Sunday, January 17, 2010

postheadericon Identifying individual cloudys...

Great news from the field… we’ve discovered yet another male Sunda clouded leopard, which means that we can now identify at least six males and two females from our study area in Tabin. I say ‘at least’ because for some of these guys we only have photographs of one side of the animal, which means that we cannot be 100% sure that some of the photographs are not from the same individual.

The photo above is a collage of all of our cloudys we’ve discovered so far in Tabin. As with other felids each clouded leopard has a distinct coat pattern which we can use to tell individuals apart. Clouded leopards share many features of their coat pattern, but close inspection of the size and shape of individual’s clouds and spots will reveal key differences. Surprisingly, we’re finding that there may be less variability in the coat morphology of Tabin’s clouded leopards (see photo). Could this be the result of reduced gene pool?  We've also noticed that coat and tail morphology may differ between male and female clouded leopards, but that's a story for another day...

To aid in the ID’ing of these beasties we use ‘Photoshop’ to produce a tightly cropped image of both left and right sides (if we have them) of each animal. If needed, we can use the programme to sharpen the image or increase contrast etc. This reference collection can then be used to identify new cloudy photos as and when they come in.


Eddy c.y wong said...

Q: Is that possible Bornean red cat appear in Malaysia Johor state???

I saw the wild cat in front of my house, I saw it twice and my mom already saw three times!!! (saw it all at night)
1st time I saw it together with my mom, the feature of this wild cat is very clear, its face not look like normal cat!!!, skin color like gray?green? or black? (I really can’t tell), and special long tail!!! After 3 sec. eye contact with that wild cat, it run!!! Aiya, I still not prepare to take a picture +_=!!

For me, its tail is most important information. After done a research, I think it is Bornean red cat/Catopuma badia, but I think it is variation bcs its skin not looks like henna color, so is that possible Bornean red cat appear in Malaysia Johor state???

kuching_merah said...

The bay cat is known only from Borneo, but its close relative, the asiatic golden cat is found in west Malaysia - so it could be that. How large would you estimate the animal to be? Were you near or in forest?

Eddy c.y wong said...

Kluang (in Johor state) is my hometown, there is not big size forest near to my house, but in the past there is very small one forest, now already built some houses, Let me explain…..

Before my house was under construction, the place HERE was oil plam plantation, few years ago, the forest is near beside my house, sometimes I can saw wild boar, lizard, and some wild animal. But now, the forest became smaller and smaller until I cannot saw it already so sad huh?

Ok, now talk back about that wild cat I saw…. I think that cat is mature and its size is look like some bigger than normal cat…. U can check the links here

This pic I get from website is look like the cat I saw, probability more than 80% !!! especially its long tail and skin color….. So surprise huh, Kluang appear bay cat ! and only bat!