Leopard subspecies has disappeared from Taiwan 

After a century of rapid expansion throughout much of the wild parts of our world, we are beginning to better understand all of what was lost in the process.

For the last thirteen years, an international team of researchers have been searching out any indication that one of the world's most majestic animals, the Formosan clouded leopard, was still in existence its native forests of Taiwan.

But now that countless in-the-field observation hours and thousands of infred cameras have turned up no sign of the rare species, scientists have arrived to a somber conclusion: clouded leopards there are extinct, and have likely been for decades.

“There is little chance that the clouded leopard still exists in Taiwan,” says zoologist Chiang Po-jen in an interview with the Taipei Times.

Formosan clouded leopards, a subspecies of those found on mainland Asia, were once highly sought-after by poachers for their valuable skins. And despite the fact that the last reliable evidence of their continued existence is from a 1910 diary entry, biologists believed that the notoriously elusive animal might have avoided extinction in the years that followed, spurring the more-than-a-decade long study to find them.

And although not even a paw print was discovered over the intensive search, the story of that likely long-extinct leopard has still left an impression on Taiwanese society.

Photos Credit Charles Barilleaux 

“A lot of people have said they are disappointed and find our discovery quite regrettable,” Kurtis Pei, of the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Wildlife Conservation, tells the Christian Science Monitor. “Some say they hope not just to feel regret, but to do something to save other animals.”

Presently, the same factors that contributed to leopard's decline -- like poaching and human encroachment -- continue to threaten other species as well. That said, with this recent declaration of extinction, Taiwanese society may be turning towards more active conservation, says Sean McCormack of the Taiwan SPCA:

“When the Taiwanese are aware of issues, they get behind them 100 percent.”


Responses to "Clouded leopards declared extinct in Taiwan"

  1. Unknown says:

    This makes me so sad. It's so preventable. <3

  2. Anonymous says:

    so very sad we are loseing all our wildlife when it really doesn't have to be this way very sad

  3. Anonymous says:

    hunters should be hunted!

  4. Helen says:

    Some people of not fit to share this world with the rest of the animals. When are we going to realise that the best things in life are not things and that we can't eat money

  5. Anonymous says:

    Spero non sia vero , sarebbe troppa tragedia per noi che amiamo tanto gli animali .Grazie alle persone che si preocupano e lavorano tanto per salvaguardarli !!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I cry at the sight, of this magnificent animal. Just a moment in time and gone. We should have prevented but instead we worry about a new car or a shirt, a hamburger and so trivial as to this consequence.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That is why I am so against Governments opening up hunting wild wolves and other species. Soon they too will be extinct. Greedy Humans are the worst inhabitants of the planet, who poach and sell animal skins or tusks for money regardless of what impact it has on the environment.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It's so sad that people think that they have to hunt animals until they are extinct.

  9. Anonymous says:

    They're so many more that are heading down this path because of humans. It is so damn sad that humans can be be so unfeeling for these animals that share the same planet as they do. What the heck is wrong with people. To do this to animals and they don't feel any remorse in their demise or extinction. We were all meant to share this planet not to inhabit the planet and wipe out whole races of people or species. I don't understand what is going through the minds of those who have caused the extinction of so many species. They must be money hungry, hate animals, or just love to kill them. It's a shame we are losing so many species as each day passes. I'm ashamed to be human because it's my race that is destroying so many others. I will continue to fight for all animals and hopefully I and others of a like mind will save some from extinction.

  10. Anonymous says:

    what about the one in the video is he still alive??? in a zoo somewhere?

  11. Anonymous says:

    The article says they are extinct in Taiwan - not everywhere !

    Their range is across SE Asia, although their numbers are decreasing there so they still need protecting.

    Would be very sad indeed if they were to become extinct in the wild altogether.

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