Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sighting Of Rare Bay Cat In Sarawak Captures Worldwide Interest

KUCHING -- The recent sighting of the elusive Bay cat (Catopuma badia) within the timber concession area of the state's Forest Management Units - Anap Sustainable Development Unit (ASDU) in central Sarawak - has captured the interest of wildlife enthusiasts worldwide.

Sarawak Forestry Corporation chief executive director and managing director Datuk Len Talif Salleh said the Bay cat, considered the least known cat species in the world, was sighted and captured on video by camera traps at two locations by a research student from Sarawak who is currently studying in the Kyoto University.

"This sighting, in an area of over 110,000 hectares, has marked a new distributional record, which is approximately 120km from the nearest previously documented record in 2005," he said in a statement here today.

He said the site was managed by Zedtee Sdn Bhd which carries out logging operations under the strict management regulations of reduced impact logging in line with sustainable forest management (SFM) practices.

Previously rare sightings had only been made at the Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary and Pulong Tau National Park that borders Indonesia about 120km to the south and 300km to the north of ASDU respectively, he said.

"This significant finding is the direct result of conservation and forest management efforts by the state to promote high standards and good practices in logging areas," he said.

He added that the state government had signed a memorandum of understanding to implement the Innovative Rainforest Conservation and Management Plan, involving Sarawak Forest Department and the Sarawak Forestry, in January this year.

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