Bay cat

The bay cat (Catopuma badia), also known as Borneo bay cat and Bornean bay cat, is a wild cat endemic to the island of Borneo that appears to be relatively rare compared to sympatric wild cats, based on the paucity of historical, as well as recent records. Since 2002, it has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List because it is estimated that fewer than 2,500 mature individuals exist, and that the population declined in the past.[1] The bay cat has been recorded as rare and seems to occur at relatively low density, even in pristine habitat.[3]

Bay cat
Bay cat 1 Jim Sanderson-cropped
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Catopuma
C. badia
Binomial name
Catopuma badia
(Gray, 1874)[1]
Map showing Borneo
The blue dots on this map of Borneo indicate bay cat records from 2003 to 2005.[2]

Pardofelis badia

Taxonomy and evolution

In 1874, John Edward Gray first described a bay cat under the binominal Felis badia on the basis of a skin and skull collected by Alfred Russel Wallace in Sarawak in 1856. This cat was first thought to be a kitten of an Asian golden cat.[4] In 1932, Reginald Innes Pocock placed the species in the monotypic genus Badiofelis.[5] In 1978, it was placed in the genus Catopuma.[6]

Tissue and blood samples were acquired only in late 1992 from the female brought to the Sarawak Museum.[7] Morphological and genetic analysis confirmed the close relationship with the Asian golden cat, and that the two species had been separated from a common ancestor for 4.9 to 5.3 million years, long before the geological separation of Borneo from mainland Asia.[8]

The bay cat's classification as Catopuma was widely recognized until 2006.[9] Because of the evident close relationship of the bay cat and the Asian golden cat with the marbled cat, all three species were suggested in 2006 to be grouped in the genus Pardofelis.[10]


Chat Bai 1874
Illustration of a bay cat[4]

The bay cat is much smaller than the Asian golden cat. Its fur is of a bright chestnut colour, rather paler beneath, the limbs and the tail being rather paler and redder. The tail is elongated, tapering at the end, with a white central streak occupying the rear half of the lower side, gradually becoming wider and of a purer white towards the tip, which has a small black spot at its upper end. The ears are rounded, covered with a short blackish-brown fur at the outer side, paler brown within and with a narrow brown margin.[4]

In the years between 1874 and 2004, only 12 specimens were measured. Their head-to-body length varied from 49.5–67 cm (19.5–26.4 in) with 30.0- to 40.3-cm-long tails.[2] They were estimated to have an adult weight of 3–4 kg (6.6–8.8 lb), but too few living specimens have been obtained to allow a more reliable estimate.[7]

The short, rounded head is dark greyish-brown with two dark stripes originating from the corner of each eye, and the back of the head has a dark ‘M’-shaped marking. The backs of the ears are dark greyish, lacking the central white spots found on many other cat species. The underside of the chin is white and two faint brown stripes are on the cheeks. Body proportions and the extremely long tail give it the look of the New World jaguarundi.[11]

Distribution and habitat

Bay cats are endemic to Borneo with two concentrations reported in the island's interior. The information suggests they occur over a wide range of habitat types, varying from swamp forests, lowland dipterocarp forest to hill forests up to at least 500 m (1,600 ft). In the mid 1990s, the most reliable sightings have been reported from the upper Kapuas River in West Kalimantan, and from the Gunung Palung National Park.[12] One unconfirmed sighting occurred at 1,800 m (5,900 ft) on Mount Kinabalu.[13]

They inhabit dense tropical forests, and have been observed in rocky limestone outcrops and in logged forest, and some close to the coast. At least three specimens were found near rivers, but this was probably due to collector convenience rather than evidence of habitat preference. In 2002, a bay cat was photographed in Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak.[14] From 2003 to 2005, 15 bay cats were recorded in Kalimantan, Sabah, and Sarawak, but none in Brunei. These records consist of single opportunistic observations. Almost all the historical and recent records are from close proximity to water bodies such as rivers and mangroves, suggesting the bay cat may be closely associated with such habitats.[2]

A camera trapping survey from July 2008 to January 2009 in the northwestern part of Sabah's Deramakot Forest Reserve in an area of about 112 km2 (43 sq mi) yielded one photo of a male bay cat in a total sampling effort of 1916 trap nights. This record expands the range of bay cats to the north.[15]

Alfred Russel Wallace sent the first known skin and skull of a bay cat from Sarawak to the British Museum of Natural History in 1856.[4] Only seven more skins surfaced in the following decades, but no living individual was caught until 1992. In that year, one was trapped on the Sarawak – Indonesian border and brought to the Sarawak Museum on the verge of death.[7]

Ecology and behavior

The secretive and nocturnal behavior of bay cats, and possibly their low population density, may be an important cause of the rarity of sightings.[12] Camera trapping surveys during 2003–2006 yielded only one photo of a bay cat in 5,034 trap nights. According to unconfirmed anecdotal records from Sarawak, a bay cat was observed on a branch 1 m (3.3 ft) from the ground close to the river during a night hunting expedition. A local animal collector near Lachau, Sarawak, claimed he accidentally trapped two bay cats on separate occasions in December 2003. He reported the bay cats entered his aviary and attacked his pheasants. One cat died in captivity, and the other was released.[2]

Nothing is known about their feeding ecology and reproductive behavior.[11][15][16]


Borneo fires and smoke, 2002
Satellite photo of Borneo showing smoke from burning peat swamp forests

The bay cat is forest-dependent and increasingly threatened by habitat destruction following deforestation in Borneo. Habitat loss due to commercial logging and conversion to oil palm plantations pose the greatest threat to the bay cat. Oil palm plantations are likely to expand in the future as a result of the push for biofuels.[1] Borneo has one of the world's highest deforestation rates. While in the mid-1980s, forests still covered nearly three-quarters of the island, by 2005 only 52% of Borneo was still forested. Both forests and land make way for human settlement.[17]

Illegal trade in wildlife also poses a significant threat. Wildlife traders are aware of the species' rarity, and bay cats have been captured illegally from the wild for the skin and pet markets.[1]

Although Borneo supposedly has 25 wildlife reserves, only three are actually in existence, with the others only proposed. All of these reserves have been encroached upon by human settlement and logging.


Catopuma badia is listed on CITES Appendix II. It is fully protected by national legislation across most of its range. Hunting and trade are prohibited in Kalimantan, Sabah, and Sarawak. The bay cat remains one of the least studied of the world's wild cats, hampering the development of conservation actions.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Hearn, A., Brodie, J., Cheyne, S., Loken, B., Ross, J. & Wilting, A. (2016). "Catopuma badia". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2017: e.T4037A112910221. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T4037A50650716.en.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Mohd-Azlan, J.; Sanderson, J. (2007). "Geographic distribution and conservation status of the bay cat Catopuma badia, a Bornean endemic". Oryx. 41 (3): 394–397. doi:10.1017/S0030605307000516.
  3. ^ Povey, K., Sunarto, H. J. G., Priatna, D., Ngoprasert, D., Reed, D., Wilting, A., Lynam, A., Haidai, I., Long, B., Johnson, A., Cheyne, S., Breitenmoser, C., Holzer, K., Byers, O. (eds.) CBSG. (2009). Clouded Leopard and Small Felid Conservation Summit Final Report. IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group: Apple Valley, MN.
  4. ^ a b c d Gray, J. E. (1874). "Description of a new Species of Cat (Felis badia) from Sarawak". Proceedings of the Scientific Meetings of the Zoological Society of London for the year 1874: 322–323.
  5. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1932). "The marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) and some other Oriental species, with a definition of a new genus of the Felidae". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (102): 741–766.
  6. ^ Hemmer, H. (1978). "The evolutionary systematics of living Felidae: Present status and current problems". Carnivore. 1 (1): 71–79.
  7. ^ a b c Sunquist, M. E.; Leh, C.; Hills, D. M.; Rajaratnam, R. (1994). "Rediscovery of the Bornean Bay Cat". Oryx. 28: 67–70. doi:10.1017/S0030605300028313.
  8. ^ Johnson, W. E.; Ashiki, F. S.; Menotti Raymond, M.; Driscoll, C.; Leh, C.; Sunquist, M.; Johnston, L.; Bush, M.; Wildt, D.; Yuhki, N.; O'Brien, S. J. & Wasse, S. P. (1999). "Molecular genetic characterization of two insular Asian cat species, Bornean Bay cat and Iriomote cat". In Vasser, S. P. Evolutionary Theory and Process: Modern perspectives. Papers in Honour of Eviatar Nevo. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishing. pp. 223–248. ISBN 9780792355182.
  9. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 545–546. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  10. ^ Johnson, W. E., Eizirik, E., Pecon-Slattery, J., Murphy, W. J., Antunes, A., Teeling, E. and O'Brien, S. J. (2006). The late miocene radiation of modern felidae: A genetic assessment. Science 311: 73–77.
  11. ^ a b Sunquist, M.; Sunquist, F. (2002). Wild cats of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 48–51. ISBN 0-226-77999-8.
  12. ^ a b Meijaard, E. (1997). The bay cat in Borneo. Cat News 27: 21–23.
  13. ^ Payne, J. C. M., Francis, C. M. and Phillipps, K. (1985). A field guide to the mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
  14. ^ Dinets, V. (2003). "First photo of Bornean bay cat in the wild?". Cat News. 38: 14.
  15. ^ a b Mohamed, A., Samejima, H., Wilting, A. (2009). Records of five Bornean cat species from Deramakot Forest Reserve in Sabah, Malaysia. Cat News 51: 12–15.
  16. ^ Nowell, K., Jackson, P. (1996) Bornean Bay Cat. In: Wild Cats: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.
  17. ^ Rautner, M., Hardiono, M., Alfred, R. J. (2005). Borneo: treasure island at risk. Status of Forest, Wildlife, and related Threats on the Island of Borneo. WWF Germany.

External links

African golden cat

The African golden cat (Caracal aurata) is a wild cat endemic to the rainforests of West and Central Africa. It is threatened due to deforestation and bushmeat hunting and listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.It is a close relative of both the caracal and the serval. Previously, it was placed in the genus Profelis.Its body size ranges from 61 to 101 cm (24 to 40 in) with a 16 to 46 cm (6.3 to 18.1 in) long tail.

Asian golden cat

The Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) is a medium-sized wild cat native to the northeastern Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2008, and is threatened by hunting pressure and habitat loss, since Southeast Asian forests are undergoing the world's fastest regional deforestation.The Asian golden cat's scientific name honours the Dutch zoologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck. It is also called Temminck's cat and Asiatic golden cat.

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Bornean clouded leopard

The Bornean clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi borneensis) is a subspecies of the Sunda clouded leopard. It is native to the island of Borneo, and differs from the Batu-Sumatran clouded leopard in the shape and frequency of spots, as well as in cranio-mandibular and dental characters. In 2017, the Cat Classification Taskforce of the Cat Specialist Group recognized the validity of this subspecies.

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Cat Island is a Wisconsin island in Lake Superior. It is one of the Apostle Islands and a part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It is located at 47°00′48″N 090°33′33″W. Variant names include Caterhemlock Island and Kagagiwanijikag Miniss. According to USGS GNIS, there is a smaller Cat Island in Brown County, Wisconsin just off shore of the city of Green Bay..

Cat Island has gone by a number of names including Kagagiwanjikag Miniss (Ojibwe for "Island of Hemlock Trees"), Texas Island, Hemlock Island and Shoe Island.


Catopuma is a genus containing two Asian small wild cat species, the bay cat (C. badia) and the Asian golden cat (C. temminckii).

Both are typically reddish brown in colour, with darker markings on the head. They inhabit forested environments in Southeast Asia. The bay cat is restricted to the island of Borneo. Originally thought to be two subspecies of the same animal, recent genetic analysis has confirmed they are, indeed, separate species.The two species diverged from one another 4.9-5.3 million years ago, long before Borneo separated from the neighboring islands. Their closest living relative is the marbled cat, from which the common ancestor of the genus Catopuma diverged around 9.4 million years ago.


Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is also called a felid. The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the domestic cat (Felis catus).Reginald Innes Pocock divided the extant Felidae into three subfamilies: the Pantherinae, the Felinae and the Acinonychinae, differing from each other by the ossification of the hyoid apparatus and by the cutaneous sheaths which protect their claws.

This concept has been revised following developments in molecular biology and techniques for analysis of morphological data. Today, the living Felidae are divided in two subfamilies, with the Pantherinae including seven Panthera and two Neofelis species. The Felinae include all the non-pantherine cats with 10 genera and 34 species.The first cats emerged during the Oligocene, about 25 million years ago, with the appearance of Proailurus and Pseudaelurus. The latter species complex was ancestral to two main lines of felids: the cats in the extant subfamilies and a third major group of extinct cats of the subfamily Machairodontinae. The machairodonts included the saber-toothed cats such as the Smilodon. The "false sabre toothed cats", the Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae, are not true cats, but are closely related and together with Felidae and other cat-like carnivores (hyaenas, viverrids and mongooses) make up the feliform carnivores.The characteristic features of cats have evolved to support a carnivorous lifestyle, with adaptations for ambush or stalking and short pursuit hunting. They have slender muscular bodies, strong flexible forelimbs and retractable claws for holding prey, dental and cranial adaptations for a strong bite, and often have characteristic striped or spotted coat patterns for camouflage.


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Hot Sun Foundation

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Vision of Hot Sun Foundation: Social transformation through art and media

Mission of Hot Sun Foundation: Identify and develop youth talent to tell their stories on film

Current Programs

Hot Sun Foundation has three core programs:

The Kibera Film School, in Nairobi, Kenya offers comprehensive hands-on film training and production. Youth trainees at KIBERA FILM SCHOOL develop their talents, tell their stories, become role models and thereby transform their communities. The film school has been profiled by various news organizations, most recently the LA Times.Kibera TV Graduates from the Kibera Film School initiated the weekly Kibera TV program in May 2010. Every week, Kibera TV produces at least two short documentaries about life in Kibera. Kibera TV is available on the internet at YouTube, in Nairobi buses,, and at community events and film screenings in schools.Hot Sun Productions offers video services to businesses, community organizations, churches and individuals. The production team of Hot Sun Productions is made up of outstanding graduates from Kibera Film School. HOT SUN PRODUCTIONS markets the short films produced by Kibera TV and Kibera Film School. HOT SUN PRODUCTIONS has an extensive inventory of short films in the following genres: dramas, documentaries, music, public service announcements and promotional videos.Past and Ongoing Projects

In 2007 Hot Sun Foundation worked with Bay Cat of the San Francisco Bay Area to do the first ever video exchange between the youth of Kibera and the youth of the Bay Area known as 'Call and Response.' In 2008, Hot Sun Foundation conducted several workshops with Kibera youth as well as conducting open air film screenings in Kibera with FilmAid International. In April 2009, it collaborated on the filming of the Togetherness Supreme feature film shot in Kibera and focusing on the themes of tribal conflict and the possibility of reconciliation.

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Marbled cat

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the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)

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The three species in this genus are found in Arctic and subarctic regions, as well as around the Caspian Sea. This includes these countries and regions: Russia, Scandinavia, Britain, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Japan. Due to changing local environmental conditions, the ringed seals found in the Canadian region has varied patterns of growth. The northern Canadian ringed seals grow slowly to a larger size, while the southern seals grow quickly to a smaller size.

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Extant Carnivora species

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