SAVE WILD CATS FOUNDATION
New partnership with BRIN
Our foundation was created out of a desire to save the most endangered species of wild cats. Unfortunately, many of them are dying out in silence because they are not as well known as lions or panthers. Since the foundation's inception, the flat-headed cats have been at the center of our interests. To be able to support the survival of this and other species found in Indonesia in the best possible way, we have established a partnership with the National Research and Innovation Agency of Indonesia (BRIN), which is responsible for overseeing all scientific endeavors in the country.
The flat-headed cats live mainly in Indonesia, Brunei as well as Malaysia. They were declared extinct in 1985, found again in nature in 1995, and are now extinct in Thailand. The habitat of tufted cats is closely associated with wetlands and lowland forests. An IUCN Red List evaluation in 2014 estimated the population at about 2,500 individuals with a declining trend - this classifies the species as threatened with extinction.
What is BRIN?
BRIN not only issues approvals and certifications that allow research to be conducted in Indonesia, but also supervises and coordinates cooperation between research, scientific and industrial units conducting Research&Development activities.
Thanks to our cooperation, we can safely store the genetic material of the flat-headed cat, collected during a recent trip to Indonesia by scientists working with the foundation. However, this is not the only aspect of our cooperation.
The beginning of cooperation
Our cooperation with BRIN provides for the collection of genetic material (oocytes, semen, skin samples, etc.) from all wild cat species found in Indonesia. The species that we are prioritizing are the flat-headed cat and the sunda clouded leopard, but we will have the opportunity to create a genetic bank that will include material collected from all cats in Indonesia.
As part of the cooperation, BRIN will provide the foundation with the tools necessary to achieve this goal. What is needed is not only specialized medical equipment to collect the materials in an animal-safe manner, but also a properly equipped infrastructure to preserve and store the samples.
In August 2023, our representatives will travel to Indonesia to launch the first cooperation activities. It is extremely important for the foundation to share knowledge. There is a shortage of small cat specialists in the world. The main reason for this is that it is extremely difficult to gain knowledge about them. They are very rare and hard to find. Most of the most endangered species can be found in captivity in only a few places in the world and field research is almost impossible, due to the animals' extreme timidity.
Created by the foundation in 2022, a team of scientists specializing in the reproduction of small wild cats, consisting of specialists from Poland and the United States, will conduct training for Indonesian scientists working with BRIN. We believe that spreading the knowledge necessary to save wild cats is crucial to their survival.