General information on the clouded leopard
Clouded leopards live in the tropical forests of south-east Asia ranging from Bhutan to Sumatra. They are closely related to the common leopard, bonded with the big cat family. They are shy and retiring creatures with cloud like markings on their back, usually pale yellow or grey. These markings used as camouflage in the skill of hunting vital to all big cats. The clouded leopard can grow up to 70-90 cm in length and 20-30kg in weight, having an average life span of 17 years. Their diet consists of mainly deer and monkeys often retiring to the trees to eat their meal. A female usually has 1-5 kittens in summer and it then takes approximately 9 months for the kittens to mature.
Like all big cats the clouded leopard has no real predators; the main threat coming from human activity such as poaching for fur and traditional chinese medicine and habitat destruction. They have become increasingly vulnerable due to these ongoing threats in Asia.
Reasons for endangerment
Conservation efforts include a crack down on illegal logging and an introduction to anti-poaching units. However these are not enough and due to measures such as these costings are too much restrictions are enforced. Drastic actions much be taken or like many species they will simply disappear.
Article by RHN.