After two months of seriously tough work setting up the first block of camera traps we are delighted to inform you that we are beginning to see results, including photos of leopard cats, marbled cats and clouded leopards!
As expected, the first wild cat photograph that we captured at Tabin was of a leopard cat. Since then we have captured a further 19 Leopard cats on camera, mainly along the core road, but also along some of the abandoned logging roads and some of our freshly cut trails.
Leopard cat photographed on the core road at 7:25 pm.
To date we have captured five independent (i.e. taken at different times) photographs of clouded leopards, two from the core road that runs through the reserve, two from an old logging road (jalan Raya bagus). Unfortunately, on all occasions only one camera out of the pair photographed the cat, meaning that we have only either left or right sided photos – not both – as we desperately need in order to identify individual animals unambiguously. Nevertheless, from comparing only left sides we can tell that that we have at least three different animals – all males.
Clouded leopard Male 2 or Mr Fish (Jo thinks he has a fish shape marking or cloud, on his side)
Surprisingly, we have captured four independent photos of two individual marbled cats, both female. I say surprisingly because it is very rare to get this species on camera. These two were photographed at a single site along a trail that we created from new. On all but one occasion the marbled cats were walking directly along the path that we had previously swept clean, leading us to tentatively assume that our trail cutting and sweeping have encouraged these cats to use the trail.
A female marbled cat photographed along a “purpose-built” trail.
This is a great start to the survey, let’s hope that the good luck continues!