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

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

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)

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 Clouded Leopards of more than 30% in only two decades (1993 - 2014).

Key Facts about Clouded Leopards

~ Longest upper canines of all cats ~

~ Cloud like coat markings ~

~ Tree climber and swimmer ~

Classification

The Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi) belongs to the genus Neofelis within the subfamily Pantherinae of the Felidae cat family. The full taxonomy or scientific classification of the Sunda Clouded Leopard species is:

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 diardi (Sunda Clouded Leopard)

Subspecies:

N.d. diardi

N.d. borneensis

Note: The scientific name for the Sunda Clouded Leopard species, Neofelis diardi, is also known as the binomial name, species name, latin name, biological name or zoological name. Some use the term 'botanical name' however that term is only applicable to the plant kingdom (botany) and not the animal kingdom (zoology).

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi) Classification Chart
Click chart to download.
Permission to use for personal or educational use.
Credit: www.WildCatFamily.com.

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

Subspecies

The clouded leopards on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo were first described in 2006 as Sunda Clouded Leopards when genetic analysis showed sufficient differentiation from Mainland Clouded Leopards.

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)

 

Coat pattern differences between the Mainland and Sunda Clouded Leopards:

Mainland: larger cloud markings with few inner spots

Sunda: smaller cloud markings with many inner spots

 

Reference: Kitchener et al. 2017. A revised taxonomy of the Felidae. The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN / SSC Cat Specialist Group.

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:

Clouded Leopard Project - Clouded Leopard conservation and research - Asia

Smithsonian Institute - Clouded Leopard reproduction research - USA

Please support these organizations with their important work if you can. No matter the size of your contribution, every bit helps!

Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

Clouded Leopard Print by Barbara Keith
Clouded Leopard Art by Barbara Keith

Facts and Information

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