PAUL’S SMALL CAT DI­ARY

Pro­ducer Paul Wil­liams in­tro­duces six ex­tra­or­di­nary small-cat se­quences from the new BBC One se­ries.

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Pallas’s Cat -

1 FISH­ING CAT

FILMED: Bangladesh

IUCN STA­TUS: Vul­ner­a­ble Work­ing with lo­cal con­ser­va­tion­ists, we used un­der­wa­ter re­mote cam­eras to film one of these leggy spot­ted cats and her kit­tens as they learned to hunt in the mon­soon wet­lands. The mother stealth­ily tracked and pounced into the wa­ter to catch fish, but her off­spring were more in­ter­ested in play­ing with the aquatic plants.

2 RUSTY-SPOT­TED CAT

FILMED: Sri Lanka

IUCN STA­TUS: Near-threat­ened Un­sur­pris­ingly, the world’s small­est cat (it weighs just 1–1.5kg) is rarely seen. So we teamed up with con­ser­va­tion­ists in Sri Lanka to film a young male on the verge of in­de­pen­dence in a re­mote rain­for­est re­serve. Reg­u­lar down­pours, deep shade and a nim­ble cat all con­spired to present us with a huge chal­lenge.

3 SER­VAL

FILMED: South Africa

IUCN STA­TUS: Least con­cern Equipped with a night-vi­sion sur­veil­lance cam­era and ther­mal scopes, we spent sev­eral weeks film­ing in­side the se­cure buf­fer zone that sur­rounds Africa’s big­gest fuel plant. Lakes cre­ated to cool the plant have re­sulted in an ex­plo­sion of ro­dents in this waste­land. With no com­peti­tor big cats to worry about, it has led to the dens­est ser­val pop­u­la­tion on the con­ti­nent.

4 BOR­NEO BAY CAT

FILMED: Bor­neo

IUCN STA­TUS: En­dan­gered To get im­ages of the least-known of all the cats, we’d have to take a dif­fer­ent ap­proach. Our only hope was to join forces with Ox­ford Univer­sity’s An­drew Hearn, who is us­ing cam­era-traps in rain­for­est to carry out the first ever long-term study of the species. Watch Big Cats to find out if we were suc­cess­ful.

5 CANADA LYNX

FILMED: Canada

IUCN STA­TUS: Least con­cern In the Yukon, our team stripped the film kit to the ba­sics and headed out on show­shoes to track lynx be­ing stud­ied by sci­en­tists (my photo shows a cat tagged for the study). De­spite tem­per­a­tures plung­ing be­low –20°C and record-break­ing snow­fall, we filmed in­ti­mate scenes of the species’ unique re­la­tion­ship with its prey, the snow­shoe hare.

6 BLACK-FOOTED CAT

FILMED: South Africa

IUCN STA­TUS: Vul­ner­a­ble Africa’s dead­li­est cat, with the high­est hit rate when hunt­ing, is also the small­est. Us­ing spe­cial­ist night cam­eras we joined re­searchers in South Africa’s Ka­roo desert to track an in­di­vid­ual they have named Gyra. Two hun­dred times smaller than a lion, she would be al­most im­pos­si­ble to find in this land­scape, but a ra­dio col­lar al­lowed us to fol­low and film her noc­tur­nal pur­suits.

1

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.