Tuesday 29 April 2014

Leopard Cat In Taiwan Under Threat from Habitat Loss

Leopard Cat In Taiwan Under Threat from Habitat Loss

Another rather ordinary example of habitat loss which threatens another wild cat species.  That said, this is the first time that I've written about a wild cat species in Taiwan.  The leopard cat is present over large parts of Asia but as usual under constant threat.  Apparently, they are found on plantations because they have adapted well.

In this instance, in an area in central-west Taiwan (Miaoli County), which appears to be fairly urbanised already, a group of companies has decided to develop in an area where the leopard cat lives, without proper planning permission and without an environmental impact assessment having been carried out beforehand. There are an estimated 500 leopard cats in the area we are informed. The leopard cat is the wild cat half of the domestic Bengal cat and is called "Rock Tiger" (Joho) in Taiwan.

I sense, but I have no firm evidence, that this sort of business expansion, which appears to ride roughshod over legislation and planning laws is not untypical in Asia.

I have no right to preach about this, of course, but you only have to read about the lack of enforcement of conservation laws in China to understand that there is widespread corruption.  The Chinese government admits it and if there is corruption in China there is almost certainly a fair bit of corruption in Taiwan. The Forbes website reports on an increasing corruption in Taiwan and an increase in bribery of the judiciary.  I don't know how true that is but it would seem to be accurate.

Ultimately, it is the lack of proper legislation and a lack of enforcement of proper legislation which results in unregulated expansion of human activity particularly business activity such as a illegal logging resulting in deforestation which results in habitat loss leading to the gradual extinction of wild cat species.

Business has very little if any interest in the conservation of wildlife because wildlife simply gets in the way of making a profit unless of course they're using and abusing it to make a profit but that is another story.

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