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Clouded leopards UPSC NOTE

 


  • The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), also called mainland clouded leopard, is a wild cat inhabiting dense forests from the foothills of the Himalayas through Northeast India and Bhutan to mainland Southeast Asia into South China

  • Two scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) discovered that the clouded leopards in western Assam’s Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve engage in a mysterious hide-and-seek behavior within the tropical canopy forests.

  • The mainland clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), known for its large canines relative to skull size, is reminiscent of the Ice Age sabretooth

  • It possesses unique rotating rear ankles that allow it to descend headfirst from trees.

  • The researchers, Salvador Lyngdoh (carnivore ecologist) and Urjit Bhatt (research scholar), both affiliated with WII's Department of Landscape-level Planning and Management, observed that these clouded leopards do not adhere to any specific spatial pattern, unlike other carnivores.

  • The clouded leopards exhibit remarkable freedom of movement, facilitated by their tree-climbing ability, even hanging upside down from large branches. This behavior sets them apart as agile and powerful predators in the forest.

  • Salvador Lyngdoh described the clouded leopards as forest ninjas due to their agility and strength.

  • Clouded leopards are classified into two species: the mainland clouded leopard, found from central Nepal to peninsular Malaysia, and the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), native to Borneo and Sumatra.

  • The mainland clouded leopard is vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List due to threats like deforestation and poaching, putting it at high risk of extinction in the wild.

  • The researchers aimed to fill knowledge gaps about the clouded leopard's ecology and population status. 

  • Their study focused on a 500 sq. km area in Manas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and investigated aspects such as population density, habitat usage, and spatial/temporal behavior.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Clouded leopards UPSC NOTE
Clouded leopards UPSC NOTE
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