Neofelis

Neofelis is a genus comprising two extant cat species from Southeast Asia: the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) of mainland Asia, and the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) of Sumatra and Borneo.[1][2]

The scientific name Neofelis is a composite of the Greek word neo- (νεο-) meaning "new", and the Latin word feles meaning "cat", literally meaning "new cat".[3][4]

Neofelis
Neofelis nebulosa
Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
Borneo clouded leopard
Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Genus: Neofelis
Gray, 1867
Species
Neofelis range
Neofelis range

Taxonomic history

The generic name Neofelis was first proposed by John Edward Gray in 1867 as comprising two species; Neofelis macrocelis occurring in the Himalaya, Malacca, and Thailand, and Neofelis brachyurus occurring in the former Formosa.[5] Reginald Innes Pocock recognized the taxonomic classification of Neofelis in 1917, but admitted only the single species Neofelis nebulosa with several subspecies and macrocelis as the type specimen.[6] For almost 90 years, the classification of Neofelis as a monotypic genus was widely accepted.[7] In 2006, Neofelis diardi was found to be distinct from its continental relative Neofelis nebulosa and classified as a separate species.[1][2]

Characteristics

Gray described the genus Neofelis as having an elongate skull, a broad and rather produced face on the same plane as the forehead, a large and elongate nasal, a moderate orbit, a truncated lower jaw and very long conical upper and lower canine teeth with a sharp cutting hinder edge. This skull has resemblances to that of the fossil Smilodon, with very much elongated upper canines.[5]

Pocock described the skull of Neofelis as recalling in general features that of Panthera pardus, especially in the shortness and wide separation of the frontal and malar postorbital processes, relative proportion of mandibular teeth; but differing in the greater posterior width of the nasals, the thicker, more salient inferior edge of the orbit, and the mandible being greatly elevated anteriorly.[6]

The Sunda clouded leopard has longer upper canines and a narrower palate between them.[8]

Distribution and habitat

Neofelis species range from Nepal and Sikkim eastward to south China and Hainan, southeastward to Burma, Annam, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and Borneo.[9] They are most closely associated with primary evergreen tropical rainforest, but make use of other types of habitat. Sightings have also been made in secondary and logged forest, as well as grassland and scrub. In the Himalayan foothills they have been recorded up to 1,450 m (4,760 ft).[10]

Distribution of species

Between 1821 and 1862, several felids have been described from Southeast Asia that are subordinated under Neofelis today:

  • Felis nebulosa was first described in 1821 by Edward Griffith based on a specimen brought from Canton in southern China.[11] Populations range from the Himalayan foothills in Nepal through mainland Southeast Asia into China.[10]
  • Felis diardi was first described in 1823 by Georges Cuvier based on a skin and a drawing received from Java.[12] The Sunda clouded leopard is probably restricted to the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.[1] In Java only clouded leopard fossils were found.[13]
  • Leopardus brachyurus was first described in 1862 by Robert Swinhoe based on two to three skins from Taiwan.[14] Today the Formosan clouded leopard is considered a subspecies of Neofelis nebulosa under the trinomial Neofelis nebulosa brachyurus.[15] It is now believed to be extinct.[16]

Threats

Deforestation is the foremost threat for both Neofelis species.[10] They are also threatened by commercial poaching for the wildlife trade. Skins, claws and teeth are offered for decoration and clothing, bones and meat as substitute for tiger in traditional Asian medicines and tonics, and live animals for the pet trade. Few poaching incidents have been documented, but all range states are believed to have some degree of commercial poaching. In recent years, substantial domestic markets existed in Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam.[17]

Conservation

Both Neofelis species are listed in CITES Appendix I and are protected over most of their range. Hunting is banned in Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Hunting regulations apply in Laos.[10]

References

  1. ^ a b c Buckley-Beason, V.A.; Johnson, W.E.; Nash, W.G.; Stanyon, R.; Menninger, J.C.; Driscoll, C.A.; Howard, J.; Bush, M.; Page, J.E.; Roelke, M.E.; Stone, G.; Martelli, P.; Wen, C.; Ling, L.; Duraisingam, R.K.; Lam, V.P.; O'Brien, S.J. (2006). "Molecular Evidence for Species-Level Distinctions in Clouded Leopards". Current Biology. 16 (23): 2371–2376. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.08.066. PMID 17141620.
  2. ^ a b Kitchener, A.C.; Beaumont, M.A.; Richardson, D. (2006). "Geographical Variation in the Clouded Leopard, Neofelis nebulosa, Reveals Two Species". Current Biology. 16 (23): 2377–2383. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.10.066. PMID 17141621.
  3. ^ Perseus Digital Library. Greek Dictionary νεο Headword Search Result
  4. ^ Perseus Digital Library. Latin Dictionary feles Headword Search Result
  5. ^ a b Gray, J.E. (1867). Notes on the skulls of the Cats. 5. Neofelis. Page 265–266 in: Proceedings of the Scientific Meetings of the Zoological Society of London for the year 1867.
  6. ^ a b Pocock, R. I. (1917). "The classification of existing Felidae". The Annals and Magazine of Natural History: Including Zoology, Botany, and Geology, 8th ser. vol. 20 no. 119: 329–350.
  7. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 545–546. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  8. ^ Christiansen, P. (2008). "Species distinction and evolutionary differences in the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) and Diard's clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi)". Journal of Mammalogy. 89 (6): 1435–1446. doi:10.1644/08-MAMM-A-013.1.
  9. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1939) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. – Volume 1. Taylor and Francis, London.
  10. ^ a b c d Nowell, K., Jackson, P. (1996). Clouded Leopard Archived 2012-04-06 at the Wayback Machine in: Wild Cats: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland
  11. ^ Griffith, E. (1821). Felis nebulosa. Plate 37 in: General and particular descriptions of the vertebrated animals : arranged conformably to the modern discoveries and improvements in zoology. Volume 1: Order Carnivora. Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, Rodwell and Martin, W. Wood, London.
  12. ^ Cuvier, G. (1823). Chapitre V. Des Ossemens de Grands Félis. Pages 407−456 in: Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles; ou, l'on retablit les caracteres de plusiers animaux dont les revolutions du globe ont detruit les especes. Volume IV: Les Ruminans et les Carnassiers Fossiles. Paris: G. Dufour & E. d'Ocagne
  13. ^ Meijaard, E. (2004). Biogeographic history of the Javan leopard Panthera pardus based on a craniometric analysis. Journal of Mammalogy 85: 302−310.
  14. ^ Swinhoe, R. (1862). On the Mammals of the Island of Formosa. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 347–365.
  15. ^ Ellerman J. R., Morrison-Scott, T. C. S. (1966). Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian mammals 1758 to 1946. London.
  16. ^ Sanderson, J.; Khan, J.A.; Grassman, L.; Mallon, D.P. (2008). "Neofelis nebulosa". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  17. ^ Nowell, K. (2007). Asian big cat conservation and trade control in selected range States: evaluating implementation and effectiveness of CITES Recommendations. A TRAFFIC Report, June 2007
Biodiversity of Assam

The biodiversity of Assam, a state in North-East India, makes it a biological hotspot with many rare and endemic plant and animal species. The greatest success in recent years has been the conservation of the Indian rhinoceros at the Kaziranga National Park, but a rapid increase in human population in Assam threatens many plants and animals and their natural habitats.

The rhinoceros, tiger, deer or chital / futukihorina (Axis axis), swamp deer or dolhorina (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), hoolock gibbon, pygmy hog or nol-gahori (Porcula salvania), hispid hare, golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), golden cat, giant civet, binturong, hog badger, porcupine, and civet are found in Assam. Moreover, there are abundant numbers of Gangetic dolphins, mongooses, giant squirrels and pythons. The largest population of wild water buffalo anywhere is in Assam.The major birds in Assam include the blue-throated barbet or hetuluka (Megalaima asiatica), white-winged wood duck or deuhnah (Asarcornis scultulata), ring-tailed fishing eagle or kuruwa (Haliaeetus leucorythus), great pied hornbill or rajdhonesh (Buceros bicornis homrai), Himalayan golden-backed three-toed wood-pecker or barhoituka (Dinopium shorii shorii), and migratory pelican.

Assam is also known for orchids and for valuable plant species and forest products.

Bornean clouded leopard

The Bornean clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi borneensis) is a subspecies of the Sunda clouded leopard. It is native to the island of Borneo, and differs from the Batu-Sumatran clouded leopard in the shape and frequency of spots, as well as in cranio-mandibular and dental characters. In 2017, the Cat Classification Taskforce of the Cat Specialist Group recognized the validity of this subspecies.

Clouded leopard

The clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is a wild cat occurring from the Himalayan foothills through mainland Southeast Asia into China. Since 2008, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Its total population is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing population trend, and no single population numbering more than 1,000 adults. It is also known as the mainland clouded leopard, to distinguish it from the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi). It is the state animal of the Indian state of Meghalaya.

Felid hybrid

A felid hybrid is any of a number of hybrid between various species of the cat family, Felidae. This article deals with hybrids between the species of the subfamily Felinae (feline hybrids). For hybrids between two species of the genus Panthera (lions, tigers, jaguars, and leopards), see Panthera hybrid. There are no known hybrids between Neofelis (the clouded leopard) and other genera. By contrast, many genera of Felinae are interfertile with each other, though few hybridize under natural conditions, and not all combinations are likely to be viable (e.g. between the tiny rusty-spotted cat and the leopard-sized cougar).

Felidae

Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is also called a felid. The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the domestic cat (Felis catus).Reginald Innes Pocock divided the extant Felidae into three subfamilies: the Pantherinae, the Felinae and the Acinonychinae, differing from each other by the ossification of the hyoid apparatus and by the cutaneous sheaths which protect their claws.

This concept has been revised following developments in molecular biology and techniques for analysis of morphological data. Today, the living Felidae are divided in two subfamilies, with the Pantherinae including seven Panthera and two Neofelis species. The Felinae include all the non-pantherine cats with 10 genera and 34 species.The first cats emerged during the Oligocene, about 25 million years ago, with the appearance of Proailurus and Pseudaelurus. The latter species complex was ancestral to two main lines of felids: the cats in the extant subfamilies and a third major group of extinct cats of the subfamily Machairodontinae. The machairodonts included the saber-toothed cats such as the Smilodon. The "false sabre toothed cats", the Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae, are not true cats, but are closely related and together with Felidae and other cat-like carnivores (hyaenas, viverrids and mongooses) make up the feliform carnivores.The characteristic features of cats have evolved to support a carnivorous lifestyle, with adaptations for ambush or stalking and short pursuit hunting. They have slender muscular bodies, strong flexible forelimbs and retractable claws for holding prey, dental and cranial adaptations for a strong bite, and often have characteristic striped or spotted coat patterns for camouflage.

Felinae

The Felinae is a subfamily of the family Felidae that comprises the small cats that have a bony hyoid, because of which they are able to purr but not roar.Other authors proposed an alternative definition for this subfamily: as comprising only the living conical-toothed cat genera with two tribes, the Felini and Pantherini; thus excluding all fossil cat species.

Formosan clouded leopard

The Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura) was a clouded leopard subspecies that was endemic to the island of Taiwan. Camera trapping studies carried out in several protected areas in Taiwan between 1997 and 2012 did not reveal the presence of a clouded leopard. The population is therefore listed as extinct on the IUCN Red List.It was first described in 1862 on the basis of a traded skin with an incomplete tail. Its fur colour is pale to tawny, and it has large cloud-like markings on the shoulders and flanks with a few spots within the clouds.

Gordonia neofelifaecis

Gordonia neofelifaecis is a bacterium from the genus of Gordonia which has been isolated from faeces from the leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) in the Sichuan Province in China.

List of Indian state animals

India, officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is made up of 29 states and 7 union territories. All Indian states have their own government and theUnion territories come under the jurisdiction of the Central Government. As most of the other countries India too has a national emblem—the Lion Capital of Sarnath.

Apart from India's national emblem, each of its States and Union Territories have their own state seals and symbols which include state animals, birds, trees, flowers etc. A list of state animals of India is given below. See Symbols of Indian states and territories for a complete list of all State characters and seals.

List of carnivorans described in the 2000s

This page is a list of species of the order Carnivora discovered in the 2000s. The order also contains animals once classified separately in Pinnipedia. See also parent page Mammals discovered in the 2000s.

List of felids

Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is also called a felid or feline. The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to domestic cats. The characteristic features of cats have evolved to support a carnivorous lifestyle, with adaptations for ambush or stalking and short pursuit hunting. They have slender muscular bodies, strong flexible forelimbs and retractable claws for holding prey, dental and cranial adaptations for a strong bite, and often have characteristic striped or spotted coat patterns for camouflage.Felidae comprises two subfamilies, the Pantherinae and the Felinae. The former includes the five Panthera species tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, and snow leopard, as well as the two Neofelis species clouded leopard and Sunda clouded leopard. The Felinae subfamily includes 12 genera and 34 species, such as the bobcat, caracal, cheetah, cougar, ocelot, and common domestic cat.Traditionally, five subfamilies have been distinguished within the Felidae based on phenotypical features: the Felinae, the Pantherinae, the Acinonychinae (cheetahs), the extinct Machairodontinae, and the extinct Proailurinae. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests that living (extant) felids fall into eight lineages (clades). The placement of the cheetah within the Puma lineage invalidates the traditional subfamily Acinonychinae, and recent sources use only two subfamilies for extant genera. The number of accepted species in Felidae has been around 40 since the 18th century, though research, especially modern molecular phylogenetic analysis, has over time adjusted the generally accepted genera as well as the divisions between recognized subspecies, species, and population groups. In addition to the extant species listed here, over 30 fossil genera have been described; these are divided into the Felinae, Pantherinae, Proailurinae, and Machairodontinae subfamilies. This final subfamily includes the Smilodon genus, known as the "saber-toothed tiger", which went extinct around 10,000 years ago. The earliest known felid genus is the Proailurus, part of Proailurinae, which lived approximately 25 million years ago.

List of mammals described in the 2000s

Although the mammals are well studied in comparison to other animal groups, a number of new species are still being discovered. This list includes extant mammal species discovered, formally named, or brought to public light in the year 2000 or later. Notable subspecies are also included, as are mammals rediscovered after being declared, or seriously suspected to be, extinct.

Newly discovered fossils are not included.

Panthera

Panthera is a genus within the Felidae family that was named and first described by the German naturalist Lorenz Oken in 1816. The British taxonomist Pocock revised the classification of this genus in 1916 as comprising the species lion, tiger, jaguar, and leopard on the basis of cranial features. Results of genetic analysis indicate that the snow leopard also belongs to the Panthera, a classification that was accepted by IUCN Red List assessors in 2008.The tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar are the only felines with the anatomical structure that enables them to roar. The primary reason for this was formerly assumed to be the incomplete ossification of the hyoid bone. However, new studies show the ability to roar is due to other morphological features, especially of the larynx. The snow leopard does not roar. Although it has an incomplete ossification of the hyoid bone, it lacks the special morphology of the larynx.

Pantherinae

Pantherinae is a subfamily within the family Felidae, which was named and first described by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1917.

Phawngpui National Park

Phawngpui National Park or Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park is one of the two national parks of India in Mizoram, the other and the larger being Murlen National Park. It is about 300 km from the main city Aizawl, located in the Lawngtlai district, towards the southeast of Mizoram and relatively close to Burma. It bears the name of the mountain Phawngpui, often called the Blue Mountain of Mizoram, which is the highest mountain peak in the state, reaching 2,157 m asl. The national park covers the entire mountain along with the surrounding reserve forest.

Snow leopard

The snow leopard (Panthera uncia), also known as the ounce, is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals and decline about 10% in the next 23 years. It is threatened by poaching and habitat destruction following infrastructural developments.The snow leopard inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft), ranging from eastern Afghanistan to Mongolia and western China. In the northern range countries, it also occurs at lower elevations.Taxonomically, the snow leopard was initially classified in the monotypic genus Uncia. Since 2008, it is considered a member of the genus Panthera based on results of genetic studies. Two subspecies were described based on morphological differences, but genetic differences between the two have not been confirmed. It is therefore regarded a monotypic species.

Sumatran clouded leopard

The Sumatran clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi diardi) is a subspecies of the Sunda clouded leopard and is native to the Indonesian islands of Batu and Sumatra. It differs in molecular, craniomandibular and dental characteristics from the Bornean clouded leopard.

It was recognized as a valid subspecies in 2017.

Sunda clouded leopard

The Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) is a medium-sized wild cat native to Borneo and Sumatra. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2015, as the total effective population probably consists of fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing population trend. On both Sunda islands, it is threatened by deforestation.In 2006, it was classified as a species, distinct from the clouded leopard in mainland Southeast Asia. Its fur is darker with a smaller cloud pattern.It is also known as the Sundaland clouded leopard, Enkuli clouded leopard, Diard's clouded leopard, and Diard's cat.

Extant Carnivora species

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