The beautifully marked Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is a tree-climbing forest cat species of mainland Southeast Asia. Unfortunately deforestation of the habitat they depend on has directly contributed to a population decline of at least 30% over the past two decades (1993 - 2014).
Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) - Panthera lineage
Clouded leopard at Aizawl, Mizoram, India by Dr Raju Kasambe [CC BY-SA 4.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons

Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) Classification

Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)

Clouded Leopards belong to the genus Neofelis and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher classification of the Clouded Leopard species (Neofelis nebulosa) is as follows:

Kingdom: Animalia (animals)

Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)

Class: Mammalia (mammals)

Order: Carnivora (carnivores)

Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)

Family: Felidae (cats)

Subfamily: Pantherinae (big cats)

Genus: Neofelis

Species: Neofelis nebulosa (clouded leopard)

Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) Subspecies (Lower Classifications)

The global conservation status for the Clouded Leopard is Vulnerable (VU) and the latest assessment shows further declines due to exploitation and habitat loss.

Four Clouded Leopard subspecies were recognized in the past:

1. Neofelis nebulosa nebulosa (Mainland Asia)

2. Neofelis nebulosa diardi (Sumatra and Borneo) *

3. Neofelis nebulosa macrosceloides (Nepal, NE India, Bhutan)

4. Neofelis nebulosa brachyura (Taiwan)

*In 2011 a genetic analysis showed sufficient variation of the island species to be classed as a separate species Neofelis diardi. The coat patterns also differ with the mainland species (N. nebulosa) having large cloud markings with few inner spots and the island species (N. diardi) having smaller cloud markings with many inner spots.

The latest taxonomic revision suggests that only the species Neofelis nebulosa is valid and there is insufficient evidence for subspecies. The population in Taiwan is deemed extinct.

References:

Clouded leopard (Neofleis nebulosa)

Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)

 

Clouded Leopard Conservation & Research

The following organizations are dedicated to research and conservation of clouded leopards:

 

Clouded Leopard Facts and Information

The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Clouded Leopards:

Unique Facts about Clouded Leopards

~ Longest upper canines of all cats ~

~ Cloud like coat markings ~

~ Tree climber and swimmer ~

Clouded Leopard Print by Barbara Keith


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