Once again concerned people are presented with another example of the destruction of the habitat of a wild cat. This time it is the leopard cat in Taiwan.
The leopard cat is also called the Asian leopard cat and people will know this wild cat species as the other half of the wild cat hybrid, the Bengal cat, which is a very popular domestic cat especially in the USA. In Taiwan this cat is also called “Joho” meaning “Rock Tiger”. I presume that in Taiwan this wild cat lives amongst rocks. The leopard cat has very strong facial markings not unlike the markings of the tiger.
The leopard cat is found across large parts of Asia. It is probably fair to say that all wild cat species are threatened by habitat loss, some more than others. The leopard cat is quite adaptable and is able for example to live on plantations but nonetheless more needs to be done to conserve this single-minded small wildcat species which is said to be impossible to domesticate.
We are told in a petition on the petitionsite.com that fewer than 500 leopard cats are living in a part of mid Taiwan called Miaoli County (or does that number relate to the whole of Taiwan?). Their habitat is threatened by a large development of a consortium of companies including Yulong Vehicle Company and FuLuSo Funeral Service.
Despite the fact that there appears to be no planning permission at present from the local government to build on the habitat of the leopard cat in this part of Taiwan, the companies have started engineering work. It appears that an environmental evaluation is yet to be completed.
I just wish to spread the word really about habitat loss in Asia which is having a terrible impact upon the wild cats species in that part of the world.
The major reason for habitat loss is deforestation. In Borneo where the Bay cat is under tremendous threat. The Bay cat is a very secretive and rare species of small wild cat.
I don’t know much more about this problem except to say that it seems to me to be quite typical in that there appears to be insufficient planning controls and insufficient enforcement of existing legislation preventing uncontrolled expansion of businesses.
One last point: it appears that the leopard cat is already forced to live amongst urbanisation because an adult leopard cat was run over by a car in Sanyi, Miaoli County and killed. Apparently the cat suffered a serious head injury.
Note: My thanks to Marc for spotting this story.