Catopuma badia


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Catopuma badia
Species Authority: (Gray, 1874)
Common Name(s):
English Borneo Bay Cat, Bay Cat, Bornean Marbled Cat, Bornean Bay Cat
French Chat Bai
Spanish Gato Rojo De Borneo
Felis badia Gray, 1874
Pardofelis badia (Gray, 1874)
Taxonomic Notes: Johnson et al. (2006) and Eizirik et al. (submitted) placed the Borneo Bay Cat (badia) with the Asiatic Golden Cat (temminckii) and Marbled Cat (marmorata) in Pardofelis, representing one of the earliest felid radiations (O'Brien and Johnson 2007). The Borneo Bay Cat is not a small island form of the Asiatic Golden Cat, as previously thought, having diverged from their common ancestor approximately four million years ago, well before the isolation of the island of Borneo (Johnson et al. 1999, O'Brien and Johnson 2007).

An evaluation of skull morphology by Sicuro and Oliveira (2011) revealed that skull structure in Pardofelis is quite different to that of Catopuma. Moreover, Pardofelis has a flexible ankle joint and elongated tail as adaptations to arboreality, which are lacking in Catopuma. Based on these differences, the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group retains bothbadia and temminckii in Catopuma.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hearn, A., Sanderson, J., Ross, J., Wilting, A. & Sunarto, S.
Reviewer(s): Nowell, K., Breitenmoser-Wursten, C., Breitenmoser, U. (Cat Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
The Borneo Bay Cat is forest-dependent, and forest cover on the island of Borneo, if current deforestation rates continue, is projected to decline from 50% to less than one-third by 2020 (Rautner et al. 2005). A decline of >20% in the Borneo Bay Cat population is thus projected over the next 12 years (= two generations) (IUCN Cats Red List Workshop 2007).

The Borneo Bay Cat appears to occur at low densities relative to other sympatric small felids, based on the paucity of both historical and recent records (Nowell and Jackson 1996, Meijaard 1997, Sunquist and Sunquist 2002, Dinets 2003, Azlan et al. 2003, Hearn and Bricknell 2003, Meijaard et al. 2005, Yasuda et al. 2007). The effective population size is suspected to be below 2,500 mature individuals (IUCN Cats Red List Workshop 2007).
2002 Endangered
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Insufficiently Known (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Rare (IUCN 1990)
1988 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Found only on the island Borneo, where its distribution is poorly known, with increasing but relatively few recent records (Nowell and Jackson 1996, Meijaard 1997, Dinets 2003, Azlan et al. 2003, Hearn and Bricknell 2003, Kitchener et al. 2004, Meijaard et al. 2005, Azlan and Sanderson 2007, Yasuda et al. 2007, Azlaand Sanderson 2007).

Historically it probably occurred islandwide (Meijaard 1997, Azlan and Sanderson 2007). However, there are still no confirmed records from Brunei (J. Sanderson pers. comm. 2008). Meijard's (1997) records went up to 500 m elevation, and it may range up to 800 m (Giman and Boeadi, Indonesia mammal assessment, 2006) or higher - there is an unconfirmed record from 1,800 m on Mt. Kinabulu (Payne et al. 1985).

The map shows range within forest cover (European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 2003) to reflect patchiness caused by deforestation upon recommendation of the assessors (IUCN Cats Red List workshop 2007).
Indonesia (Kalimantan); Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Borneo Bay Cat appears relatively rare compared to sympatric felids, based on the paucity of historical as well as recent records.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Borneo Bay Cat appears to be forest dependent, with records from hill and lowland forest as well as swamp forest (Meijaard 1997, Azlan et al. 2003, Hearn and Bricknell 2003, Azlan and Sanderson 2007, Yasuda et al. 2007). It has been recorded from regenerating logged forest (Nowell and Jackson 1996, Hearn and Bricknell 2003, Kitchener et al. 2004, Meijaard et al. 2005a). It has never been studied and there is no information about its diet (Nowell and Jackson 1996, Sunquist and Sunquist 2002). It occurs in both a reddish and grey colour phase. Observations and camera trap photos have occurred at mid-day (Azlan et al. 2003, Yasuda et al. 2007), early morning (Hearn and Bricknell 2003), and at night (Dinets 2003, Meijaard et al. 2005a).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss due to commercial logging and oil palm plantations are the major threat. Oil palm plantations are likely to expand in the future as a result of the push for biofuels, and forest cover on the island of Borneo, if current deforestation rates continue, is projected to decline from 50% to less than one-third by 2020 (Rautner et al. 2005). Wildlife traders are aware of the species' rarity, and bay cats have been captured illegally from the wild for the skin and pet markets (Sunquist and Sunquist 2002, Kitchener et al. 2004, Azlan and Sanderson 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Included on CITES Appendix II (as Catopuma badia). It is fully protected by national legislation across most of its range. Hunting and trade are prohibited in Indonesia (Kalimantan) and Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) (Nowell and Jackson 1996). It has been confirmed to occur in the following protected areas:

Sabah: Danum Valley Conservation Area (Nowell and Jackson 1996)

Sarawak - Gunung Mulu National Park (Dinets 2003), Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (Azlan et al. 2003)

Kalimantan: Gunung Palung National Park, Bentuang Karimum National Park (Meijaard 1997), Sungai Wain Protection Forest (Yasuda et al. 2007)

Bibliography [top]

Azlan, J. M. and Sanderson, J. G. 2007. Geographic distribution and conservation status of the bay cat Catopuma badia, a Bornean endemic. Oryx 40: 36-41.

Azlan, J. M., Lading, E. and Munau. 2003. Bornean bay cat photograph and sightings. Cat News 39: 2.

Dinets, V. 2003. First photo of a bay cat in the wild? Cat News 38: 14.

Eizirik, E., Johnson, W. E. and O'Brien, S. J. Submitted. Molecular systematics and revised classification of the family Felidae (Mammalia, Carnivora). Journal of Mammalogy.

European Commission, Joint Research Centre. 2003. Global Land Cover 2000 database.

Hearn, A. J. and Bricknell, S. 2003. Bay cat sightings in Kalimantan. Cat News 39: 3.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Johnson, W.E., Ashiki, F.S., Menotti R.M., Driscoll, C., Leh, C., Sunquist, M., Johnston, L., Bush, M., Wildt, D., Yuhki, N., O'Brien, S.J. and Wasse, S.P. 1999. Molecular genetic characterization of two insular Asian cat species, Bornean Bay cat and Iriomote cat. Evolutionary Theory and Process: Modern perspectives, Papers in Honour of Evivatar Nevo, pp. 223. Kulwer Academic Publisher.

Johnson, W. E., Eizirik, E., Pecon-Slattery, J., Murphy, W. J., Antunes, A., Teeling, E. and O'Brien, S. J. 2006. The late miocene radiation of modern felidae: A genetic assesstment. Science 311: 73-77.

Kitchener, A. C., Yasuma, S., Andau, M. and Quillen, P. 2004. Three bay cats from Borneo. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde 69(5): 349.

Meijaard, E. 1997. The bay cat in Borneo. Cat News 27: 21-23.

Meijaard, E., Prakoso, B. B. and Azis. 2005. A new record for the Bornean bay cat. Cat News 43: 23-24.

Nowell, K. and Jackson, P. 1996. Wild Cats. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

O'Brien, S. J. and Johnson, W. E. 2007. The evolution of cats. Scientific American July: 68-75.

Payne, J.C.M., Francis, C.M. and Phillipps, K. 1985. A field guide to the mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Rautner, M. 2005. Borneo: treasure island at risk. WWF Germany, Frankfurt, Germany.

Sicuro, F.L. and Oliveira, L.F.B. 2011. Skull morphology and functionality of extant Felidae (Mammalia: Carnivora): a phylogenetic and evolutionary perspective. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 161(2): 414–462.

Sunquist, M. and Sunquist, F. 2002. Wild Cats of the World. University of Chicago Press.

Yasuda, M., Matsubayashi, H., Rustam, Numata, S., Sukor, J. R. A. and Abu Bakar, S. 2007. Recent records by camera traps in Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. Cat News 47: 14-16.

Citation: Hearn, A., Sanderson, J., Ross, J., Wilting, A. & Sunarto, S. 2008. Catopuma badia. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 25 July 2014.
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