Formosan clouded leopard
Illustration of the Formosan Clouded Leopard
A historical restoration of Neofelis nebulosa brachyura
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Neofelis
Species: N. nebulosa
Subspecies: N. n. brachyura
Trinomial name
Neofelis nebulosa brachyura
Swinhoe, 1862

The Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura) is an extinct subspecies of clouded leopard that is endemic to the island of Taiwan. A camera trapping study carried out in the largest remaining lowland primary forest in southern Taiwan during 2000 to 2004 did not reveal the presence of a clouded leopard.


In his first description of 1862, Swinhoe notes the shortness of the tail, which is about one-half the length of clouded leopard specimens from the Himalayas.

Last records[]

The Formosan clouded leopard was Taiwan's second-largest carnivore, after the Formosan black bear. Following extensive logging of its natural habitat, clouded leopards retreated into the Jade Mountain and Tawu Mountain. Today, the Tawu Mountain Nature Reserve is a protected area encompassing about 480 km2 (190 sq mi) that harbours the largest remaining primary forest in southern Taiwan and comprises tropical and subtropical rainforest as well as temperate broadleaf and mixed forest and temperate coniferous forest.

An interview survey conducted in 1986 among 70 indigenous hunters revealed that the last confirmed sighting of a Formosan clouded leopard occurred in the Tawu Mountain area in 1983. The last confirmed record dates to 1989, when the skin of a young individual was found in the Taroko area.

Pugmark records reported in the 1990s near the Yushan National Park were suspected, but not confirmed to be of a clouded leopard.

In more than 13,000 camera trap nights during 2000 to 2004, no photo of a clouded leopard was obtained in the Tawu Mountain Nature Reserve and the adjacent Twin-ghost Lake Important Wildlife Area.

In culture[]

The Rukai, Taiwanese aborigines, considered the hunting of clouded leopards a taboo.