Clouded Leopard Programme
WildCRU’s clouded leopard programme tackles the conservation of South East Asian clouded leopard across their range. Spanning both the mainland Neofelis nebulosa, and the Sunda Neofelis diardi and the other species of felid coexisting with them, for example, tigers and leopard, this work aims to positively impact their populations and the associated biodiversity under their respective umbrellas. Our research in this programme entails well-established techniques in conservation science along with WildCRU innovations in practical and policy planning tools.
WildCRU’s Clouded Leopard Programme is one of David Macdonald’s largest initiatives, starting in 2010 and building on Andrew Hearn’s study of the Sunda clouded leopard and sympatric felid guild in Borneo since in 2006, the Programme now encompasses long term ecological research, range-wide camera trapping, range-wide analyses, and the development and dissemination of policy planning tools.
Clouded leopards are powerful ambassadors for forest conservation which matters to biodiversity, forestry, carbon and livelihoods, but as the smallest of the big cats they are by far the least known. They are members of the most speciose guild of wild (and generally threatened) felid species in the world, and also occur alongside many other endangered carnivores, so their communities are an important for their ecosystem. They not only live in a threatened habitat, tropical forest, but they live in that habitat in the parts of the world from which it is disappearing at the fastest rate, so they are flagships for their biome. Added to this, they are victims of illegal wildlife trade and their protection has the potential to be linked to carbon conservation, with impacts to environmental conservation and management beyond species conservation.
To view the Clouded Leopard Programme video series, click here.
November 2017 – Ex-Panthers find marbles amongst the clouds
September 2017 – Saving Ulu Muda
September 2017 – Amongst the clouds
January 2017 – Clouded leopards are as mysterious as they are beautiful, living secret lives in the forests of SE Asia. David Macdonald is directing research on their biology and conservation from Nepal in the west to Kalimantan in the east, and reports here on a trail-blazing new publication to emerge from this programme