Tsushima Leopard Cat

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Tsushima Leopard Cat

Tsushima Leopard CatOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Japanese Name: ツシマヤマネコ
Romanised Name: Tsushima yamaneko
First Featured in: Not Featured Yet
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Prionailurus bengalensis euptilura
Distribution: Tsushima
Diet: Carnivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: 4-15 years (wild, depending on habitat)
Read More: Leopard cat
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 CR.svg.png
Tsushima Leopard Cat

Tsushima Leopard Cat is a type of friend.

In Real Life

A Tsushima leopard cat.

The Tsushima leopard cat is a subspecies of the leopard cat which is localized to the Tsushima Islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture of Japan. One of two leopard cat subspecies which reside in the Japanese archipelago (the other being the Iriomote cat), the animal's population has been in sharp decline. As a result of this decline, the Tsushima leopard cat's habitats were designated a National Nature Monument in 1971, and the animal itself a National Endangered Species in 1994. A conservation program was quickly established soon after, in 1995.

Threats to the Tsushima leopard cat include diseases from the domestic cat, collisions with vehicles, and man-made hazards such as bear traps. Additionally, habitat loss from land development contributes to the decline. To combat this, an annual campaign to prevent population loss from roadkill is conducted, in addition to captive breeding to restore the population and field work to restore the forests that the cats call home.

The Tsushima Islands are home to a large population of feral domestic cats, often mistaken for Tsushima leopard cats. In comparison to domestic cats, the Tsushima leopard cat has a fatter tail, stripe patterns on the forehead, and a white round spot on the back of the ears.

The habitats of the Tsushima leopard cat tend to be highly natural areas, especially forested areas. However, because the cat is highly cautious and rare, sightings of the animal tend to be uncommon. Despite this, signs of their presence such as droppings and tracks prove that they continue to exist on the island in spite of the adversity they face. The primary diet of the cat is mice; however, in the winter they will eat birds, and in the summer they will eat insects.

Trivia

  • In 1997, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment established the Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center in response to the decline of the Tsushima leopard cat. The center has the three-fold purpose of teaching visitors about the cat, monitoring and researching the animal, and enacting conservation efforts to combat the species' decline.
    • Japanese locals often refer to the TWCC as the Yamaneko (lit. mountain cat) center.
  • The Tsushima leopard cat Friend was designed to help raise awareness and funds for conservation efforts being made towards the Iriomote cat and Tsushima leopard cat.

References

TWCC pamphlet on the Tsushima Leopard Cat

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