Photos of rare wild cats, including those of the endangered Sumatran tiger, have been captured in an Indonesian forest which is threatened by encroachment and deforestation.
The World Wide Fund has captured five rare wild cat species on camera during a survey in the unprotected forest corridor between the Bukit Tigapuluh forest landscape and the Rimbang Baling Wildlife sanctuary in Riau Province, Reuters reported.
Clouded leopard, marble cat, golden cat, and leopard cat are the other wild cats caught on the camera.
The WWF has urged the authorities to take immediate steps to conserve the valuable areas that are highly threatened by illegal encroachments and deforestation.
Unfortunately much of the natural forest area in the landscape is threatened by large scale clearance for industrial logging, pulp and paper, as well as illegal encroachment for palm oil plantation development, Aditya Bayunanda, WWF-Indonesia's coordinator for the Global Forest Trade Network Programme, said.
About 404 photos of wild cats, which include 226 of Sumatran tigers, 77 clouded leopards, 70 golden cats, 4 marbled cats and 27 leopard cats, have been taken so far this year.
These amazing cat photos also remind us of how much we could lose as more of these fragile forests are lost to logging, plantations and illegal encroachment, Karmila Parakkasi, coordinator of the WWF-Indonesia Tiger Research Team, said.
Researchers state that the area is subject to immediate review in order to protect its rich biodiversity and the endangered species either by expanding the park or managing it under the current forest ecosystem restoration scheme.
The abundant evidence of these five wild cat species suggests that the concession licenses of companies operating in these areas, such as Barito Pacific, should be reviewed and adjusted according to Indonesian Ministry regulations, and should be protected by the concessionaire, Bayunanda said.
Check out the spectacular pictures of the wild cats.