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Meghalaya SA

Meghalaya – Clouded Leopard

Clouded Leopard

Common Name: Clouded Leopard

Local Name: Kelral (Mizo)

Scientific Name: Neofelis nebulosa

Description: The clouded leopard is a medium-sized cat that is named after the distinctive dark cloud-like markings on its coat. The base color of the fur varies from pale yellow to rich brown, which makes the darker cloud-like markings even more distinctive. The clouded leopard has the longest canine teeth of any living feline. It also has relatively short legs and broad paws that help it in climbing trees and creeping through the thick forests. The clouded leopard also possesses an exceptionally long tail for balancing.

Distribution: Clouded leopards inhabit dense evergreen and deciduous forests as well as grasslands and scrubland habitats. They are mainly arboreal and hunt during the night. In India, the clouded leopard is found in Northeast India, Sikkim, and the northern part of West Bengal. In Meghalaya, the Clouded Leopard has been recorded in the Balpakram-Baghmara landscape and Nongkhyllem National Park.

Threats: Habitat loss and fragmentation, a decline of prey species, poaching and illegal wildlife trade, human-leopard conflict are some of the major threats that are faced by the clouded leopards.

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