Formosan Clouded Leopard
Neofelis nebulosa Griffith, 1821
The Formosan clouded leopard is a subspecies endemic to Taiwan, a large animal of family Felidae in the order Carnivora. Generally, it reaches a body length of 0.6-1.2 m and tail length of 0.7-0.9 m and weighs between 15-30 kg. It is entirely covered with beautiful cloud-like spots which becomes round or irregular black spots near the legs and tail. It is usually gray or yellow ochre. Normally the male is larger than the female.
It once dwelled in the forests across the entire island in a small number. Its major habitat was situated in the more primitive dense woods around 1000 meters in altitude. It is a nocturnal animal, apt at tree-climbing, solitary activity and secretive behavior. All the mammals within its range are its prey, including muntjacs, goats, monkeys, birds, etc. The adult female breeds once annually and reproduces 2-4 babies, but usually two.
There are four subspecies distributing mainly over Taiwan and southern China, Southeast Asia and Central-South Asia. Due to the demand for vast and secluded habitats and the massively lost forests from industrial development, the wild groups have been greatly diminished. Presently, all the four subspecies are endangered, while the Formosan clouded leopard was declared extinct in 2013.