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Endangered Small Cat Tour 

42% of the cost of your stay with us goes directly back into the local community, conservation projects and wildlife studies on endangered species that need our help.

If you are interested in wildlife safaris of almost never seen endangered small wild cats, this is the tour for you. We decided to offer this tour as one of our main conservation efforts is to conserve and protect the rare small wildcats found in the Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary and other lesser-known cat habitats of India. Since most people, including ourselves earlier in 2005 when we started our conservation projects, have never seen or heard of these cats we thought if more awareness comes for the plight of these animals by people who actually see them in their natural habitat the forthright will and determination of concerned individuals could help save them. This is a tour for patient individuals who want an unforgettable experience in the wild that can contribute to conserving and protecting India's rarest small wild cats. Three different jungles in India will be part of this tour that will take you to savannah grasslands, endangered wetlands and thick tropical forests. 12-14 days are needed for this tour.


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Rusty Spotted Cat on a limb after a kill


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Rusty Spotted Cat listening for prey

The first star of this tour is the Rusty Spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus rubiginosus), the world's smallest wild cat with females weighing just 3 kilos. The population is unknown and endangered and believed to be declining. Found only in South Asia, they live in dry and moist deciduous forests, mysterious, shy, and beautiful with a plush grey coat and subtle soft spots. You will be taken to the jungle where India's top researcher for this felid, Kunal Patel, has worked tirelessly for the last nine years documenting the Rusty Spotted Cat , its habitat and habits to find the necessary links to its survival. You will stay in simple accommodation with a private bedroom with attached bathroom with running water. During the day you will take wildlife safaris through the thick jungle to see this cat's habitat and observe how Kunal Patel and his team set up camera traps and other devices for observation. At night you will be taken along with Kunal Patel and his research team into the jungle as they do their studies. You will be asked to help with their research and be hands on during this safari and once you see the Rusty Spotted Cat hunting in a field or climbing a tree to safety when a predator is spotted you will never forget the sight.


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Asian Steppe Wildcat looking for prey


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Asian Steppe Wildcat taking a rest between hunting

The second star of this tour is the Asian Steppe Wildcat (Felis silvestris ornata).

This elusive striking cream, white and spotted cat is still believed by International conservation institutions to have a stable population though declining. We know through our conservation and wildlife studies in Rajasthan and the Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary that this is no longer the case. Over hunting in the 1970's, substantial hybridization with feral village cats and loss of habitat and prey species has reduced the home range of the pure wild Asian Steppe Wildcat to a few isolated pockets in Rajasthan and Gujarat. You will be taken to the Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary where an estimated population over 50 of this rare cat survives. In 2005, when the Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary was established, less than 13 were estimated in the sanctuary. Through considerable conservation and protection by the team at the Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary it is making a comeback. You will be taken on early morning safaris and early night safaris by Dr. Sumit Dookia (The Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary's Zoologist and expert in the fauna of Western Rajasthan) to view up close the habits of this almost never seen cat. You will help document the studies being conducted on the Asian Steppe Wildcat by Dr. Dookia during your safaris that include hunting behavior, prey species, mating behavior and predator threats. You will stay in private bungalows in the safari campsite located inside the Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary core and learn the conservation steps being taken to ensure the survival of this remarkable felid.


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Jungle Cat sub species Felis chaus kutas


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Jungle Cat sub species Felis chaus prateri

unfortunately an outdated listing as more and more areas lose their Jungle Cat populations to wetland drainage for cultivation and other encroachments by man. In the Caucasus region of Russia where the Jungle cat used to have a large home range it is now estimated to have a population of less than 500 individuals. Our mission with these two sub-species in India is that it will not meet a similar fate. Along with your safaris in the Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary for Asian Steppe Wildcat you will see and help Dr. Sumit Dookia document the habits of the Felis chaus kutus the sub-species found in the Jalore Wildlife Sanctuary. Luckily this sub-species of Jungle cat is doing well in the sanctuary and regular sightings are assured.

The fourth star of this tour is the Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), the largest of the Indian small wildcats with a body size of 26-32 inches and a tail length of 10-12 inches. The Fishing cat is quickly disappearing across its home range as more and more wetlands and swamps are drained and used by man for cultivation. The Fishing cat is unusual as it prefers fish as its main diet although it will prey on frogs, rodents and birds when necessary. We will take you to the last wetland where the Fishing cat still survives in Western India. Last year a mere two kittens were recorded to be born from one breeding pair. Although it is possible more were born and not recorded the fate of this rare cat is in critical condition in the Indian wild. You will be taken on safari in the early morning and late evening to wetlands that are filled with various fresh-water fish that this cat loves to eat as you watch the habits of this exceedingly rare cat. You will also have the chance to see the sub-species of Jungle cat (Felis chaus prateri) in this jungle as well. You will stay adjacent to the wetlands with private room and attached bathroom with running water

For rates and more information on this specialized tour please contact Shanane Davis or Gajendra Singh Chouhan at reservations@trueluxurytours.com


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Female Fishing Cat looking for prey


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Male Fishing Cat drinking water