Clouded leopard – a representative of the cat family, living in Southeast Asia. He vaguely reminiscent of a leopard, and is considered to be quite ancient kind.
Clouded leopard is found in south-east Asia from southern China to Malacca and from the eastern Himalayas to the Vietnamese. Subspecies, who met in Taiwan, became extinct. His biotope are tropical and sub-tropical forests, situated at an altitude of 2000 meters.
According to scientists in 2008, the number of clouded leopards is not more than 10,000 mature individuals.
Body length clouded leopard 61-100 cm, tail – 75-92 cm Weight 16-21 kg male, female 11-15 kg.. Height 50-55 cm.
Teeth have clouded leopard in relation to the body size of the largest of all the cat and may reach 3.5 cm.
In the context of involuntary detention clouded leopards live up to 20 years, life expectancy in nature is unknown.
Clouded leopards are roaring very soft and quiet enough, as they differ physiologically from the big cats that can roar very loudly. In addition clouded leopard is able to purr.
Natural enemies of the clouded leopard is a large cat. So, on the island of Borneo, probably due to lack of tigers and leopards, celebrated their highest numbers. Deforestation, which occurs due to commercial logging and human settlement growth, is the main threat to the leopard.
Clouded leopard largely specialized in procuring birds, but apart from them, eats deer, monkeys, wild pigs, goats, porcupines, palm civet, may attack young buffalo, cattle. Sometimes supplement your diet reptiles, fish and other wildlife.
Leading a solitary life, except the breeding season, when males are actively looking for females. Individual hunting areas, depending on the type of habitat and food capacity can occupy an area of 29 square km to 45 sq. km or more in males, and about 22-26 square meters. km – females with adjacent male and female portions may be overlapped by 30 to 47%.
Offspring born in a hollow tree, in the litter has 1-5 cubs, each weighing 140-170 g, sometimes up to 280. The eyes open at 10-12 days.
Reproduction leopards in captivity is very problematic and very difficult. This is due to the fact that males are in mating season in a limited area in captivity after mating are extremely aggressive and almost 80% of the females attack and kill them. Therefore, successful mating are lower than 20% of cases, while the conception and successful breeding there is even rarer. But zoos around the world are trying to preserve the genetic diversity of species through captive breeding. For viable offspring and to overcome the aggressiveness of males, it is now practiced joint rearing of males and females with the youth (under 1 year of age).
Because of the expensive skin on the clouded leopard in the past a lot of hunting (for the production of a full-length coat is necessary to 20-30 leopard skins).
But today it is threatened by poaching – mined this cat, not only because of its fur, but also the teeth and bones, which are highly prized in traditional Asian medicinal trade. Also dishes clouded leopard offered on the menu of restaurants in China and Thailand that cater to wealthy Asian tourists. But the greatest danger for him is a progressive deforestation of tropical forests that are its habitat. Of the three sub-species (four, if you count Neofelis nebulosa diardi) is already extinct Taiwanese clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyurus). All views include a number of endangered species.