The Javan leopard is one of the rarest animals on earth and to capture a clear image of the animal in the wild is an even more rare opportunity. Recently though a camera trap set to capture the wild cat in its forest home in Indonesia was able to provide to the world with some incredible footage.
The Javan leopard was first caught on camera two years ago and since then many efforts had been on going to get more candid footage of the cat and learn more about it. The efforts finally paid when staff from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) installed 30 or so cameras around a rainforest national park in West Java and were able to get distinct images of the animal.
Camera traps have over the recent years come to be known as valuable aid for conservationists to get visual sightings of wildlife without disturbing them or any human interference. Most times though the images that are obtained from such cameras are hazy pictures of animals passing by.
This time though the organisation got very lucky when the cameras captured video of the rarest wild cat on earth casually sitting, yawning and sleeping in front of the camera as if, it was posing for the world.
“After I set up the camera and I checked the results, and I saw the leopard pictures I was very, very happy,” says CIFOR researcher Age Kridalaksana.
Sadly, the footage comes at a time when the Javan leopards are really in a critical state. The animal has been victim of poaching for long and most of its habitat has been destroyed because of more and more locals encroaching into the forest areas.
The IUCN red list categorises the leopard as Critically Endangered (CR)
“Indeed we have a very big challenge since more than 300 villages are located inside or around the park with more than 100,000 individuals,” says forestry technician Iwan Ridwan. “The most significant threat is deforestation, since deforestation reduces the habitat of these species and reduces their living space in order to search for food and to reproduce.”
Hopefully, the new video will spread the word about this elusive cat and help raise awareness on its protection and conservation in the area.