Clouded Leopard
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Clouded leopards got their name from their spots, which look like clouds. They are medium sized cats found in the forests of Asia. This cat feels more at home in the trees than on the ground. Clouded leopards have an extra long tail to help them balance. Not much is known about the behavior of these leopards because of their secretive nature, so most of what we know about them is because of studying them in captivity.

There are two different species of clouded leopards,Neofelis nebulosa diardi and Neofelis nebulosa
there are three possible subspecies of Neofelis nebulosa they are: Neofelis nebulosa brachyurus, Neofelis nebulosa macrosceloides, and Neofelis nebulosa nebulosa.
these are currently unclassified due to insufficient data.

neofelis nebulosa brachyurus
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neofelis nebulosa diardi
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neofelis nebulosa macrosceloides
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neofelis nebulosa nebulosa
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These cats are indigenous to southern China, Bhutan, Nepal, northeast India, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, and Bangladesh. This leopard is thought to be extinct in the wild in Taiwan. Clouded Leopards are endangered and of all 4 species, there are estimated only to be about 10,000 left.
external image Clouded_leopard.JPG
map showing distributions of two clouded leopard species
map showing distributions of two clouded leopard species

The things that make the clouded leopard endangered include habitat loss, poaching and illegal wildlife trading, and human-leopard conflict. The deforestation of the tropical areas of Southeast Asia is the biggest threat to these leopards. Their habitat has been decreasing at 10% each year since 1997. The clouded leopard is hunted for its sharp teeth and unique pelt. Clouded leopard pelts are sold in the markets of China, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, and Thailand. This animal is also featured on the menu of restaurants in Thailand and China for wealthy tourists. Like other predatory animals, the clouded leopard occasionally kills livestock for food. Unfortunately, many humans kill the leopards as retaliation.
Even though it seems as though the problem is hopeless, there are some things that can help the clouded leopard survive. First, wildlife conservation preserves can be set up to help prevent poaching and deforestation of their habitat. Second, there could be laws set up and enforced to protect the clouded leopard. Finally, people could put their livestock in barns and other places that predators could not get into so that there would not have to be retaliation.

Watch this video on clouded leopards.
Clouded Leopard Video