Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) - Wiki
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[Photo] English: * Aufgenommen mit einer Canon EOS 300D im Raubtierhaus Frankfurter Zoo. Motiv: Rostkatze (Prionailurus rubiginosus). Photographer Petra Karstedt http://www.tiermotive.de/
The Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus, sometimes Felis rubiginosa) is a very small wild cat of southern India and Sri Lanka. It is 35-48 cm in length, plus 15-25 cm tail, weighing in at only approximately 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs.). The colour of the fur is grey, with rusty spots all over the back and the flanks, while the underbelly is white with large dark spots. The tail, thick and about half the length of the body, is darker in color than the body and the spots are less distinct. All in all this cat is quite similar to the related Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis, sometimes Felis bengalensis).
The Indian populations of Rusty-spotted Cats mainly live in tropical dry forests and dry grasslands, but in Sri Lanka rainforests are the preferred habitat. The reason for this difference may be the competition with the Leopard Cat, which occupies the rainforests of the mainland, but does not live in Sri Lanka.
These cats are nocturnal and partly arboreal, and feed on rodents, birds and lizards. Their nature is described as friendly and playful, making them conducive for domestication as pets. They are also hunted for food in some areas by local human populations.
The rusty-spotted cat faces a high risk of extinction in the wild and is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. More specifically, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) lists the Indian population in Appendix I (threatened with extinction where trade in the specimens is only allowed in exceptional circumstances) and the other populations in Appendix II (not necessarily threatened with extinction, but where trade in the furs is strictly controlled).
There are two subspecies:
- Prionailurus rubiginosus rubiginosus, India
- Prionailurus rubiginosus phillipsi, Sri Lanka
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