|Sunda clouded leopard|
Temporal range: Early Pleistocene to recent
|A Bornean clouded leopard, lower Kinabatangan River, eastern Sabah, Malaysia|
(G. Cuvier, 1823)
|Distribution of Sunda clouded leopard, 2016|
The Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) is a medium-sized wild cat native to Borneo and Sumatra. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2015, as the total effective population probably consists of fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing population trend. On both Sunda islands, it is threatened by deforestation.
In 2006, it was classified as a species, distinct from the clouded leopard in mainland Southeast Asia.Its fur is darker with a smaller cloud pattern.
It is also known as the Indonesian clouded leopard,Sundaland clouded leopard, Enkuli clouded leopard, Diard's clouded leopard, and Diard's cat.
The Sunda clouded leopard is overall grayish yellow or gray hue. It has a double midline on the back and is marked with small irregular cloud-like patterns on shoulders. These cloud markings have frequent spots inside and form two or more rows that are arranged vertically from the back on the flanks.It can purr as its hyoid bone is ossified. Its pupils contract to vertical slits.
It has a stocky build and weighs around 12 to 26 kg (26 to 57 lb). Its canine teeth are 2 in (5.1 cm) long, which, in proportion to the skull length, are longer than those of any other living cat. Its tail can grow to be as long as its body, aiding balance.[ citation needed ]
The Sunda clouded leopard is restricted to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. In Borneo, it occurs in lowland rainforest, and at lower density in logged forest below 1,500 m (4,900 ft). In Sumatra, it appears to be more abundant in hilly, montane areas. It is unknown if it still occurs on the Batu Islands close to Sumatra.
Between March and August 2005, tracks of clouded leopards were recorded during field research in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Sabah. The population size in the 56 km2 (22 sq mi) research area was estimated to be five individuals, based on a capture-recapture analysis of four confirmed animals differentiated by their tracks. The density was estimated at eight to 17 individuals per 100 km2 (39 sq mi). The population in Sabah is roughly estimated at 1,500–3,200 individuals, with only 275–585 of them living in totally protected reserves that are large enough to hold a long-term viable population of more than 50 individuals. Density outside protected areas in Sabah is probably much lower, estimated at one individual per 100 km2 (39 sq mi).
In Sumatra, it was recorded in Kerinci Seblat, Gunung Leuser and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Parks. 100 km2 (39 sq mi) might be that on Sumatra it is sympatric with the Sumatran tiger, whereas on Borneo it is the largest carnivore.It occurs most probably in much lower densities than on Borneo. One explanation for this lower density of about 1.29 individuals per
Clouded leopard fossils were excavated on Java, where it perhaps became extinct in the Holocene.
The habits of the Sunda clouded leopard are largely unknown because of the animal's secretive nature. It is assumed that it is generally solitary. It hunts mainly on the ground and uses its climbing skills to hide from dangers.[ citation needed ]
Felis diardi was the scientific name proposed by Georges Cuvier in 1823 in honour of Pierre-Médard Diard, who sent a skin and a drawing from Java to National Museum of Natural History, France.It was subordinated as a clouded leopard subspecies by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1917.
Results of molecular genetic analysis of hair samples from mainland and Sunda clouded leopards showed differences in mtDNA, nuclear DNA sequences, and microsatellite and cytogenetic variation. This indicates that they diverged between 2 and 0.9 million years ago; their last common ancestor probably crossed a now submerged land bridge to reach Borneo and Sumatra.Results of a morphometric analysis of the pelages of 57 clouded leopards sampled throughout the genus' wide geographical range indicated that the two morphological groups differ primarily in the size of their cloud markings. The genus Neofelis was therefore reclassified as comprising two distinct species:
Molecular, craniomandibular and dental analysis indicates distinction of the Sunda clouded leopard in two subspecies with separate evolutionary histories:
Both populations are estimated to have diverged during the Middle to Late Pleistocene. This split corresponds roughly with the catastrophic super-eruption of the Toba Volcano in Sumatra 69,000–77,000 years ago. A probable scenario is that Sunda clouded leopards from Borneo recolonized Sumatra during periods of low sea levels in the Pleistocene, and were later separated from their source population by rising sea levels.
Sunda clouded leopards being strongly arboreal are forest-dependent, and are increasingly threatened by habitat destruction following deforestation in Indonesia as well as in Malaysia.
Since the early 1970s, much of the forest cover has been cleared in southern Sumatra, in particular lowland tropical evergreen forest. Fragmentation of forest stands and agricultural encroachments have rendered wildlife particularly vulnerable to human pressure.Borneo has one of the world's highest deforestation rates. While in the mid-1980s forests still covered nearly three quarters of the island, by 2005 only 52% of Borneo was still forested. Both forests and land make way for human settlement. Illegal trade in wildlife is a widely spread practice.
The population status of Sunda clouded leopards in Sumatra and Borneo has been estimated to decrease due to forest loss, forest conversion, illegal logging, encroachment, and possibly hunting. In Borneo, forest fires pose an additional threat, particularly in Kaltim and in the Sebangau National Park.
There have been reports of poaching of Sunda clouded leopards in Brunei's Belait District where locals are selling their pelts at a lucrative price.
Neofelis diardi is listed on CITES Appendix I, and is fully protected in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. Sunda clouded leopards occur in most protected areas along the Sumatran mountain spine and in most protected areas on Borneo.
Since November 2006, the Bornean Wild Cat and Clouded Leopard Project based in the Danum Valley Conservation Area and the Tabin Wildlife Reserve aims to study the behaviour and ecology of the five species of Bornean wild cat — bay cat, flat-headed cat, marbled cat, leopard cat, and Sunda clouded leopard — and their prey, with a focus on the clouded leopard; investigate the effects of habitat alteration; increase awareness of the Bornean wild cats and their conservation needs, using the clouded leopard as a flagship species; and investigate threats to the Bornean wild cats from hunting and trade in Sabah.
The Sunda clouded leopard is one of the focal cats of the project Conservation of Carnivores in Sabah based in northeastern Borneo since July 2008. The project team evaluates the consequences of different forms of forest exploitation for the abundance and density of felids in three commercially used forest reserves. They intend to assess the conservation needs of these felids and develop species specific conservation action plans together with other researchers and all local stakeholders.
The scientific name of the genus Neofelis is a composite of the Greek word νεο- meaning "new, fresh, strange", and the Latin word feles meaning "cat", so it literally means "new cat."
The Indonesian name for the clouded leopard rimau-dahan means "tree tiger" or "branch tiger".In Sarawak, it is known as entulu.
The clouded leopard is a medium-sized wild cat occurring from the Himalayan foothills through mainland Southeast Asia into southern China. Since 2008, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Its total population is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing population trend, and no single population numbering more than 1,000 adults.
Neofelis is a genus comprising two extant cat species from Southeast Asia: the clouded leopard of mainland Asia, and the Sunda clouded leopard of Sumatra and Borneo.
The Asian golden cat is a medium-sized wild cat native to the northeastern Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and southern China. It has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2008, and is threatened by hunting pressure and habitat loss, since Southeast Asian forests are undergoing the world's fastest regional deforestation.
The bay cat, also known as Borneo bay cat and Bornean bay cat, is a wild cat endemic to the island of Borneo that appears to be relatively rare compared to sympatric wild cats, based on the paucity of historical, as well as recent records. Since 2002, it has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List because it is estimated that fewer than 2,500 mature individuals exist, and that the population declined in the past. The bay cat has been recorded as rare and seems to occur at relatively low density, even in pristine habitat.
The flat-headed cat is a small wild cat native to the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Sumatra. It is an Endangered species, because the wild population probably comprises fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, with small subpopulations of no more than 250 adults. The population inhabits foremost wetlands, which are being destroyed and converted. For these reasons, it is listed on the IUCN Red List since 2008.
The Formosan clouded leopard was a clouded leopard subspecies that was endemic to Taiwan. Camera trapping studies carried out in several protected areas in Taiwan between 1997 and 2012 did not reveal the presence of a clouded leopard. The population is listed as extinct on the IUCN Red List.
The marbled cat is a small wild cat native from the eastern Himalayas to Southeast Asia, where it inhabits forests up to 2,500 m (8,200 ft) altitude. As it is present in a large range, it has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2015.
The Sunda stink badger, also called the Javan stink badger, teledu, Malay stink badger, Malay badger, Indonesian stink badger and Sunda skunk, is a mammal native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Despite the common name, stink badgers are not closely related to true badgers, and are, instead, Old World relatives of the skunks.
Pierre-Médard Diard was a French naturalist and explorer.
The Batu Islands are an archipelago of Indonesia located in the Indian Ocean, off the west coast of Sumatra, between Nias and Siberut. The three primary islands, of approximately equal size, are Pini, Tanahmasa, and Tanahbala. There are forty-eight smaller islands, of which the largest are Sipika, Simuk, Bodjo, Telo and Sigata; less than half are inhabited. The total land area of the seven administrative districts is 1,201.1 km2. The islands are governed as a part of South Nias regency within North Sumatra province. In Indonesian and Malay, batu means rock or stone.
The banded linsang is a linsang, a tree-dwelling carnivorous mammal native to the Sundaic region of Southeast Asia.
The Malayan civet, also known as the Malay civet and Oriental civet, is a viverrid native to the Malay Peninsula and the islands of Sumatra, Bangka, Borneo, the Riau Archipelago, and the Philippines. It is listed as "Least Concern" by IUCN as it is a relatively widely distributed, appears to be tolerant of degraded habitats, and occurs in a number of protected areas.
The Bornean clouded leopard is a subspecies of the Sunda clouded leopard. It is native to the island of Borneo, and differs from the Batu-Sumatran clouded leopard in the shape and frequency of spots, as well as in cranio-mandibular and dental characters. In 2017, the Cat Classification Taskforce of the Cat Specialist Group recognized the validity of this subspecies.
The Borneo lowland rain forests is an ecoregion, within the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome, of the large island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It supports approximately 15,000 plant species, 380 bird species and several mammal species. The Borneo lowland rain forests is diminishing due to logging, hunting and conversion to commercial land use.
The Visayan leopard cat is a Sunda leopard cat population in the Philippine Islands of Negros, Cebu and Panay. It has been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List in 2008 under its former scientific name P. bengalensis rabori as its range is estimated to be less than 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi), and the population was thought to be decreasing.
The Sumatran clouded leopard is a subspecies of the Sunda clouded leopard and is native to the Indonesian islands of Batu and Sumatra. It differs in molecular, craniomandibular and dental characteristics from the Bornean clouded leopard. It was recognized as a valid subspecies in 2017.
The Sunda leopard cat is a small wild cat species native to the Sundaland islands of Java, Bali, Borneo, Sumatra and the Philippines that is considered distinct from the leopard cat occurring in mainland South and Southeast Asia.
|Wikispecies has information related to Neofelis diardi|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neofelis diardi .|
Older newspaper articles still online: