Sundaland clouded leopards occur on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in the Malay Archipelago. It is currently unknown if Sundaland clouded leopards are on Batu, a smaller island close to Sumatra. Fossils of clouded leopards have been found on the island of Java. Sundaland clouded leopards are believed to have diverged from mainland clouded leopards approximately 1.5 million years ago due to geographic barriers. The presence of Sundaland clouded leopards on the Malay Peninsula has not been confirmed. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; Hearn, 2008; Kitchener, 2006; Meiri, 2007; "About the Clouded Leopard", 2008; "Clouded Leopard - Neofelis nebulosa (including Neofelis diardi)", 2010)
Sundaland clouded leopards are primarily forest-dwellers, however, they have been observed in other habitats as well. They are most abundant in hilly areas on the island of Sumatra, and have been observed in the lowland rain forests of Borneo as well, below 1500 m. Evidence suggests that they occupy low-elevation habitats due to the absence of large predators such as tigers. They are often sighted on the periphery of logged forests and close to human civilizations, likely due to extensive habitat loss occurring throughout its geographic range. Sundaland clouded leopards are about six times more abundant on Borneo than on Sumatra. They are highly arboreal and are particularly fond of trees overhanging ridges or cliffs. In areas containing tigers, a known predator of Sundaland clouded leopards, they rarely descend to the ground and are thought to travel through the canopy. They appear to be more arboreal on the island of Sumatra than in other areas of their geographic range, possibly due to sympatry with tigers. Despite their highly arboreal nature, they occasionally travel alongside logging roads as well. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; Gordon, et al., 2007; Hearn, 2008; Kitchener, 2006; "Clouded Leopard - Neofelis nebulosa (including Neofelis diardi)", 2010; "Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009)
- Terrestrial Biomes
- Range elevation
- < 1500 (low) m
- (low) ft
Sundaland clouded leopards are medium-sized and have large spots along its entire body which resemble clouds. Their spots are darker and larger than the mainland clouded leopard, and the coat is darker than that of their mainland counterpart. The spots on their coat are outlined in black and the inside is darker than their primary coat color. They have two distinct black bars on the back of their necks, as well as large black ovals on the venter. The exceptionally long tail, which helps with balance while traveling in the canopy, is covered in thick fur and has a number of dark black rings along its length. They have short legs and broad paws, which make it exceptional at climbing trees, as well as moving silently through dense forests. The hind feet have very flexible joints, which allow them to descend from the canopy head first. Their flexible joints also enables them to hang from a branch using only their hind feet while using their forefeet to capture prey. Sundaland clouded leopards have exceptionally large canine teeth, which can be up to 5 cm long. In porportion to their body size, they have the largest canines of any felid. The morphology of their jaws and teeth are similar to those of extinct saber-toothed cats. Head and body length ranges from 60 to 110cm, tail length ranges from 55 to 91cm long and weight ranges from 15 to 30 kg. Males are generally larger than females. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; "Spotted! The elusive Sunda clouded leopard of Sumatra is caught on film for the first time", 2011; Buckley-Beason, 2006; Christiansen, 2008; Hearn, 2008; Kitchener, 2006; Mohamed and Wilting, 2009; "About the Clouded Leopard", 2008; Wilting and Buckley-Beason, 2007; Wilting, 2009; "Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- male larger
- Range mass
- 15 to 30 kg
- 33.04 to 66.08 lb
- Range length
- 115 to 201 cm
- 45.28 to 79.13 in
There is no information available regarding the development of.
is thought to be seasonally monogamous. There is no further information available regarding the mating system of this species.
- Mating System
There is little information available regarding breeding behavior in Sundaland clouded leopards, and all available information was gathered by observing captive individuals. Captive breeding has been mostly unsuccessful due to aggression between mates, which occasionally results in the death of the female. If introduced at a young age, aggression is not as pronounced and has allowed for more successful breeding. They are believed to exhibit similar breeding behaviors as mainland clouded leopards. Most Sundaland clouded leopards become sexually mature around 2 years of age. Mating can occur during any month of the year, but peaks between December and March. Gestation ranges from 85 to 95 days and results in 1 to 5 cubs, with an average of 2 cubs per litter. Cubs are usually independent once they reach 10 months old and become reproductively mature by 2 years of age. The females are able to produce a litter every year. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; "About the Clouded Leopard", 2008; "Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009)
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Sundaland clouded leopards breed once yearly
- Breeding season
- Breeding activity in Sundaland clouded leopards occurs year-round but peaks from December through March.
- Range number of offspring
- 1 to 5
- Average number of offspring
- Range gestation period
- 85 to 95 days
- Average time to independence
- 10 months
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 2 years
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 2 years
There is little information available regarding parental care in Sundaland clouded leopards. Mothers nurse cubs until about 10 months of age, at which time they become independent.
There is no information available regarding the average lifespan of.
There is little information available regarding the general behavior of Sundaland clouded leopards. It is believed that they are solitary animals, like many other large cats, except when breeding or accompanied by cubs. They were once believed to be completely nocturnal; however recent evidence suggests that they are also active during the day. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; Gordon, et al., 2007; Mohamed and Wilting, 2009; "About the Clouded Leopard", 2008)
There is little information available regarding the average home range size of Sundaland clouded leopards. Recently, a single males was photographed numerous times throughout a 45 km² range; however, the average home range size of this species is thought to be larger. Based on this limited evidence, the home range of Sundaland clouded leopards is thought to far exceed that of mainland clouded leopards. An additional study recaptured the same individual numerous times throughout a 112 km² range, suggesting low population densities in this region of the animal's geographic range. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; Gordon, et al., 2007; Mohamed and Wilting, 2009; "About the Clouded Leopard", 2008)
Communication and Perception
There is little information available regarding communication and perception in Sundaland clouded leopards. With the exception of breeding season and when females are with cubs, they are highly solitary. They are territorial and appear to use logging roads as boundaries, which are openly and frequently crossed. They are thought to demarcate territorial bounderies with urine. There is no information available regarding intraspecific communication with mates and young. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; "About the Clouded Leopard", 2008)
- Communication Channels
- Other Communication Modes
- scent marks
Sundaland clouded leopards are carnivorous and feed on a wide variety terrestrial and arboreal prey. They regularly feed on sambar deer, barking deer, mouse deer, bearded pig, Palm civet, gray leaf monkey, fish, birds and porcupines. They have been observed preying upon proboscis monkeys as well; specifically, they target infant proboscis monkeys or juvenile females. They are ambush predators and attack prey from the canopy. They have been known to remove the limbs of their prey and bring them into trees for protection against leeches and to relax while feeding. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; Hearn, 2008; Matsuda, 2008; Mohamed and Wilting, 2009; "Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009)
- Primary Diet
- eats terrestrial vertebrates
- Animal Foods
The Sundaland clouded leopard is a large predator and has very few predators of its own. They are illegally hunted by humans for their coats as well certain body parts that are used in traditional medicine. On Sumatra, tigers are thought to be important predators, however, this has not been confirmed. During the day, Sundaland clouded leopards remain in the canopy more than during the night, presumably to avoid tigers. They are very well camouflaged, which likely helps reduce risk of predation. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; Gaveau, et al., 2007; Hearn, 2006; Hearn, 2008; Rautner, 2005; Wilting, 2009)
- Anti-predator Adaptations
- Known Predators
- Humans (Homo sapiens)
There is no information available regarding the potential impact thathas on its local environment.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Sundaland clouded leopards are illegally hunted for their coats and various body parts are used in traditional medicine. Tissue samples from carcasses have been used in phylogenetic research, which has helped establish the relationship of this species to other felids. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; Hearn, 2008)
- Positive Impacts
- body parts are source of valuable material
- source of medicine or drug
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Sundaland clouded leopards occasionally prey on livestock from villages surrounded by vast forest in Sumatra and Borneo. There are no records of Sundaland clouded leopards attacking humans. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; Hearn, 2008)
Sundaland clouded leopards are classified as vulnerable on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. Major threats include rapid and extensive deforestation for agricultural expansion (e.g., oil palm) and settlements. Rapid deforestation to establish oil-palm plantations is a major road block to the longterm persistence of this species. Deforestation laws are rarely enforced and even wildlife sanctuaries and national forests have been somewhat deforested since 1970. Deforestation not only decreases the amount of available habitat for this species, but reduces available habitat for potential prey as well. Additional threats include illegal hunting and accidental trapping. Two subspecies have been recognized, Neofelis diardi borneensis and Neofelis diardi diardi, both of which are classified as endangered on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. Sundaland clouded leopards occur in a number of protected areas throughout its geographic range and is listed under Appendix 1 by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; Hearn, 2008; Rautner, 2005; "Clouded Leopard - Neofelis nebulosa (including Neofelis diardi)", 2010; "Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009)
Sundaland clouded leopards is commonly referred to as the Bornean clouded leopard, Sunda clouded leopard, Sunda Islands clouded leopard, and Enkuli clouded leopard. They were recently declared a new species because of significant differences from mainland clouded leopards. It was determined that they had 41 fixed mitochondrial nucleotide differences and non-overlapping allele sizes in 8 of 18 microsatellite loci shared between the two species. This is equivalent to the number of differences between lions and tigers. Scientists have also declared two sub-species of Sundaland clouded leopards. Neofelis diardi borneensis is found exclusively on Bornea, whereas Neofelis diardi diardi is found exclusively on Sumatra. ("Diard's Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009; "Spotted! The elusive Sunda clouded leopard of Sumatra is caught on film for the first time", 2011; Buckley-Beason, 2006; Christiansen, 2008; Hearn, 2008; Kitchener, 2006; Mohamed and Wilting, 2009; "About the Clouded Leopard", 2008; Wilting and Buckley-Beason, 2007; Wilting, 2009; "Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)", 2009)
Corey Hancock (author), Northern Michigan University, Mary Martin (editor), Northern Michigan University, John Berini (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
uses sound to communicate
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
a substance used for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
- scent marks
communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
- young precocial
young are relatively well-developed when born
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