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Rick Montgomery

Lexington, United States

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Clouded Leopard at Nashville Zoo.
Canon 50D with 100-400mm @ 100mm
ISO=400, exp=1/25sec., f/4.5

Because the clouded leopard’s habits make it difficult to study, reliable estimates of its population do not exist. The World Conservation Union estimates that fewer than 10,000 individuals exist, and warns that the population is declining.Habitat loss due to widespread deforestation, demand for its pelt and hunting for use in Chinese medicinal preparations are thought to be causing populations of the clouded leopard to decline. Only six clouded leopards have ever been radio collared and their territorial movements monitored and recorded by scientists using radio telemetry. All of these cats were studied within Thailand. Almost all that is known of the clouded leopard today comes from studies of the cats in captivity. Apart from anecdotal accounts, very little is known of its natural history, ecology and behavior in the wild throughout its range.

The World Conservation Union, the organization that maintains the global Red List of endangered species, lists the clouded leopard as Vulnerable In addition, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), lists the clouded leopard as an Appendix I species, meaning international trade in clouded leopards is banned. The United States also lists the clouded leopard under the Endangered Species Act, further prohibiting trade in the animals or any parts or products made from them in the United States. In the countries of its native range, hunting is prohibited; these bans, however, are poorly enforced.

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zoo nashville clouded leopard

Artwork Comments

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