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Name: Clouded Leopard (a.k.a. Mint Leopard, Tree Tiger)
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Genus: Pantherinae Neofelis
Clouded leopards have long, strong tails and powerful, stout legs. Their coats
are grayish or yellowish and covered with irregularly shaped spots that are dark
brown and outlined by a ring of black. Clouded leopards got their name because
these spots resemble clouds.
Head to toe, clouded leopards measure two to three feet long. Additionally,
their tails are 20 to 30 inches long. Clouded leopards weigh 35 to 50 pounds.
The exact population is not known because clouded leopards largely avoid contact
with humans. However, the population is known to be dropping, and one of the
four subspecies is thought to be extinct.
Clouded leopards can live up to 17 years in captivity.
Clouded leopards occur in parts of Asia: on the mainland from Nepal to
southeastern China, on the Malay peninsula, and on the islands of Taiwan,
Hainan, Sumatra and Borneo.
Clouded leopards live in forests at elevations of up to 8,000 feet (1.5 miles).
Clouded leopards are carnivores. They eat a variety of animals, such as birds,
monkeys, pigs, cattle, young buffalo, goats and deer.
Clouded leopards spend much of their lives in the trees. Their bodies are well
adapted to this arboreal lifestyle. Their long, strong tail helps them to
balance while perched in the treetops, and specially adapted ankle bones allow
them to climb down trees head first! When a clouded leopard spots its prey on
the forest floor, it leaps down on it from above.
One to five young are born in each litter. At birth, kittens weigh five to six
ounces, and do not open their eyes until they are 12 days old. Clouded leopard
kittens nurse until they are five months old and do not develop their adult
coloration until they are six months old.
The habitat of the clouded leopard is quickly disappearing because forests are
cut down to grow agricultural crops. Clouded leopards are also illegally hunted,
and their beautiful pelts are sold on the black market.
Clouded leopards are protected by the Endangered Species Act and listed under
Appendix I of CITES*.
*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I
listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be
traded commercially only if it does not harm their survival.
Source: Nowak, Ronald M.
Walker?s Mammals of the World: Volume I, Sixth Edition. Baltimore and London:
The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
The Clouded Leopard
Clouded Leopard fact sheet @ NationalZoo.si.edu
Clouded Leopard @ San Diego Zoo
- Clouded Lopard @ Big