Predicted distribution of the leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) on Borneo
Mohamed A., Ross J., Hearn AJ., Cheyne SM., Alfred R., Bernard H., Boonratana R., Samejima H., Heydon M., Augeri DM., Brodie JF., Giordano A., Fredriksson G., Hall J., Loken B., Nakashima Y., Pilgrim JD., Rustam None., Semiadi G., van Berkel T., Hon J., Lim NTL., Marshall AJ., Mathai J., Macdonald DW., Breitenmoser-Würsten C., Kramer-Schadt S., Wilting A.
© 2016 National University of Singapore. The leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis is one of the smallest cat species found on Borneo and is the most widely distributed wild cat species in Asia. It is listed on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Least Concern. The leopard cat is known to tolerate habitat disturbance and to occur in a range of vegetation types including primary and secondary forests, plantations and orchards. However, the extent to which the leopard cat can tolerate habitat disturbance and utilise non-forest areas is still unknown. In this paper, we collected 373 leopard cat location records across Borneo; of these, 228 records were obtained between 2001 and 2011. We analysed 63 (Balanced Model) and 102 (Spatial Filtering Model) records to model habitat suitability. The models predicted more than two-thirds of Borneo to be suitable habitat for the leopard cat. Almost the entire area of Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and East Kalimantan were predicted to be suitable. The south of Central Kalimantan and the majority of West Kalimantan were predicted to be marginally suitable whereas half of South Kalimantan was predicted to be unsuitable for this species. Although more intensive surveys in Brunei, West Kalimantan and South Kalimantan would help to understand leopard cat distribution, no conservation actions are needed for this species.