Endangered Animals of Asia

The Clouded Leopard

Description

  • Mammal
  • Light fur with large cloud-like markings
  • Limbs and underbelly are marked with big black ovals
  • Stalky legs and broad paws
  • Elongated thickly-furred tail
  • Giant, sharp canine teeth
  • Head-body length: 61-106 cm
  • Tail length: 55-91cm
  • Weight: 16-23 kg
  • Communicate by growling, hissing, chortles, and loud meows


(ARKive)


Food Chain

  • Carnivores who eat mainly deer, squirrels, monkeys, and many other small mammals.
  • Compete with Tigers and other Leopards for food
  • Solitary hunters
  • Nocturnal hunters
  • Hunted by humans for meat and their beautiful pelt
  • Stalk their pray on the ground
  • Waits quietly on a branch to pounce on their prey


(a-z-animals)


Habitat

  • The Clouded Leopard has been found in south-east Asia, India, Southern China, Burma, Nepal, Indochina and on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra

  • It was once also found in Taiwan but is currently extinct there

  • Clouded Leopards prefer dense forest habitats

  • Especially tropical and subtropical forests and jungles

  • They have also been found at altitudes of up to 2,000 meters

  • They have also been found in a variety of other habitats including tall grasslands in Nepal and in the mangrove swamps of Borneo

  • They have been seen in high places on the Himalaya mountain range as well

  • Overall, Clouded leopards tend to prefer forests and jungles over more open habitats


(a-z-animals and IUCN Redlist)



Adaptation

  • Stout legs and broad paws make it excellent at climbing trees and creeping through thick forests
  • Clouded leopards have independently evolved teeth and jaws remarkably similiar to an extinct group of sabre-toothed cats
  • Hind feet have flexible ankle joints that allow the foot to rotate backwards which makes clouded leopards able to climb back down a tree
  • Large canine teeth helps them hunt
  • Eyes facing forward help spot prey
  • Sensitive whiskers allow it to feel objects near head
  • Paws help grip tree branches and strangle prey
  • A long tail helps the clouded leopard keep its balance as it climbs
  • It's coat color and cloud like spots help provide excellent camouflage


(ARKive and Clouded Leopard Project)

Critical Info

  • Hunted for Illegal wildlife trade
  • Bones are hunted for medicines
  • Meat is hunted for exotic dishes
  • Teeth is hunted for decorative purposes
  • Loss of habitat: highest deforestation rate 1.2-1.3% a year since 1990
  • Resulting in fewer than 10,000 mature Clouded Leopard individuals left
  • Included on CITES Appendix I
  • Protected by national legislation over most of its range
  • Hunting is banned in Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand, and Viet Nam
  • Hunting regulations apply in Lao PDR
  • The Clouded Leopard project has several branches working to protect the species
  • The Smithsonian National Zoo, the Nashville Zoo, the Zoological Park Organization of Thailand, and the clouded leopard SSP are working together in an international collaberation to protect the species and develop a breeding program
  • Clouded Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), the American Zoo and Aquarium Association currently administers the collective management of all clouded leopards in North American zoos.


(a-z-animals, ARKive, and IUCN redlist)

Clouded Leopard hunting a bird.wmv

Radhika Sinha

Group 6 Period 0