Monday, Janury 24, 2011
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department wants to launch a Bornean clouded leopard captive breeding programme at the Kota Kinabalu Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.
The move follows the discovery of the endangered leopard. The Bornean clouded leopard is a unique subspecies distinctly different from their relatives in Sumatra.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Dr Laurentius Ambu said the uniqueness of the Bornean clouded leopard put it on the high priority list for conservation.
He noted it has already been listed as endangered on the International Union of Conservation of Nature Red List.
|Unique breed: A close-up photograph of the Bornean clouded leopard taken in |
Sabah’s Deramakor Forest Reserve last year. – Wilting and Mohamed.
“To maintain the diversity of the species, Sumatran and Bornean clouded leopards need to be managed separately in captive breeding programmes,” said Dr Laurentius.
Currently, this clouded leopard species, the largest carnivore in Borneo, is not kept in any European or American zoo.
The leopard was first caught on camera in the wild in Sabah’s central Deramakot Forest Reserve last year.
An international team of research scientists led by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, in cooperation with the Sabah Wildlife Department, had only recently classified the Borneo clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi borneensis) as distinct from its relatives in Sumatra by using genetic and morphological analyses.