: Ahead of Print. https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2019-0032 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2019-0032
Dmoch, R. (1997). Husbandry, breeding and population development of the Sri Lankan Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus phillipsi. International Zoo Yearbook 35(1): 115–120. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1090.1997.tb01199.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1090.1997.tb01199.x
Eldredge, D.M., D.G. Carlson, L.D. Carlson, J.M. Giffin & B. Adelman (Eds.) (2011). Appendix A: Normal Physiological Data, pp. 563–565. In: Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. Wiley Publishing Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA, 630pp. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118269305.app1
Jhamvar-Shingote, R. & M.A. Schuett (2013). The predators of Junnar: local peoples’ knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes toward Leopards and Leopard conservation. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 18(1): 32–44. https://doi.org/10.1080/10871209.2012.694578 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10871209.2012.694578
Lima, D.S. & M. Marmontel (2011). Return to the wild and reintegration of a Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) cub to its family group in Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazilian Amazon. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 9(2): 164–167. http://doi.org/10.5597/lajam00183 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5597/lajam00183
Lorica, M.R.P. & L.R. Heaney (2013). Survival of a native mammalian carnivore, the Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis Kerr, 1792 (Carnivora: Felidae), in an agricultural landscape on an oceanic Philippine island. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(10): 4451–4460. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3352.4451-60 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3352.4451-60
McTurk, D. & L. Spelman (2005). Hand-rearing and rehabilitation of orphaned wild Giant Otters, Pteronura brasiliensis, on the Rupununi River, Guyana, South America. Zoo Biology 24(2): 153–167. https://doi.org/10.1002/zoo.20042 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/zoo.20042
Menon, V. (2014). Indian Mammals: A Field Guide. Hachette Book Publishing India Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon, India, 528pp.
Mukherjee, S., J.W. Duckworth, A. Silva, A. Appel & A. Kittle (2016). Prionailurus rubiginosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: e.T18149A50662471. Downloaded on 18 December 2019. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T18149A50662471.en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T18149A50662471.en
Nayak, S., S. Shah & J. Borah (2017). First record of Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) from Ramgarh-Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary in semi-arid landscape of Rajasthan, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 9(1): 9761–9763. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3303.9.1.9761-9763 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3303.9.1.9761-9763
Nimalrathna, T.S., Y.R. Choo, E.P. Kudavidanage, T.R. Amarasinghe, U.G.S.I. Bandara, W.A.C.L. Wanninayaka, P. Ravindrakumar, M.A.H. Chua & E.L. Webb (2019). First photographic record of the Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus (I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1831) (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) in Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(4): 13506–13510. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.4094.11.4.13506-13510 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.4094.11.4.13506-13510
Nowell, K. & P. Jackson (1996). Rusty-spotted Cat, Prionailurus rubiginosus (I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1831), pp. 72–74. In: Wild Cats, Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 382pp.
Pajetnov, V.S. & S.V. Pajetnov (1998). Food competition and grouping behavior of orphaned Brown Bear cubs in Russia. Ursus 10: 571–574.
Perera, B.V., A. Silva-Flecher, S. Jayawardena, N. Kumudini & T. Prasad (2018). Rehabilitation of orphaned Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) calves in Sri Lanka. Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation 38(2): 13–24.
Pruetz, J.D. & D. Kante (2010). Successful Return of a Wild Infant Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) to its Natal Group after Capture by Poachers. African Primates 7(1): 35–41.
Saran, K.A., G. Parker, R. Parker & C.R. Dickman (2011). Rehabilitation as a conservation tool: a case study using the Common Wombat. Pacific Conservation Biology 17(4): 310–319. https://doi.org/10.1071/PC110310 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/PC110310
Sharma, S.K. (2007). Breeding season of Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus (Geoffroy) in Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Udaipur district, Rajasthan, India. Zoos’ Print Journal 22(10): 2874. DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.ZPJ.1678.2874
Singh, R., P. Nigam, S.P. Goyal, B.D. Joshi, S. Sharma & R.S. Shekhawat (2011). Survival of Dispersed Orphaned Cubs of Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Fragmented Habitat of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in India. Indian Forester 137(10): 1171–1176.
Sparks, B. & S.J. Casey (1998). Reuniting young wild mammals with their mothers. Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation 21(3–4): 3–8.