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Common Name : Jungle Cat     -       Scientific Name : Felis chaus       -       Other Name : Reed Cat, Swapm Cat 9E), Wal Balala (S)
Hunuwilagama
03/08/2020
Hunuwilagama
03/08/2020
Radagama
03/08/2020
Radagama
03/08/2020
Wilpattu Main road
03/08/2020

This species is native to the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and southern China.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Near Threatened” (National Red List 2012).

The Jungle Cat is strictly protected under schedule ii of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

Even though this interesting feline is said to occur in the dry and the intermediate zone of the country I have seen it in the wet zone at Bolgoda. In the dry zone I have seen it at many locations including Wasgomuwa, Bundala, Yala, Kumana, Udawalawa and at Ampara. In December 2010 I photographed two kittens of this species kept at the Ampara DWC office. They had been found by a farmer in his Chena and handed over to the DWC office. They had faint spots on the coat and had not acquired the uniform grey colour of the adults.

On some occasions after returning from the usual game drive at Wilpattu I would go for a drive in the night on roads out side the park to observe nocturnal animals. During such drives I have observed these cats in tank beds, harvested paddy fields and in Chena lands at night. Once I watched one stalk and pounce on a rodent at Holambalagama Tank. On another occasion I saw one leap a fair distance in to the air in pursuit of some bird that flew off. Their long limbs make them very agile hunters. As this feline is purely nocturnal it is very difficult to see them during a game drive in to the park. Further they appear to prefer the more open areas such as tank beds, reed fields and grasslands. The best opportunity of seeing one is to look for them in harvested paddy fields or on the main road at night.