Predicted distribution of the bay cat Catopuma badia (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) on Borneo
Hearn AJ., Ross J., Macdonald DW., Samejima H., Heydon M., Bernard H., Augeri DM., Fredriksson G., Hon J., Mathai J., Mohamed A., Rustam None., Meijaard E., Hunter LTB., Breitenmoser-Würsten C., Kramer-Schadt S., Wilting A.
© 2016 National University of Singapore. The bay cat Catopuma badia is a small cat endemic to the tropical forests of Borneo. One of only seven cats to be listed as Endangered by The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the bay cat is seldom seen, rarely photographed and is widely held to be one of the least known of the world’s wild cats. Consequently its distribution is known only poorly, hindering efforts for its conservation. Here we use MaxEnt niche distribution modelling to make predictions regarding its current distribution on Borneo. We collected a total of 71 occurrence records for the bay cat, stemming from all Bornean regions apart from Brunei and South Kalimantan, of which 40 were used in our modelling. Our habitat suitability modelling predicts that an extensive, contiguous area of interior Borneo, much of it hill forest, but also containing lowland and submontane forest, is suitable for the bay cat, supporting an earlier hypothesis that this cat is widespread across the island. Extreme lowlands, supporting mangrove and swamp forest habitats, were typically predicted as low suitability, as were the considerable areas of Borneo now converted to oil palm plantations. Based on the current predicted distribution we provide a list of priority areas for the conservation of the bay cat across Borneo.