New Delhi: A highly endangered cat species - the rusty spotted cat - has been spotted by a team of wildlife experts in the Corbett Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand, an official statment said Friday.
The rare, elusive cat was photographed by the experts of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) at a camera trap station on the road near the well-known Morghati forest rest house within the reserve on July 28 and again Aug 3, 2011, the environment ministry said in a statement Friday.
The rusty spotted cat is a highly endangered cat species, which has been accorded the highest statutory protection under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, besides under the Appendix I of the CITES - an international treaty to protect wildlife.
"The species is little smaller than the domestic cat with a rufescent or fawn grey coat. It is targeted by professional track hunters for its valuable fur," the statement said.
This cat is found in India and Sri Lanka, and has been reported mainly in the Western Ghats, besides in some pockets of Jammu and central India.
During the 2010 country level estimation of tigers and co-predators, the cat`s presence has also been reported in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh.