Leopard Species Thought To Be Extinct Spotted Again In Taiwan
LEOPARD SPECIES THOUGHT TO BE EXTINCT SPOTTED AGAIN IN TAIWAN
Hopeful news for animal lovers has arrived from Taiwan. Rangers say they have spotted a leopard thought to be extinct. The Formosan clouded leopard was declared extinct in 2013, but the last official sighting was in 1983. Locally known as Lilja, this elusive creature is not easy to capture, but a group of rangers from Daren Township managed to capture it in Taitung County. Sommer has been on patrol since last time, looking for a cat that locals are said to have seen. Paiwan village chief Cao Chengchi confirmed that the rangers have been on the alert since last June, holding tribal meetings to discuss sightings and ensure the hunters are kept at bay.
Rangers now report sighting a Taiwan clouded leopard hunting a goat on a cliff, while another group roamed near a few scooters before running up a tree. He reported seeing him. The Taiwan clouded leopard is a subspecies of the Himalayan clouded leopard that has been on the IUCN Endangered List since 2008. Known for its beautiful dark gray markings, the Taiwan clouded leopard was once endemic to Taiwan, where he was the second largest carnivore. Extensive deforestation has destroyed their habitat and forced them to retreat into the mountains.
The Paiwan tribe considers this beautiful animal as sacred and is still listed as a protected species by the Taiwan Forestry Department. The Paiwan have petitioned the government to stop logging so that the Taiwan clouded leopard emerges from its hiding place, and although there are no official sightings, there have been reports of encounters since 1983. Liu Chiung-hsi, a professor at the Department of Life Sciences at National Taitung University, said a group of indigenous hunters killed several cats in the 1990s but burned their furs out of fear of government influence. With these new sightings reported, the Taitung Forestry Office hopes to confirm the sightings and initiate a scientific investigation. Professor Chiung-hsi believes this report. "I believe this animal still exists," he told a local reporter, but given its wary and elusive natural behavior, it's no wonder it's not seen regularly.
This is not the first time that a species thought to be extinct has reappeared. Most recently, the Fernandina giant tortoise, thought to be extinct since the last official sighting in 1906, was spotted by a ranger in the Galapagos National Park. We keep silent that the same is true for the Formosan clouded leopard.