You know what a leopard is, you know what a cat is. But what is a leopard cat? Most importantly, they are natives!

From the 1800s till 1920s, leopard cats were not uncommon in the jungles of Singapore. However, rapid development and forest loss after World War II resulted in the proportionally rapid decline in leopard cat numbers. They were thought to be locally extinct on the mainland since sightings were so rare until one was seen alive on the main island (Mandai) in 1968.

There were no confirmed sightings until 1997, when one leopard cat was found trapped in an abandoned fishing net on Pulau Ubin which was then released back to the wild. Another was found, also on an off-shore island, on Pulau Tekong in 2005. Regrettably, mainland occurrences were only recorded from 2 dead road kills in 2001 (Mandai Road) and 2007 (Jalan Bahar). The Mandai Road specimen is now preserved at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.

My objective is to use conservation psychology to assess the leopard cat population crisis in Singapore. Singapore does not only have people as her only natural resource. We are more than that and let’s try to stay more than that!

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