MEET OUR CLOUDED LEOPARDS

 
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Sub-species: A new species has recently been genetically identified. There are now 2 distinct species; Neofelis nebulosa for those animals found on the Southeast Asian mainland, and Neofelis diardi, found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra

Misc.: This species, like the snow leopard, is one of those that is somewhere between the small cats and the great cats in that it can’t purr like the small cats and it can’t roar like the true great cats.

The tree climbing talents of the clouded leopard rival that of the Margay, running down trees head-first and climbing branches horizontally with its back towards the ground, and even hangs upside down by its hind legs. They are also quite adept at swimming and readily take to water

Size and Appearance: The clouded leopard gets its name from the distinctive cloud like markings on its body, head, legs and tail. The inside color of the clouds are darker than the background color, and sometimes they are dotted with small black spots. The pelt ranges from ochre to tawny to silver-gray. Black and pale white individuals have been reported in the wild. The legs and belly are marked with large back ovals and the back ot the neck is marked with 2 thick black bars. The tail, which is as long as the head and body length, is thick and plush with black rings. This is a short legged cat with the hind legs being longer than the front. The clouded leopard has the longest canines relatively speaking than any other living cat. They weigh between 22-45 pounds.

In captivity, Clouded leopards have lived up to 17 years, and in the wild average 11 years.

Habitat: The clouded leopard is most associated with primary evergreen tropical rainforests, but sightings have made in secondary and logged forests as well as grassland and scrub and mangrove swamps. It has been recorded at elevations of as high as 9600 feet.

Distribution: Nepal through Indochina, Sumatra and Borneo.

Reproduction and Offspring: Little is known of the breeding habits of clouded leopards in the wild, but in captivity litters of 1-5 (average 3) are born after an average 93 day gestation. Less than 20% of captive Clouded Leopards have been successful at reproducing because the males tend to kill their females during mating

Social System and Communication: Unknown

Hunting and Diet: Clouded leopards are equally adept at hunting on the ground as they are in trees, but uses trees primarily as a resting place. Their diet includes birds, primates, small mammals, porcupines, deer and wild boar

Principal Threats: Deforestation.

Status: IUCN Vulnerable. Appendix 1 CITES