Sunda Clouded Leopard - Neofelis Genus
Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi), Sabah, Malaysia By [CC BY-SA 3.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons

The forest dependent Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi) occurs on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra and is a sister species to the mainland Clouded Leopard of Southeast Asia. Habitat loss due to commercial logging and clearing of forests for oil palm plantations have directly contributed to a population decline of more than 30% over the past two decades (1993 - 2014).

Panthera Lineage

1. Tiger (Panthera tigris)

2. Lion (Panthera leo)

3. Jaguar (Panthera onca)

4. Leopard (Panthera pardus)

5. Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)

6. Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)

7. Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

Key Facts about Sunda Clouded Leopards

~ Longest upper canines of all cats ~

~ Cloud like coat markings ~

~ Tree climber and swimmer ~

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi) Classification

Sunda Clouded Leopards belong to the genus Neofelis and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher classification of the Sunda Clouded Leopard species (Neofelis diardi) 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 / pantherine)

Genus: Neofelis

Species: Neofelis diardi (sunda clouded leopard)

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi) Subspecies

Lower Classifications

The Sunda Clouded Leopard species occurring on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo was first described in 2011 when genetic analysis showed sufficient differentiation from the mainland Clouded Leopard species (Neofelis nebulosa).

Coat pattern differences between the two species:

Mainland Clouded Leopard (N. nebulosa): larger cloud markings with few inner spots

Sunda Clouded Leopard (N. diardi): smaller cloud markings with many inner spots

In addition, the Sumatran and Bornean cats were distinct enough to be described as separate subspecies:

1. Neofelis diardi diardi (Sumatra and Batu islands)

2. Neofelis diardi borneensis (Borneo)


Sunda Clouded Leopard Conservation & Research

The global conservation status for the Sunda Clouded Leopard is Vulnerable (VU) with a decreasing population primarily due to habitat loss.

The following organizations are dedicated to research and conservation of Mainland and Sunda Clouded Leopards:

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

Clouded Leopard Print by Barbara Keith

Sunda Clouded Leopard Facts and Information

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