The Formosan clouded leopard, a subspecies of clouded leopard native to Taiwan, has probably been extinct for decades. But in the weird red-tape world of species extinction, it doesn’t count until scientists make it official. After 13 years of searching with no leopards in evidence, though, researchers are having to reluctantly conclude that this Taiwanese subspecies is no more.
There are still clouded leopards in the world — the main species is considered vulnerable, but there are around 10,000 in the wild and a couple hundred in zoos. Of course, it never pays to underestimate humanity’s ability to wipe out beautiful creatures, even the ones we haven’t gotten around to yet. But for now, at least, we have pictures like this one, to ease the blow of having to say goodbye to yet another type of animal.
- Clouded leopards declared extinct in Taiwan, Treehugger
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