Sunda Clouded Leopard

Sunda Clouded Leopard

Indonesian clouded leopard, Sundaland clouded leopard, Enkuli clouded leopard, Diard's clouded leopard, Diard's cat

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Neofelis diardi
Population size
10,000
Life Span
13 yrs
WEIGHT
12-26 kg
HEIGHT
25-40 cm
LENGTH
68-106 cm

The Sunda clouded leopard is a medium-sized wild cat native to Borneo and Sumatra. It is an overall grayish-yellow or gray hue. It has a double midline on the back and is marked with small irregular cloud-like patterns on the shoulders. These cloud markings have frequent spots inside and form two or more rows that are arranged vertically from the back on the flanks. The Sunda clouded leopard has a stocky build and 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.

Distribution

Sunda clouded leopards are restricted to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. In Borneo, they live in lowland rainforest, and in logged forest. In Sumatra, they prefer to live in hilly, montane areas.

Sunda Clouded Leopard habitat map

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Sunda clouded leopards are very secretive and their habits are largely unknown. It is assumed that they are generally solitary and nocturnal. However, in areas where there are no larger cats, clouded leopards are more active during the day. They hunt mainly on the ground and use their climbing skills to hide from dangers.

Group name
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Sunda clouded leopards are carnivores. Their diet includes deer, birds, squirrels, monkeys, wild pigs, and porcupines.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
year-round, peak in December-March
PREGNANCY DURATION
85-95 days
BABY CARRYING
1-5 cubs
INDEPENDENT AGE
10 months
FEMALE NAME
leopardess
MALE NAME
leopard
BABY NAME
cub

Sunda clouded leopards may breed year-round, however, the peak usually takes place from December through March. The female gives birth to a litter of 1-5 cubs after the gestation period that lasts about 85-95 days. Baby clouded leopards are born helpless. Their eyes are closed and they have no teeth. The young are usually weaned and become independent from their mother at age of 10 months. Reproductive maturity is reached when they are 2 years old.

Population

Population threats

Sunda clouded leopards being strongly arboreal are forest-dependent are increasingly threatened by habitat destruction following deforestation in Indonesia as well as in Malaysia. The population 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 also been reports of poaching of Sunda clouded leopards in Brunei's Belait District where locals are selling their pelts at a lucrative price.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Sunda clouded leopard is below 10,000 individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • In 2006, the Sunda clouded leopard was classified as a separate species from the Clouded leopard which is found in mainland Southeast Asia.
  • The genus name of the Sunda clouded leopard 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' is translated as "tree tiger" or "branch tiger".
  • In Sarawak (Malaysia), the Sunda clouded leopard is known as entulu.
  • Clouded leopards are one of the most talented climbers among the cats. They are able to climb down vertical tree trunks head first and hang on to branches with their hind paws bent around branchings of tree limbs. They are capable of supination and can even hang down from branches only by bending their hind paws and their tail around them.
  • When jumping down, clouded leopards keep hanging on to a branch this way until the last moment. They can climb on horizontal branches with their back to the ground, and in this position make short jumps forward. When balancing on thin branches, they use their long tails to steer. They can easily jump up to 1.2 m (3.9 ft) high.

References

1. Sunda Clouded Leopard on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunda_clouded_leopard
2. Sunda Clouded Leopard on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/136603/97212874

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