Formosan Clouded Leopard – It Was Very Good

Formosan Clouded Leopard
Formosan Clouded Leopard, Joseph Wolf, 1862

Formosan Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura)

The Formosan Clouded Leopard was a subspecies of the cloud leopards native to southeast Asia. The Formosan clouded leopard was endemic to the island of Taiwan. Where it was revered by the aboriginal people.

The fur of the Formosan clouded leopard was a dark grey or earthy yellow-orange color, often largely obliterated by black and dark dusky-grey blotched pattern. The animals had spots on their heads with the blotches continuing down the spine. Hence the “clouds” that gave them their name.  The tail of the Formosan clouded leopard was noticeably shorter than clouded leopards on the mainland. Females are slightly smaller than males. 

Formosan Clouded Leopard
Clouded Leopard

The animal was hunted for its pelt as far back as the 13th century. Habitat loss due to logging and other human industries drove the animals into ever smaller wild areas. The last confirmed sitting by a human was in 1983 and the last known body, the pelt of a juvenile, was from 1989. The animal is assumed extinct.

Taiwanese conservation programs and the restoration of populations of predation species on the island has the some on the island considering the reintroduction of clouded leopards onto the island from the mainland.

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Author: Jonathon

Doesn’t mix well with polite company; his two favorite topics being politics and religion. Would rather be out cycling, swimming, running, or camping. Misspent his youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

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