Jungle cat observed for first time in northwestern Iran

January 8, 2021 - 17:47

TEHRAN – After many years, for the first time, a jungle cat was observed in Assadabad plain located in northwestern Hamedan city, Mehdi Safikhani, deputy head of Hamedan department of environment has announced.

The jungle cat also called reed cat or swamp cat, is a medium-sized cat native to West Asia, South and Southeast Asia, and southern China. It inhabits foremost wetlands like swamps, littoral and riparian areas with dense vegetation. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and is mainly threatened by the destruction of wetlands, trapping, and poisoning.

The species image was recorded by one of the nature-enthusiast photographers, he stated, IRNA reported on Thursday.

The jungle cat is an endangered animal in Iran that only unofficial reports from the locals and nature lovers indicated the existence of this species in the environment, Safikhani noted.

He went on to say that so far, the rangers stationed in the protected areas of Malayer and Tuyserkan cities had reported the observation of this rare cat, which was finally confirmed by images recorded of this species.

This beautiful and rare animal belongs to the cat family and is solitary, except during the mating season and mother-kitten families, he added.

The nocturnal species feed on small and medium-sized mammals such as rabbits and lambs, other large mammals such as rams, ewes, and deer, and species such as snakes, frogs, fish, and birds, he explained.

He further stated that the jungle cat is a medium-sized, long-legged cat, the head-and-body length is typically between 59 and 76 cm, which weighs 2–16 kg. Its large, pointed ears are 4.5–8 cm in length and reddish-brown on the back; a small tuft of black hairs, nearly 15 mm long, emerges from the tip of both ears.

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