Sunday, July 4, 2010

Raffles Museum Treasures: Sunda clouded leopard

Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi)
Purchased in Singapore in 1898, claimed to have been killed in Changi

In 2007, the clouded leopard populations found on Sumatra and Borneo were determined to be sufficiently distinct from those in mainland Southeast Asia to be considered an entirely separate species. And so, where there was formerly a single species of clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), the clouded leopards of Sumatra and Borneo now belong to a different species, the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi).

Given that Singapore is close to the Malay Peninsula, it is far more likely that any clouded leopards found in Singapore would belong to the mainland species, so the locality where this individual was "collected" is probably in error.

Info on both clouded leopard species:
The Clouded Leopard Project
IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group - Cat Species Information
Cat Survival Trust
Animal Diversity Web
National Geographic Animal Facts

Sunda clouded leopard:
Bornean Clouded Leopard Programme
Tetrapod Zoology: Belated welcome to a 'new' clouded leopard.. named in 1823
IUCN Red List

Clouded leopard:
IUCN Red List

Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi)
(Photo by canorus)

Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
(Photo by felt_tip_felon®)