Animal Rights

Caught in the Crossfire of Pest Control and Species Survival

Main image to the post Caught in the Crossfire of Pest Control and Species Survival

A Critically Endangered Species Caught in the Crossfire

The Tsushima leopard cat, a subspecies of the leopard cat found in China and Southeast Asia, is facing a critical threat on the remote island of Tsushima in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. These elusive creatures, estimated to number around 100, are being caught and injured in traps set for pests like deer and wild boars.

traps set by hunters to control pest populations.

These traps, often placed on animal trails, are ensnaring the leopard cats, leading to injuries and even death. Since 1992, 56 cats have been trapped, with 70% of these incidents occurring in the last decade. The increased use of traps has led to a surge in injuries to the cats.

The Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center is urging trappers to check their traps daily and adjust them to allow the cats' legs to slip through the wire ring if they are caught. However, with over 200 members of the island's hunting clubs setting up to 30 traps each, monitoring all traps is a logistical and financial challenge.

The situation presents a difficult dilemma. The city needs to control the pest populations to protect crops and rare plants, but this comes at the cost of endangering the already critically endangered Tsushima leopard cat. Finding a solution that balances the need for pest control with the protection of this unique species is crucial for the future of the Tsushima leopard cat.

Published By:
Round userpic of the post author Kyle Broflovski
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May 21, 2023 | 05:09