Project Overview

Lions, tigers, jaguars and cheetahs may be the best known and largest of the wild feline species, but all around the world there are species of small wild cats that are just as awe-inspiring—and that are also struggling to keep their foothold in their habitats. At Global Wildlife Conservation, we use camera traps and other methods to survey and monitor small wild cats and work with local partners to conserve the felines and their habitat. We also help secure funding and resources for the conservation of small wild cats around the world.

Of the 31 species of small wild cats, our priority conservation species include:

  • Flat-headed Cat (Endangered): The Flat-headed Cat lives around wetlands in lowland forest on the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and Malaysia.
  • Borneo Bay Cat (Endangered): The Bay Cat is endemic to Borneo and is one of the least known and infrequently recorded of the world’s wild cats.
  • Andean Cat (Endangered): The Andean Cat lives in rocky habitats in the central Andes above 3,600 meters in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru.
  • Fishing Cat (Vulnerable): Fishing cats are widely distributed in South and Southeast Asia from Pakistan in the west to Cambodia in the east, and from the Himalayan foothills in the north to Sri Lanka and peninsular Thailand in the south.
  • Guiña (Vulnerable): The Guiña, or Chilean Cat, is the smallest felid in the Americas and is found primarily in central and southern Chile and marginally in adjoining areas of southwestern Argentina.
  • Manul (Near Threatened): Manul (or Pallas’s Cat) lives in the grasslands and montane steppe of Central Asia.
  • Scottish Wildcat (Least Concern): Although the Wildcat is classified as Least Concern globally, it is one of Europe’s most endangered mammals.

Project Goals

Manul (Photo by Ben Warren)

Global Wildlife Conservation’s small wild cat conservation program:

  • Works with the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to identify small wild cat research projects and provide small grants to support those projects.
  • Facilitates the establishment of species working groups to catalyze conservation action, range-wide thinking and partnerships for the species most in need.
  • Helps provide camera trap software, training and expertise to identify distribution and populations of small wild cat species around the world.
  • Works with local partners in range countries to establish ongoing conservation programs and projects to conserve small wild cats and their habitats.
  • Makes recommendations about and helps implement threat-reduction programs that address the unique threats to various small wild cat species.
  • Brings awareness to the plight of endangered small wild cats to ensure that they are receiving the same level of attention and funding as the large cat species.

Quick Facts

Number of small wild cat species


GWC priority small cat species

Float-headed Cat, Borneo Bay Cat, Andean Cat, Fishing Cat, Guiña, Manul, Scottish Wildcat

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