Why Small Cats?

Why small cats? There are 38 wild cats in the Felidae, the family of cats. Seven are what are popularly known as big cats: cheetah, jaguar, leopard, lion, puma, snow leopard, and tiger. The remaining 31 species are small cats.

logo_SCCA-154x115The 31 small cats are: African golden cat, Andean cat, Asiatic golden cat, bay cat, bobcat, black-footed cat, Canada lynx, caracal, clouded leopard, Eurasian lynx, fishing cat, flat-headed cat, Geoffroy’s cat, guigna, jaguarundi, jungle cat, Iberian lynx, leopard cat, marbled cat, margay, Pallas’ cat, pampas cat, ocelot, rusty-spotted cat, sand cat, serval, Sunda clouded leopard, tigrina, and wildcat.

Bay CatMembers of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group have ranked all wild cats according to their population status in the wild. The Iberian lynx is ranked Critically Endangered. Six species are ranked Endangered: Andean cat, bay cat, fishing cat, flat-headed cat, snow leopard, and tiger.

Small cats face a variety of threats but receive very little conservation funding to help reduce and mitigate these threats. Less than 1% of conservation fusning for all wild cats is invested in 31 species of small cats! The cancerous spread of oil palm plantations has greatly increased the risk of extinction to flat-headed cats.

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