Jungle Cat



Name: Jungle Cat
Latin Name: Felis chaus
Hebrew name: חתול ביצות, hatul bitzot
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Distribution: In the Mediterranean region on the Coastal Plain and the valleys; along the Syrian-African Rift Valley from the Jordan headwaters and the Hula Valley to the Dead Sea area.
Habitat: Dense vegetation near water bodies, wetlands (e.g. salt marshes), grassy agricultural fields. Usually not found above altitudes of 500 m.
Notes: In 1884 it was was noted that it was not rare and was particularly common in riverbank thickets and reed beds and along the Jordan River (in Ilani 1979). In 1930 Aharoni noted that the jungle cat is very rare now near the Jordan. But Bodenheimer  in 1958 reported the species to be common in Israel.  In the 1970s it became apparent that the jungle cat’s distribution  had expanded from the coastal stream system and the Jordan River basin north to the southern Golan Heights and south to the northern Negev.