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New species declared: Clouded leopard on Borneo and Sumatra

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Who said a leopard can never change its spots? For over a hundred years we have been looking at this animal and never realized it was unique, said Adam Tomasek, head of WWFs Borneo and Sumatra program. The fact that Borneos top predator is now considered a separate species further emphasizes the uniqueness of the island and the importance of conserving the Heart of Borneo.

Clouded leopards are the biggest predators on Borneo. Some grow to be as large as a small panther, and have the longest canine teeth relative to body size of any cat. Sumatran tigers are the largest predators on Sumatra.

Between 5,000 and 11,000 clouded leopards are estimated to live on Borneo. The total number in Sumatra could be in the range of 3,000 to 7,000 individuals. However, further studies are needed to obtain better population data. Habitat destruction is the cats main threat.

The last great forest home of the Bornean Clouded Leopard is the Heart of Borneo, a wild, mountainous region of rainforest the size of Kansas. WWF recently released a report showing that scientists had identified at least 52 new species of animals and plants over the past year on Borneo.

Last month in Bali (Indonesia), the ministers of the three Bornean governments Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia signed an historic Declaration to conserve and sustainably manage the Heart of Borneo.


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Contact: Tom Lalley
tom.lalley@wwfus.org
202-778-9544
World Wildlife Fund
14-Mar-2007


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