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The Sunda or Diardi’s Clouded Leopard was only identified to science in 2006, when genetic research indicated they were a separate species from the mainland Clouded Leopard. Named as such because of the large, blotchy, cloud-like markings on their body, Sunda Clouded Leopards are said to be only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN's Red List, a major threat to their existence is habitat loss, but they are also poached for the illegal wildlife trade.
It was International Clouded Leopard Day on the 4th of August, and on this episode of the ABC's of Biodiversity, our ongoing series where we explore why biodiversity loss is our loss, we speak about the vital role Sunda clouded leopards play in maintaining Borneo's ecosystem, with Chrishen Gomez, a biologist who is currently attached to the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at the University of Oxford. He is also a researcher who has studied these elusive creatures, developing the first genetic based research project on the Sunda clouded leopard and its sympatric carnivores.
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