Bobtail like cats in the Pibara region

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 21:23
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Has anyone seen the cats in the Pilbara, Gibb river road region before?
They are bigger than a domestic cat, have no tail and the ears have extended tusks of hair
They are grey / tan in colour with traditional cat type bandings on their flanks
Anyone else seen them before ?
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:17

Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:17
Not exactly cat like, but could they be Mulgaras Alby?
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:24

Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:24
Here is a reference Desert Dwelling Mulgara
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:38

Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:38
Motherhen these are bigger than that, they are large domestic cat size and several have been spotted at night
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Follow Up By: D-MaxerWA - Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:50

Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:50
I am heading towards Cape Leveque on Monday. Will keep an eye out. Will have the Go Pro operating in the truck on the drive up from Broome, so may even get some footage if they are about during the day.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:54

Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 22:54
Can you name a few places you have seen them Alby so others can look out for them? Most of the native marsupials are tiny. The bob tail eliminates a whole lot of other animals.

We have some good zoologists here who I hope will see you question and reply.

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 08:33

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 08:33
Motherhen I didn't see them it was my son.
He said he saw several of them whilst driving at night. He spotted them last year in the region as well
It was in the more open grassy plains, they stopped and tried to find them with spotlights but no luck.

He is very knowledgable on Australian wildlife but doesn't know what they were so was hoping someone here could shed some light on the subject
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Reply By: Gramps - Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 23:48

Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 at 23:48
Alby,

I think someone's trying to pull YOUR tail off :)

What are "traditional cat type bandings on their flanks" ? Do they have any photographic evidence?

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 08:36

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 08:36
No pics unfortunately, they were seen at night under high powered driving lights and were very elusive
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Reply By: get outmore - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 00:41

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 00:41
Ill have what your smoking :)
Youve described a lynx.
highly endangered northern hemisphere cats
- they do not live in Australia nor have they been introduced
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 08:40

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 08:40
The ones after one of those smokes have wings as well ;)
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Reply By: Batt's - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 05:24

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 05:24
The Manx has a stubby tail or no tail at all it's a domestic cat.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 08:39

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 08:39
So they could be feral Manx cats?

He is very knowledgable on native reptiles but not a cat lover
I will show him a pic and see what he says
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:10

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:10
Manx are a domestic cat - do a google search on Lynx it is as described

there is also an african cat which is simular but longer tail and no body markings

both these cats are medium cats as in larger than domestic but smaller than big cats like leapards pumas etc
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:12

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:12
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:25

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:25
above is the Lynx and here is a caracal - an african desert dwelling cat

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:19

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:19
The Manx came from The Isle of Man
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manx_cat#mediaviewer/File:Manxcat.jpg
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 12:00

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 12:00
When I first read this post my first thought was of a lynx too. Especially the ear tufts but also the stubby tail.

A lynx is certainly a bloody good sized cat. Not "big cat" sized, but larger than your average moggie.

While I have never heard of, or seen, anything like that roaming the Aussie bush, you never know.

My other thought, maybe a little uncharitable, was that possibly the cork should have gone back in the bottle a little earlier...lol.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 14:42

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 14:42
The ears were like the two images that Get outmore has posted but not the same markings
Had a look up of a Manx cat and it is not them.
They were the size of a large domestic cat not much more

Pop most of the bottles are screw tops these days :)
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 18:55

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 18:55
both of the above cats can get much larger than your averadge moggy and even larger than your averadge bushy in the pub 3 sails to the wind will describe the little kitten he just saw out of town

these can grow to 10-30 (species dependant)kg and would be devastating to wildlife - even dingos wouldnt muck with them - they could take out fully grown goannas and large olive pythons - they would be true apex preditors
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 16:16

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 16:16
The Manx gene is lethal if 2 manx cats breed. The kittens usually die before birth. Manx cats have to breed with non manx cats. It's unlikely they are manx.
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:18

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:18
Many Asian cats have bobbed or incomplete tails due to genetic defects. In fact MOST stray cats in Kuala Lumpur( that I saw in 1981-84) had incomplete tails.

I have also seen cats in Asia with 6 toes . They can climb well.

Seeing that DNA records show that Northern Australia wild cats descended from Asian cats , it is quite probable that some may not have complete tails.


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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:20

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 09:20
I wouldn't discount anything seen in the bush these days.
A few years ago we were stopped on a track in the high country near the NSW/Vic border repairing a tailshaft on a 4wd when a pack of a half a dozen or so wild dogs came around a corner about 50 yards away, they were an obvious mix of domestic and dingo's due to colouring and features. The funny thing was that they all had no tails or very short stumps of about 50mm long. They weren't afraid of us and one of the larger ones actually approached closer and bared its teeth and growled, they stood looking at us for quite a while before diverting off the track uphill and around us before dropping back on the track and continuing on. As we were a long way from any residences and "civilisation" as such they were obviously wild and breeding with no tails!
We've also seen large feral cats outback over the years with pronounced "tiger" stripes across their back which also appeared to want to "have a go" rather than slink away especially when confronted by a kid rather than an adult.
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Follow Up By: Dingojim - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:12

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:12
Hi all. Sorry Peter but in more than 20 years of studying Dingos and all manner of Dingo hybrids I have never encountered stumpy tails. Even in areas where Dingos are known to have interbred with Smithfield cattle dogs no stumpy tails were observed. In my opinion if it does not appear to be a Dingo which has a very distinctive tail a small, well placed piece of lead is mandatory and x 3 for anything resembling a cat. Now I'll head for the hills until the bleeding hearts settle down. By the way has anybody ever seen a Greenie ( Enviromaniac ) setting a trap for feral cats ? Cheers.
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:17

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:17
dingoes themselves were introduced and did massive damage throuout austrsalia
before thier introduction there wernt "rock wallabys" (only ones left were the ones able to survive where the dingos couldnt get them )
and the tassie tiger was widespread throughout Australia including the kimberley

- why ther held in reverance i cannot figure out there just another feral animal, white man didnt introduce everything (theres plenty of evidence to suggest cats in australia pre date white australia )
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:48

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:48
A few years back we were driving along the Exmouth-Manilya road in broad daylight. This animal ran across the road maybe 50 or so meters ahead of us and dashed off into the low scrub. When it appeared my first thought was a small to medium sized dog. As it ran I soon realised it was feline, not canine. Medium sized tail, not overly long or stumpy.
Definitely one of the biggest feral or domestic moggies I have ever seen and I have done a fair bit of spotlighting in my time.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:56

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:56
pop2 - bizzare !!! I was wondering about whether I would post over a VERY large feral cat I saw on the Exmouth road a few years back... biggest feral moggie I've ever seen - almost didn't believe it was a cat.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 01:08

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 01:08
My cat story is at the other end of the country, Tasmania.
I was in the process of doing a U Turn at the end of a gated track and just happened to look out the drivers side window back up the road just in time to see the biggest black cat I have ever seen step out of the bush and sit down on the side of the track.
It was about 70 to 100 meters away and it sat there looking at me.
I said to my partner, have a look at that, she couldn't beleive the size either.
As I finished the turn and started back towards where it was sitting at the same time reaching for the camera and it stood up and walked back into the bush before I could get a photo.

It was certainly bigger than any domestic cat I have seen so could only conclude it was a ferel that had adapted and increased in size due to some sort of genetic adaptation to the environment??
It was defiantly a cat and defiantly sizable, maybe two to three times the size of your average domestic cat.

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Follow Up By: Gramps - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 16:47

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 16:47
Still keeping an eye on you John

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 22:16

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 22:16
Funny Gramps :)

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Follow Up By: john m85 - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 13:34

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 13:34
if they are some kind of cat just think of the damage they are doing to the wildlife, i no what i do
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Reply By: Notso - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:00

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:00


This photo taken at Coopers Creek near windorah.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:04

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 11:04
Right click on the place holder and choose View Image!
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 13:24

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 13:24
Notso - not working from my PC
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Follow Up By: Notso - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 17:50

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 17:50
Sorry, shared it with the Public now. Might work. It was a big cat, but a long way off.
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 13:21

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 13:21
Alby
I have not seen a cat alive but have seen it's scull at Mornington in the Kimberley, on display at the ranger's office. Chatted with ranger also. They are definitely bigger, indeed the ranger expressed his respect of the adaptability and the physical changes in the cats compared to the domestic cats.
CJ
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Reply By: SDG - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 13:43

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 13:43
Large Australian Cats
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Reply By: Bigfish - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 14:36

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 14:36
I don't doubt that there are many varied and unusual big cats/dogs roaming the wild. Just never seems to be a photo of any of them..
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 22:48

Friday, Feb 13, 2015 at 22:48
Try Googling feral cats of Arnhem Land. A couple of photos there that might make you think twice about going for a walk in the bush up there at night.
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Reply By: Member - mike g2 - Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 12:47

Saturday, Feb 14, 2015 at 12:47
Hi Alby,
In answer to qn, yes I have on my own trips, but not on my former military travels in Pilbara. Agree they're elusive , saw one on 2 separate occasions: Burkett rd ( look in Exmouth area north of Minilya) and in NPk between Kalbarri and NWC Hwy ( not quite the Pilbara) . both times as animal crossed rd in daylight. not enough time to fully describe it but definitely large scrub cat. Saw a few road kills that were cat like on my recent big trip to ES and return. As most people know, cats general nocturnal hunters, thus seeing them is rare.
In my army days did a fair bit of patrolling during annual ARES exercises in very remote areas of Pilbara and at night. cant say I saw any then ( 1980-90's) . mind you, the sight and sound of us trudging around in the bush...
Google: 'volunteers/rangers/army shooting feral cats in national parks' as search terms.
You will also find several references to types of cats and plans for control - they're causing effects on native animals. you may identify your cat that way. In regard to "not found here" ,new things constantly showing up here that weren't here before.
look at Quarantine, Agriculture Dept and NPark web sites and under 'ferals' .
MG
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