Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kucing Emas (Golden Cat) Yang Hampir Terhapus Ditemui di TNBG


A camera installed by researchers once captured an extremely rare golden cat (Catopuma temminekii) in the forest. "It's a very rare and almost extinct cat species globally," said, Mandailing Natal forestry office Budi Ismoyo.
KUCING EMAS (Catopuma temminckii)

Tim peneliti Conservation International (CI) Indonesia berhasil mendokumentasikan keberadaan kucing emas lewat kamera perangkap. Kucing langka ini ditemukan di Taman Nasional Batang Gadis, Mandailing Natal, Sumatera Utara. Binatang ini lebih mirip puma ketimbang spesies kucing yang hidup di hutan Asia. Golden cat punya perbedaan mendasar dibandingkan lima jenis kucing penghuni Taman Nasional Kerinci Seblat yang kulitnya polos. Selain berwarna kuning keemasan, kulit kucing emas ada pula yang berwarna cokelat tua atupun abu-abu. Warna yang paling langka ialah melanistic alias hitam tulen. Kucing emas yang satu ini kerap disangka macan kumbang oleh masyarakat Sumatera. Jejak kaki kucing domistik. Tentunya tanpa cakar seperti pada jari kaki anjing. Satwa yang panjang tubuhnya bisa mencapai 1,3 meter ini memiliki berat sekitar 15 kilogram. Ia biasa hidup di dataran rendah.


Animal Info - Asiatic Golden Cat
(Other Names: Asiatische Goldkatze, Chat de Temminck, Chat Doré d'Asie, Gato Dorado Asiatico, Golden Cat, Harimau Anjing, Hso Hpai, Huang Hu, Jin Mao, Kuching Mas, Kucing Emas, Kucing Tulap, Kya Min, Kyaung Min, Miao Thon, Shonali Biral, Sua Fai, Sua Meo, Sua Pa, Temminck's Cat, Zhi Ma Bao)
Catopuma temminckii (Felis t.)
Status: Vulnerable

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Contents
1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, Taxonomy, Population Estimates, Distribution, Threats)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Size and Weight, Habitat, Age to Maturity, Gestation Period, Birth Season, Birth Rate, Maximum Age, Diet, Behavior (Activity, Movement, Denning, Hunting and Feeding), Social Organization, Range)
5. References


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Profile
Pictures: Asiatic Golden Cat #1 (24 Kb JPEG) (IUCN Cat Spec. Gr.); Asiatic Golden Cat #2 (21 Kb JPEG) (IUCN Cat Spec. Gr.); Asiatic Golden Cat #3 (31 Kb JPEG) (IUCN Cat Spec. Gr.); Asiatic Golden Cat #4 (48 Kb JPEG) (Cat Surv. Trust)

The Asiatic golden cat is about twice the size of a large house cat. Its head and body are up to 1 m (3.3') long and it weighs about 14 kg (30 lb). Its coat color is variable - it can be golden brown to dark brown, pale cinnamon, bright red, or gray. The fur is usually uniform in color, but it can also be marked with spots and stripes. The fur is moderately long, dense, and rather harsh to the touch. The Asiatic golden cat has short, rounded ears, and in all color phases its head is distinctly marked with white lines bordered with black running across each cheek and from the inner corner of each eye up to the crown.

The Asiatic golden cat usually inhabits tropical and subtropical evergreen lowland and dry deciduous forest. It has been recorded up to 3,050 m (10,000') in the Himalayas. The Asiatic golden cat does not adapt well to areas settled by humans. It has a wide ranging diet, composed mainly of small mammals (e.g. rats and mice), but also including birds, reptiles and larger mammals such as deer. In some areas the Asiatic golden cat is thought to be nocturnal, while in other areas it appears to be active during the day and at night. Young golden cats are raised in hollow trees, in rock hollows, and in holes in the ground. The Asiatic golden cat is primarily a terrestrial hunter, but it can climb trees when it needs to. Males and females often hunt in pairs, and the male is thought to play an active role in rearing the young.

The Asiatic golden cat is found from Tibet (China), Nepal, and Sikkim (India) through southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, and peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra (Indonesia). Areas of good habitat still exist in Bhutan, parts of northeastern India, and China. It is thought to be uncommon. The Asiatic golden cat is threatened primarily by habitat loss due to deforestation and loss of its prey due to illegal hunting. It is also hunted for its pelt, and its bones are used as a substitute for tiger bone in traditional Asian medicines.


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Tidbits
*** Cat Tidbit #2: It has been a mystery for years why domestic cats, along with big cats like lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars, don’t like sweet-tasting foods. This is unusual in mammals. Scientists have discovered why cats prefer eating meat and fish instead - they can’t taste sugary foods due to a defect in a key gene for tasting. Molecular analysis shows that big cats also have the faulty gene. (Cat News 2004) (See Cat Tidbit #3.)

*** In Thailand, the forest people believe that the Asiatic golden cat is extremely fierce, and that it's the master of all other cats. The Karen, a local tribe, believe that carrying a single hair of the Asiatic golden cat on your person will keep tigers away. (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002)

*** In China, the Asiatic golden cat is thought to be a kind of leopard and is known as the rock cat or yellow leopard. Different color phases have different names; those with dark fur are called inky leopards, and those with spotted coats are called sesame leopards. (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002)


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Status and Trends
IUCN Status:
[The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature; also called the World Conservation Union) is the world’s largest conservation organization. Its members include countries, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The IUCN determines the worldwide status of threatened animals and publishes the status in its Red List.]

1986 - 1994: Indeterminate
1996: Lower Risk/near threatened
2002 - 2005: Vulnerable; (Criteria: C2a(i)) (Population Trend: Decreasing) (IUCN 2005)
Countries Where the Asiatic Golden Cat Is Currently Found:
2005: Occurs in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia (Sumatra), Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. (IUCN 2005).

Taxonomy:
Recent genetic analyses have lead to the proposal that all modern cats can be placed into eight lineages which originated between 6.2 - 10.8 million years ago. The Asiatic golden cat is placed in the "bay cat lineage," which diverged from its ancestors as a separate lineage 10.8 million years ago. The bay cat lineage also includes the bay cat and the marbled cat. (Johnson et al. 2006)

Population Estimates:
[Note: Figures given are for wild populations only.]

WORLD
The Asiatic golden cat’s total effective population size is estimated at below 10,000 mature breeding individuals (IUCN 2005).
Distribution:
The Asiatic golden cat is found from Tibet (China), Nepal, and Sikkim (India) through southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, and peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra (Indonesia). Areas of good habitat still exist in Bhutan, parts of northeastern India, and China. It is thought to be uncommon. (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002, IUCN 2005)

Distribution Map (2 Kb GIF) (Big Cats Online)

Threats:
The Asiatic golden cat is threatened primarily by habitat loss due to deforestation and loss of its prey due to illegal hunting. It is also hunted for its pelt, and its bones are used as a substitute for tiger bone in traditional Asian medicines (Grassman et al. 2005, IUCN 2005).


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Data on Biology and Ecology
Size and Weight:
Head and body length: 66 - 105 cm (26 - 41") (n = 15+); Weight: 12 - 16 kg (26 - 35 lb) (n = ?) except for 2 adult females that weighed 7.9 and 8.5 kg (17.4 and 18.7 lb) (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002, Grassman 2003).

Habitat:
The Asiatic golden cat inhabits tropical and subtropical evergreen lowland and dry deciduous forest. Less frequently it is found in more open habitats such as shrub and grasslands and sometimes in more open rocky areas. It has been recorded from lowlands up to 3,050 m (10,000') (Sikkim, India, in the Himalayas). Two radio-collared Asiatic golden cats in Thailand used habitat (95% - closed forest, and 5% - open forest-grassland) in proportion to occurrence, rather than favoring one type of habitat over the other, and locations were uniformly distributed. The Asiatic golden cat does not adapt well to or prefer areas settled by humans. (Humphrey & Bain 1990, Nowell & Jackson 1996, Holden 2001, Sunquist & Sunquist 2002, Grassman et al. 2005, IUCN 2005)

The Asiatic golden cat is found in both the Himalaya, Indo-Burma, Mountains of Southwest China, and Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspots (Cons. Intl. 2005) and the Kayah-Karan/Tenasserim Moist Forests and Peninsular Malaysian Lowland and Montane Forests Global 200 Ecoregions (Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999).

Age to Maturity:
The Asiatic golden cat attains sexual maturity by 18 - 24 months (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002).

Gestation Period:
Thought to be 78 - 80 days (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002).

Birth Season:
Litters are born throughout the year in captivity (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002). In the wild, a male and female pair was photographed with a small cub in late August in Sumatra, Indonesia (Holden 2001).

Birth Rate:
1 - 3 kittens are born (average = 1.11) (captivity) (Nowell & Jackson 1996). If a litter is lost, the mother may produce another litter within 4 months (Humphrey & Bain 1990).

Maximum Age:
Up to 20 years (n = 12) (captivity) (Nowell & Jackson 1996).

Diet:
The Asiatic golden cat has a wide ranging diet mainly composed of small mammals (e.g. rats, mice, voles, ground squirrels), but also probably including amphibians, insects, birds (e.g. pheasants), reptiles (e.g. grass snake) and small ungulates (e.g. muntjacs and chevrotains). It will kill domestic poultry as well as sheep, goats, and buffalo calves. (Humphrey & Bain 1990, Nowell & Jackson 1996, Sunquist & Sunquist 2002, Grassman et al. 2005, IUCN 2005)

Behavior:
Activity - Published information on the activity patterns of the Asiatic golden cat displays varying results. A number of authors state that the Asiatic golden cat is primarily nocturnal (Nowell & Jackson 1996, Sunquist & Sunquist 2002, IUCN 2005). However, a study using photo-trapping in Sumatra, Indonesia (Holden 2001) indicated that the Asiatic golden cat was cathemeral. Forty-seven percent of the photographs showed the golden cats moving during daylight hours, with no particular bias towards crepuscular activity, and 53% of the photographs showed them active during the night. Finally, in a study in Thailand that followed 2 radio-collared Asiatic golden cats (1 female and 1 male) for 12 - 16 months (Grassman et al. 2005), daily activity levels indicated that the cats exhibited arrhythmic activity dominated by crepuscular and diurnal patterns, with activity peaks occurring between 0801 - 1000 h and 1601 - 1800 h (average activity = 69 %). The greatest numbers of inactive periods were scattered throughout late night (0001 - 0200 h and 0401 - 0600 h, average activity = 40 %) time periods. Overall the two cats were active during 56% of activity readings.

Movement - A male and a female golden cat, which were radio-tracked in Thailand, traveled an average of 1,600 m/day (56 - 9,300 m/day) (5200 ft/day (180 - 30,500 ft/day)). The average daily movement of the male was 2,300 m/day (640 - 9,300 m/day) (7500 ft/day (2100 - 30,500 ft/day)), while for the female the average daily movement was 1,100 m/day (56 - 3000 m/day) (3600 ft/day (180 - 9800 ft/day)). (Grassman 2003)

Denning - The Asiatic golden cat raises its young in hollow trees, in rock hollows, and in holes in the ground (Humphrey & Bain 1990).

Hunting and Feeding - The Asiatic golden cat is primarily a terrestrial hunter, but it can climb trees when it needs to. In captivity, Asiatic golden cats kill small prey with a bite on the back of the neck, as is typical of small cat species generally. They also pluck birds larger than pigeons before beginning to feed. (Sunquist & Sunquist 2002)

Social Organization:
The Asiatic golden cat often hunts in pairs, and the male is said to play an active role in rearing the young (Nowak 1999).

In the study in Thailand mentioned above, where one male and one female Asiatic golden cat were radio-collared and radio-tracked. It was found that there was a significant overlap in the home ranges of the male and the female. Fifty-three percent of the range of the male encompassed 78% of the range of the female. (Grassman et al. 2005)

Range:
In the study of radio-tracked Asiatic golden cats mention above, the resulting estimates of home range sizes were: F - 33 sq km (13 sq mi) and M - 48 sq km (19 sq mi). Their movements were not clustered around small core areas and space use within the home ranges was relatively uniform. (Grassman 2003, Grassman et al. 2005)


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References
Big Cats Online, Cat News 2004, Cat Surv. Trust, Cons. Intl. 2005, Grassman 2003, Grassman et al. 2005, Holden 2001, Humphrey & Bain 1990, IUCN 2005, IUCN Cat Spec. Gr., Johnson et al. 2006, Nowell & Jackson 1996, Olson & Dinerstein 1998, Olson & Dinerstein 1999, Sunquist & Sunquist 2002

http://www.animalinfo.org/species/carnivor/catotemm.htm