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February 19, 2010

Seven species of rare Indian wild cats caught on film

     London: Reports indicate that one of the world's highest number of wild cat species has been recorded on film in India's Eastern Himalayan rainforest. According to BBC News, seven species of wild cats were photographed by remote cameras equipped with motion sensors in a remote area of rainforest in northeast India. The study was conducted by wildlife biologist Kashmira Kakati over two years in more than 500 sq km (5,380 sq ft) of forestry in Assam state. All the cats were photographed in the Jeypore-Dehing lowland forests. They include the rare and elusive clouded leopard, four species of tiger, the marbled cat and the golden cat. Wildlife experts say the discovery is an encouraging sign despite the ongoing threat to animal life in the Eastern Himalayas. Deforestation, poaching and major engineering projects, such as hydro-electric dams, threaten the long-term survival of wildlife habitats. Crude oil extraction and coal mining are also taking their toll. Wildlife Conservation Society-India spokesman Ravi Chellam said that rainforests were important for preserving biodiversity and creating a livelihood for local communities. "The entire forest here should be protected as a single conservation landscape, free of disturbance and connected by wildlife corridors," he said.
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