Marbled cat

The marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) is a small wild cat of South and Southeast Asia, where it is suspected to occur over a large range. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.[2]

The marbled cat was once considered to belong to the pantherine lineage of cats.[3] Genetic analysis has shown it to be closely related to the Asian golden cat and the bay cat, all of which diverged from other felids about 9.4 million years ago.[4]

Marbled cat
Marbled cat borneo
A marbled cat in Danum Valley, Borneo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Pardofelis
P. marmorata[1]
Binomial name
Pardofelis marmorata[1]
(Martin, 1836)
  • P. m. charltoni
  • P. m. marmorata
MarbledCat distribution
Distribution of Marbled cat


The marbled cat is similar in size to a domestic cat, but has rounded ears and a very long tail that is as long as the cat's head and body. The ground colour of its long fur varies from brownish-grey to ochreous brown above and greyish to buff below. It is patterned with black stripes on the short and round head, on the neck and back. On the tail, limbs and underbelly it has solid spots. On the flanks it has irregular dark-edged blotches that fuse to dark areas and look like a 'marbled' pattern. Its paws are webbed between the digits and are completely sheathed.[5] Its coat is thick and soft. Spots on the forehead and crown merge into narrow longitudinal stripes on the neck, and irregular stripes on the back. The legs and underparts are patterned with black dots, and the tail is marked with black spots proximally and rings distally. It has large feet and unusually large canine teeth, resembling those of the big cats, although these appear to be the result of parallel evolution. Marbled cats range from 45 to 62 cm (18 to 24 in) in head-body length with a 35 to 55 cm (14 to 22 in) long and thickly furred tail that indicates the cat's adaptation to an arboreal lifestyle, where the tail is used as a counterbalance. Recorded weights vary between 2 and 5 kg (4.4 and 11.0 lb).[6]

Distribution and habitat

The marbled cat occurs along the eastern Himalayan foothills and in tropical Indomalaya eastward into southwest China, and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It is primarily associated with moist and mixed deciduous-evergreen tropical forests. Its distribution in India is confined to the north-eastern forests.[2]

In northeast India, marbled cats were recorded in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Dampa and Pakke Tiger Reserves, Balpakram-Baghmara landscape and Singchung-Bugun Village Community Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh between January 2013 and March 2018.[7]

In Bhutan, it has been recorded in Royal Manas National Park, and in broadleaved and mixed conifer forests at elevations up to 3,810 m (12,500 ft) in Jigme Dorji National Park and Wangchuck Centennial National Park.[8][9][10]

In Borneo, it has also been recorded in peat swamp forest.[11] The population size of the marbled cat is not well understood. Few records were obtained during camera-trapping surveys throughout much of its range. The only population density estimates stem from three areas in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, and range from 7.1 to 19.6 individuals per 100 km2 (39 sq mi). The authors of this report cautioned that the density estimates from their study sites in Sabah may be higher than typically found elsewhere in the cat's range.[12]


Felis marmorata was the scientific name proposed by William Charles Linnaeus Martin in 1836 for a skin of a male marbled cat from Java or Sumatra.[13] Felis longicaudata proposed by Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville in 1843 was a zoological specimen from India or Cochinchina.[14] Felis charltoni proposed by John Edward Gray in 1846 was a specimen from Darjeeling.[15] The generic name Pardofelis was proposed by Nikolai Severtzov in 1858.[16]

At present, two subspecies are recognized as valid:[17]

  • P. marmorata marmorata (Martin, 1836) – from the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra and Borneo
  • P. marmorata longicaudata (Blainville, 1843) – from Nepal to north of the Isthmus of Kra

Behaviour and ecology

Marbled cats recorded in northeast India were active during the day with activity peaks around noon.[7]

In May 2000, a female marbled cat was trapped along an animal trail in a hill evergreen bamboo mixed forest in Thailand's Phu Khieu Wildlife Sanctuary. This first-ever radio-tracked marbled cat had an overall home range of 5.8 km2 (2.2 sq mi) at an elevation of 1,000 to 1,200 m (3,300 to 3,900 ft) and was active primarily during nocturnal and crepuscular time periods.[18]

Forest canopies probably provide the marbled cat with much of its prey: birds, squirrels and other rodents, and reptiles.[6] In the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, a marbled cat was observed in a dense forest patch in an area also used by siamang.[19] In Thailand, one individual has been observed in Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary preying on a Phayre's leaf monkey.[20]

A few marbled cats have been bred in captivity, with gestation estimated to be 66 to 82 days. In the few recorded instances, two kittens were born in each litter, and weighed from 61 to 85 g (2.2 to 3.0 oz). Their eyes open at around 12 days, and the kittens begin to take solid food at two months, around the time that they begin actively climbing. Marbled cats reach sexual maturity at 21 or 22 months of age, and have lived for up to 12 years in captivity.[6]


Indiscriminate snaring is prevalent throughout much of its range, and likely poses a major threat. It is valued for its skin, meat, and bones, but infrequently observed in the illegal Asian wildlife trade.[2] During a survey in the Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh, a marbled cat was encountered that had been killed by a local hunter for a festival celebrated by the indigenous Apatani community in March and April every year. The dead cat was used in a ceremony, and its blood was sacrificed to the deity for goodwill of their family and for ensuring a good harvest, protection from wildlife, disease and pest.[21] Deforestation is a further threat to the marbled cat.[2]


Pardofelis marmorata is included in CITES Appendix I and protected over parts of its range. Hunting is prohibited in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Yunnan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Thailand. Hunting is regulated in Lao PDR and Singapore. In Bhutan and Brunei, the marbled cat is not legally protected outside protected areas. No information about protection status is available from Cambodia and Vietnam.[22]


  1. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Species Pardofelis marmorata". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 542. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b c d e Ross, J.; Brodie, J.; Cheyne, S.; Datta, A.; Hearn, A.; Loken, B.; Lynam, A.; McCarthy, J.; Phan, C.; Rasphone, A.; et al. (2016). "Pardofelis marmorata". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T16218A97164299. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T16218A97164299.en. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  3. ^ Hemmer, H. (1978). "The evolutionary systematics of living Felidae: Present status and current problems". Carnivore. 1: 71–79.
  4. ^ Johnson W. E., Eizirik E., Pecon-Slattery J., Murphy W. J., Antunes A., Teeling E., O'Brien S. J. (2006). "The late miocene radiation of modern Felidae: a genetic assessment". Science. 311 (5757): 73–77. doi:10.1126/science.1122277. PMID 16400146.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1939). "Genus Pardofelis Severtzow". The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia – Volume 1. London: Taylor and Francis. pp. 253−258.
  6. ^ a b c Sunquist, M.; Sunquist, F. (2002). "Marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata (Martin 1837)". Wild Cats of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 373–376. ISBN 978-0-226-77999-7.
  7. ^ a b Mukherjee, S.; Singh, P.; Silva, A.; Ri, C.; Kakati, K.; Borah, B.; Tapi, T.; Kadur, S.; Choudhary, P.; Srikant, S.; Nadig, S.; Navya, R.; Björklund, R.; Ramakrishnan, U. (2019). "Activity patterns of the small and medium felid (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) guild in northeastern India". Journal of Threatened Taxa. 11 (4): 13432−13447. doi:10.11609/jott.4662.11.4.13432-13447.
  8. ^ Tempa, T.; Hebblewhite, M.; Mills, L.S.; Wangchuk, T.R.; Norbu, N.; Wangchuk, T.; Nidup, T.; Dhendup, P.; Wangchuk, D.; Wangdi, Y. & Dorji, T. (2013). "Royal Manas National Park: A hotspot for wild felids, Bhutan". Oryx. 47 (2): 207–210. doi:10.1017/s0030605312001317.
  9. ^ Thinley, P.; Morreale, S.J.; Curtis, P.D.; Lassoie, J.P.; Dorji, T.; Phuntsho, S. & Dorji, N. (2015). "Diversity, occupancy, and spatio-temporal occurrences of mammalian predators in Bhutan's Jigme Dorji National Park". Bhutan Journal of Natural Resources & Development. 2 (1): 19–27.
  10. ^ Dhendup, T. (2016). "Notes on the occurrence of Marbled Cats at high altitudes in Bhutan" (PDF). NeBIO. 7 (2): 35–37.
  11. ^ Cheyne, S.M.; Macdonald, D.W. (2010). "Marbled cat in Sabangau peat-swamp forest, Indonesian Borneo" (PDF). Cat News. 52: 11.
  12. ^ Hearn, A. J.; Ross, J.; Bernard, H.; Bakar, S. A.; Hunter, Luke T. B.; Macdonald, D. W. (2016). "The First Estimates of Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata Population Density from Bornean Primary and Selectively Logged Forest". PLOS ONE. 11 (3): e0151046. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151046. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4805203. PMID 27007219.
  13. ^ Martin, W. C. (1836). "Description of a new species of Felis". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. IV (XLVII): 107–108.
  14. ^ Blainville, H. M. D. (1843). "Os du squelette des Felis". Ostéographie ou description iconographique comparée du squelette et du système dentaire des cinques classes d’animaux vertébrés récents et fossils pour servir de base a la zoologie et la géologie. Volume 2: Mammifères. Carnassiers. Paris: Arthus Bertrand. pp. 1–196.
  15. ^ Gray, J. E. (1846). "New species of Mammalia". The Annals and magazine of natural history; zoology, botany, and geology. 18: 211−212.
  16. ^ Severtzow, M. N. (1858). "Notice sur la classification multisériale des Carnivores, spécialement des Félidés, et les études de zoologie générale qui s'y rattachent". Revue et Magasin de Zoologie Pure et Appliquée. X: 385–396.
  17. ^ Kitchener, A. C.; Breitenmoser-Würsten, C.; Eizirik, E.; Gentry, A.; Werdelin, L.; Wilting, A.; Yamaguchi, N.; Abramov, A. V.; Christiansen, P.; Driscoll, C.; Duckworth, J. W.; Johnson, W.; Luo, S.-J.; Meijaard, E.; O’Donoghue, P.; Sanderson, J.; Seymour, K.; Bruford, M.; Groves, C.; Hoffmann, M.; Nowell, K.; Timmons, Z.; Tobe, S. (2017). "A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group" (PDF). Cat News. Special Issue 11: 34−35.
  18. ^ Grassman, L. I. Jr.; Tewes, M. E. (2000). "Marbled cat in northeastern Thailand". Cat News. 33: 24.
  19. ^ Morino, L. (2009). "Observation of a wild marbled cat in Sumatra". Cat News (50): 20.
  20. ^ Borries, C.; Primeau, Z.M.; Ossi-Lupo, K.; Dtubpraserit, S. & Koenig, A. (2014). "Possible predation attempt by a marbled cat on a juvenile Phayre's leaf monkey". Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (62): 561–565.
  21. ^ Selvan, K.M., G.V. Gopi, B. Habib and S. Lyngdoh (2013). Hunting record of endangered Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata in the Ziro Valley of Lower Subansiri, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(1): 3583–3584.
  22. ^ Nowell, K. and Jackson, P. (1996). Marbled Cat Felis marmorata. in: Wild Cats. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

External links

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.


Balpakram is located in South Garo Hills district in Meghalaya, India.

Balpakram is famous for its forest covered canyon-cum-gorge, which is now part of a National Park. The park also includes the Balpakram plateau and adjacent forests. The area lies in the southern part of Meghalaya.

Garos, the local tribe inhabiting the region, believe this hill to be the sort of resting place for departed souls. This belief is due to many strange yet natural formations, physical and biological, found in the area. The place is also known for rare flora and fauna species and marine fossils. Balpakram is a hotspot of biodiversity in Meghalaya.Balpakram has a remnant population of the endangered Wild water buffalo Bubalus arnee. An interesting feature of the area is its small population of the Red panda that has generated curiosity across the world. Balpakram is an important habitat of the Asian elephants. The park has the last remaining herds of the gaur or Indian bison in Meghalaya. Elsewhere in the state only stray animals are found. There are eight species of cats, ranging from Tiger to Marbled cat.Balpakram has a diverse primate population having seven species. The rare Stump-tailed macaque is rarely seen but the Pig-tailed macaque is often encountered. Hoolocks are well distributed all over the park except the grassy plateau.Balpakram is also an Important Bird Area. It is an important tourist destination and is accessible from Guwahati via Tura and Baghmara as well as via Shillong and Ranikor. Besides the untouched forest in the gorge and the picturesque plateau, the panoramic view of Tanguar Haor, a Ramsar Site in northern Bangladesh are noteworthy features of Balpakram

Balphakram National Park

Balpakram National Park is a national park at about 3000ft. above sea level, near the Garo Hills in Meghalaya, India. Balpakram is located between latitudes 25°20' N and 25°30' N, and longitudes 90°45' E to 91° E . The Balpakram National Park is located to the extreme South of Garo Hills, Meghalaya at a distance of 62 km from Baghmara, the district headquarters of South Garo Hills and 167 km from nearest major townTura. This pocket of pristine beauty named Balpakram National Park is also close to the international boundary of Bangladesh. It is often compared to the Grand Canyon National Park of United States. It is often referred to as the "abode of perpetual winds" as well as the "land of spirits. It is believed that here, the spirits of the dead dwell temporarily before embarking on the final journey. Balpakram is sacred to the Garos as the abode of the dead spirits." It is the home of the barking deer and the golden cat. Commonly seen animals include wild water buffalo, red panda, elephant and eight species of cats including tiger and marbled cat. Balpakram, land of the eternal wind, according to Garo myth, has a very beautiful landscape and one of the best Canyon around the region. It is famous for unique land formations with surround the mythological stories of the Garos. Declared a national park by the Government of India, it is now a protected place and permission has to be sought from the wildlife authorities before entering. It has some unique plants species including the ones mentioned and the corridor for the Indian elephant. Balpakram was inaugurated as a National Park on 27 December 1987.

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.

The bay cat has been recorded as rare and seems to occur at relatively low density, even in pristine habitat.

Boiga multomaculata

Boiga multomaculata, also called the many-spotted cat snake, large-spotted cat snake and marbled cat-eyed snake, is a species of rear-fanged colubrid snakes of the genus Boiga.

Bukit Tigapuluh National Park

Bukit Tigapuluh National Park (also called Bukit Tiga Puluh and Bukit Tigapulah) - The Thirty Hills - is a 143,223 hectare National Park in eastern Sumatra, consisting primarily of tropical lowland forest, largely in Riau province, with a smaller part of 33,000 ha in Jambi province. It is famous as one of the last refuges of endangered species such as the Sumatran orangutan, Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, and Asian tapir, as well as many endangered bird species. It forms part of the Tesso Nilo Complex biodiversity hotspot. The Park is inhabited by the indigenous peoples of the Orang Rimba and Talang Mamak tribes.

The Park itself has been under consistent threat from illegal logging and palm oil plantations, with two thirds of the park logged.


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.


The Felinae is a subfamily of the family Felidae that comprises the small cats that have a bony hyoid, because of which they are able to purr but not roar.Other authors proposed an alternative definition for this subfamily: as comprising only the living conical-toothed cat genera with two tribes, the Felini and Pantherini; thus excluding all fossil cat species.

Kayan Mentarang National Park

Kayan Mentarang National Park is a densely forested national park in North Kalimantan province, Borneo Island, Indonesia. The national park is named after a great dispersed Mentarang mountain trails plateau of Apau Kayan which covers the entire park from Datadian area in south region to Apau Ping area in mid region until Long Bawan in north region.

Kutai National Park

Kutai National Park is a lowland national park located on the east coast of Borneo Island, in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesia, ranging approximately 10 to 50 km north of the equator.

List of species native to Thailand

The wildlife of Thailand includes its flora and fauna and their natural habitats.


Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.


The margay (Leopardus wiedii) is a small wild cat native to Central and South America. A solitary and nocturnal cat, it lives mainly in primary evergreen and deciduous forest.Until the 1990s, margays were hunted illegally for the wildlife trade, which resulted in a large population decrease. Since 2008, the margay has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List because the population is thought to be declining due to loss of habitat following deforestation.In his first description, Schinz named the margay Felis wiedii in honour of Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied who collected specimens in Brazil.

Nam Et-Phou Louey

Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NPA) is a protected area in northern Laos, covering 5,959 km2 in three provinces: Houaphan, Luang Prabang, and Xieng Khouang. The park includes a 3,000 km2 core area where human access and wildlife harvest is prohibited and a 2,950 km2 buffer area where pre-existing villages are allocated land for subsistence living.The park consists mainly of mountains and hills, with elevations ranging between 336 and 2257 metres. The area is the source of many rivers. It is named after the Nam Et River and Phou Louey Mountain ('Forever Mountain'). The area has a high level of biodiversity and endangered species including tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, Asian golden cat, marbled cat, civet, gaur, Sambar deer, white-cheeked gibbon, sun bear, black bear, Asian elephant, dhole, hornbill and three species of otter.Villagers living in the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park include Tai Dam, Tai Daeng, Tai Kao, Tai Puan, Tai Lue, Tai Yuan, Khmu, Hmong Kao, Hmong Lai, and Yao.

Viengthong, a small town in Houaphan Province, is the site of the Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA headquarters and visitor centre, where tours into the park can be organised. The town has basic accommodation and a handful of restaurants. There are many biking and walking trails, as well as hot springs.

Nokrek National Park

Nokrek National Park, the core area of Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, is a national park located approximately 2 km from Tura Peak in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, India. UNESCO added this National park to its list of Biosphere Reserves in May 2009. Along with Balphakram national park, Nokrek is a hotspot of biodiversity in Meghalaya.


Pardofelis is a genus of the cat family Felidae. This genus is defined as including one species native to Southeast Asia: the marbled cat. Two other species, formerly classified to this genus, now belong to the genus Catopuma.

The word pardofelis is composed of the Latin words pardus pard, and felis cat in allusion to the spots of the type species, the marbled cat.

Reserved wild animals of Thailand

Thailand has fifteen designated reserved wild animal species, which are defined by the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act of BE 2535 (1992). It prohibits hunting, breeding, possessing, or trading any of such species, except when done for scientific research with permission from the Permanent Secretary of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, or breeding and possession by authorised public zoos.

The fifteen reserved species are:

White-eyed river martin (Pseudochelidon sirintarae)

Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Kouprey (Bos sauveli)

Wild Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis (B. arnee))

Eld's deer (Cervus eldii)

Schomburgk's deer (Cervus schomburgki)

Mainland serow (Capricornis sumatraensis)

Chinese goral (Naemorhedus griseus)

Gurney's pitta (Pitta gurneyi)

Sarus crane (Grus antigone)

Marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata)

Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus)

Fea's muntjac (Muntiacus feae)

Dugong (Dugong dugon)Of these fifteen species, the Schomburgk's deer is already extinct, and the Javan and Sumatran rhinoceros are locally extinct in Thailand.In June 2016, the cabinet approved a preliminary proposal to add four marine species to the reserved animals list. They are: the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni), Omura's whale (Balaenoptera omurai) and the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

Sungai Kial Forest Reserve

The Sungai Kial Forest Reserve is a protected area of tropical rainforest habitat in Peninsular Malaysia near the town of Tanah Rata in the state of Pahang. The reserve is 100–250 km2 (39–97 sq mi) (uncertain boundaries), but is connected to, and part of, a large forest complex in the Cameron Highlands Forest Complex (> 4,000 km2 (1,500 sq mi)). Here the altitude ranges from 1,000–2,000 m (3,300–6,600 ft), making the likely forest type tropical hill or montane forest, and most likely possessing a high representation of tree species in the dipterocarp family.A camera trapping survey was carried out here in 1999, led by Wan Shaharuddin of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (as part of the Tiger Research Unit) and discovered a range of species including the marbled cat, leopard cat, asian golden cat, muntjac, malay civet, masked palm civet, common porcupine, brush-tailed porcupine, pangolin, sun bear, wild boar, banded linsang, short-tailed macaque (probably meaning the pig-tailed macaque) and wild dog (probably dhole). Despite being connected to the larger Cameron Highlands forest complex there were no tigers detected, which could be due to the relatively low sampling effort (just 575 camera trap nights).

Thale Ban National Park

Thale Ban National Park (Thai: ทะเลบัน) is a forested area south of the Banthat Mountains in southern Thailand, in the south of Satun Province bordering Malaysia; it borders Taman Negeri Perlis park. The park was established on 27 October 1980. It covers an area of 196 square kilometres (76 square miles) of Khuan Don and Mueang Satun districts.The nearest town to the park is Satun, west of the park and approximately 30 km (20 mi) southwest of park headquarters.

Extant Carnivora species

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