We all are traveller on this planet earth, we are here to experience the God's creation, let's travel around the world to enjoy nature and all its fascinating elements. Travelling to see and photograph wildlife fascinates me the most. I present before my readers my experience as a traveller and natural history destinations on mother earth.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Jungle cat (Felis chaus)
Jungle cat (Felis chaus) is a close relative of domestic cat.
Although wide spread and common at most of its distribution range it is
difficult to see due to its camouflage and habit. With pale grey brown to tawny
brown fur, dark rings on tail and distinctive tufts on ears it can be differentiated
with domestic and other cat species. It was thought to be a member of Lynx family
earlier and at times even called Jungle Lynx.
Jungle Cat in search of prey sits well camoufledged in tall grass
Taken at - Kanha National Park
slender face, tuft on the ears, short tail and long legs Jungle cat is largest
species of Felis genus. Fur colour varies as per region and sub species from
yellowish grey, reddish brown, pale grey brown or tawny brown with black spots
and visible black bars on tail and legs. Somewhat larger than domestic cats
standing around 37 to 50 inches long (including tails) and 14 inches tall they
weigh around 8 – 10 Kgs. Females are slightly shorter than males. Its tufted
ears are long and pointed towards the end set fairly high on the head.
Range: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan,
Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan,
Laos, Mongolia, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab
Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.
The jungle cat, can be found in variety of environment
but prefers habitat with dense vegetative cover, especially reed swamps, marshes,
grass lands and oasis in deserts with availability of water being an important
factor. They have been observed to have adapted well to irrigated cultivation
throughout their range and can
be seen in jungles or open country in the neighborhood of villages. They can
be found from sea level to an altitude of 8000 ft in Himalayas.
behavior and Food
Jungle Cat is a carnivore and preys on small animals mainly hares, ground
birds, snakes, lizards, squirrels, frogs, etc. Although mainly nocturnal they
hunt during both day and night and in winters mostly in early morning as well
as late afternoon. They maintain their territory by urine spraying and scent
marking and hunt by ambushing and stalking their prey from behind tall grass
cover or reeds and catching them with a final pounce. Most of its preys are
small in size say less than a kilo in weight but it has been seen killing
chital fawns, young of other animals, water birds and scavenge on other animals
kills at times. Solitary in nature they use abandoned burrows, tree holes, and coves
or dense vegetation to rest and can be seen sun bathing in winters.
most common predators include crocodiles, bears, wolves, Jackals, and other
larger felines such as tigers and leopards. When countered by a threat, the
jungle cat will produce small roars before attacking. They have been seen
jumping on attacker trying to catch from the larynx if threatened. There have
been known cases of jungle cats attacking probing humans near their kittens. They
can swim well and walk up to 3 Km’s at a stretch. They have been known to live
for 16 – 20 years in the wild.
give birth to litters of three to five kittens, usually only three and have
been seen raising two litters in a year although rarely. Gestation lasts 63–66 days;
birth generally takes place between December and April, depending on the local
climate. Kittens are weaned generally after 100 days.Before birth, the mother prepares a den in an
abandoned burrow, hollow tree, or grass / reed bed. Although Jungle Cats do not give birth to young once around human habitation but the author noted in December 2012
that it had given birth to kittens at KanhaVillage Eco Resort,
Kanha National Park which shows that if local habitat is left undisturbed and
it feels safe Jungle cats do not hesitate to use inhabited places.
weigh 80 to 160 grams at birth, initially blind and helpless. They open their
eyes at ten to thirteen days of age. Raising the kittens is female’s job but
males have been seen to be very protective of their offspring. Kittens start catching
their own prey at roughly six months, and leave the mother after a couple of
populations of jungle cat subspecies are declining in several countries and
areas due to decline in habitat and poaching.
Cat - Felis chaus is listed on CITES Appendix II and its hunting
is prohibited in Bangladesh, China, India, Israel, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tajikistan,
Thailand, and Turkey but it does not get enough protection.
India Kanha National Park is one of the best places to see this
beautiful animal along with Ranthambhore, Pench, Sariska, Panna, etc.