Saturday, April 28, 2007

Clouded Leopard of Borneo

Author's Note: I originally wrote this post when the news was first announced, but I got distracted by the baby tigers and orangs and forgot to post it! But here it is now only a day after I promised it.
Borneo is big in the news these days, and thats good! With the help of the special "Expedition Borneo" Discovery recently ran, WWF has been working to preserve the mountainous inner regions of the island of Borneo with a preserve called the "Heart of Borneo." And as with all issues, the more people know about it the better!
Recent studies to prove how biologically unique and diverse this jungle habitat is have turned up one startling bit of information: The Bornean Clouded Leopard, long thought to be the same species as the clouded leopards living on the mainland has been proven through genetic testing and close study to be a completely seperate species. Scientist estimate that the two species diverged around one and a half million years ago. Bornean clouded leopards have longer canines, and distinctly different coat patterns than their mainland cousins. Their spots are much darker, flecked with little dots, and they have a twin dorsal stripe, a feature often thought to be a sign of 'primitive' origins.
Clouded Leopards are the largest predators on the island of Borneo, and so their preservation is key to the health of the entire ecosystem. The main threat to clouded leopards, and all of Borneo's wildlife is habitat destruction. To find out what you can do to help preserve this important habitat, one of the few remaining homes of the Asian Elephant and Rhinos as well, go to the Heart of Borneo website and read!

No comments: