Sunday, 28 December 2014
NEWSLINK: Clouded leopards could be reintroduced to Taiwan
Clouded leopards from mainland Asian could be used to repopulate Taiwan
The Formosan clouded leopard was hunted to extinction in Taiwan in the 1980s, but it might get a new start on the island in the future, according to Scientific American.
Two years ago, after a 13 year search, scientists concluded that the leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura) had gone extinct in Taiwan.
But a new paper by the same scientists states the island’s ecology has improved so much since the leopards disappeared that they might once again thrive there.
Clouded leopards disappeared from Taiwan decades ago, probably in the 1980s after intense overhunting for their furs followed by destruction of their forest habitat and declining populations of the cats’ prey species.
However, Taiwan has been so successful in slowing deforestation and protecting its other wildlife over the past few decades that the island could once again support populations of leopards.