It seems strange that just two days ago a team confirmed the extinction of the clouded leopard in Taiwan after thirteen years of searching. It is a species that after two years of camera trapping, I myself had only one short 3 second glimpse on film to show its existence in the areas of
Thailand that we have been lucky enough to be allowed to camera trap in.
It is known to have been present throughout Thailand but there is little known of the animal itself. Radio collaring research conducted in Thailand shows they habituate a large range of between 30 and 50 square kilometers with males tending to have the larger ranges. Other fascinating facts concerning this truly beautiful and unique felid include: it is the world's smallest big cat; and it has the longest canines for body size of any cat known. But still little is known of its natural life in the wild. Testament to its cryptic nature.
What seems strange is just one day after the sad Taiwanese announcement I would be looking at footage from our automatic cameras after a 16 kilometer hike in the forest to retrieve them. And there was our first real glimpse of the world's smallest big cat, the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), in the wild. Thousand's of hours of cameras strapped to trees deep in the Thai forest and we finally got lucky with this species. The day after the Taiwanese announcement. It makes you understand why the Taiwanese search took 13 years before they finally gave up. This is a hard species to find anywhere.
Lets hope the poachers and land enchroachers never succeed in robbing the Thai people of their remaining clouded leopards.
This video is about Clouded Leopard.