Rusty-spotted Cat in Kutch-Gujarat, India

Veer Vaibhav Mishra

On the evening of 12th February 2013, I was birding in a rocky area near the Chhari-Dhand bird conservation area in the famed Banni grasslands of Kutch. After seeing an eyeshine near a small bush, I spotted a small cat was sitting on a rock. I took some images of the wild cat. The cat was quite small (compared to the jungle cats common in the area) with a long tail and a white belly.

Experts later identified the cat as a Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) one of the world’s smallest wild cats. Being the first sighting from Kutch, this is a significant range extension for the mammal.

The sighting was reported to the Deputy conservator of forests Mr. PA Vihol, Kutch West division. The sighting was subsequently reported in the national media in DNA and Times of India.

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