May 6, 2013

The Formosan clouded leopard is extinct.

The last one probably died 100 years ago, but the announcement is new:
[Kurtis Pei, of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Wildlife Conservation] and five other researchers set up cameras and catnip-baited hair traps, and trolled the jungle for the Formosan clouded leopards from 2000 to 2004, spending the time since then to analyze data in an area that was later made impassable by typhoons. The team took 16,000 photos in 400 spots, Pei says. They also looked for paw prints and fur. Still, despite their efforts, they found no trace of the meter-long cats named for their large cloudlike spots.

32 comments:

TML said...

Anytime I see an extinct creature I feel very sad. Especially one so beautiful. Though that's specie-est and illogical.

Nomennovum said...

Good-bye Kitty.

Data Schlepper said...

I am totally diminished by the news. Didn't John Donne say "No cat is an island"?

Data Schlepper said...

I am totally diminished by the news. Didn't John Donne say "No cat is an island"?

Rabel said...

That would look so nice as a little over-the-shoulder shawl.

Methadras said...

That's too bad. It's also too bad we couldn't make congress and Urkel extinct as well. Unfortunately, in 100 years we will be the ones extinct.

edutcher said...

Sorry about that, but, if we'd invaded Formosa the way Ernie King wanted, he'd be a lot more extinct.

Paul said...

It's Bush's fault!

See Global Warming has been going on even longer than Al Gore knew.

How do I know?

Al has made only $200 million.

If he had only known earlier he would not have been VP but instead have started his crusade, some call it a shtick, earlier!

Nomennovum said...

The last one probably died 100 years ago, but the announcement is new.

Don't feel bad, scientists, I'm still looking looking for my Mickey Mantle baseball card. Mom swears she didn't throw my whole collection away. There's hope still.

ricpic said...

The Chinese are worse than Leiningen's ants.

Rob said...

There's a National Poontang University? I want a sweat shirt!

David said...

Beautiful creature. It is sad that something that lovely is gone forever.

Our time will also come, fellow humans.

Matt said...

Damn. Seeing a Formosan clouded leopard was on my bucket list. So, do I get to cross it off or do I have to add "build time machine" above "see a Formosan clouded leopard"? This is really messing with my plans for today.

Matt said...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1913 - The last Formosan clouded leopard dies.

2013 - The world finally notices that the last Formosan clouded leopard has died.

Nomennovum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

If the coelacanth made it, any animal can make it. Don't give up hope for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker and don't give up hope for the Formosan Spotted Leopard.

bpm4532 said...

Species have been going extinct for millions of years before man had anything to do with it. That's just the way life is. More species ahead.

Fr Martin Fox said...

OK, here is something I found confusing.

The article says there are Clouded Leopards in other parts of Asia--the Taiwanese leopard is a sub-species.

So how similar are the other Clouded Leopards to the Taiwanese version?

I'm sorry the Taiwanese version died off--but if there are close cousins around, that's a pretty good consolation prize.

William said...

I bet there were a lot of other species on Formosa who were quite glad to wave goodbye to the clouded leopard. If the clouded leopard had survived the clotted marmoset would probably now be extinct.

Fr Martin Fox said...

OK, I'll say it...

Isn't this why we have zoos? So that all the species that interest us can be around for us to look at them, study them, etc.?

Isn't that what this is about: what humans need or want regarding these animals?

Yes, I know about the "balance" argument--that you need predators and prey and all that. So bring in another variety of leopards, if there's a problem.

And I know about the "biodiversity" argument. Funny thing about the evolutionary hypothesis: the imported species will diversify on its own--right? Isn't that essentially what Darwin said?

So it's all about people being able to see these pretty animals. Well, then, have them in a zoo.

Now...

If you say, wait, there isn't enough traffic to see all the pretty leopards, so you can't have enough zoos, I have an even better idea:

Make something out of the pretty leopards. Coats, hats, or leopard steaks or something.

Because then you have folks who have a vested interest in sustaining the population of the leopard. (Not that this was my idea.)

Gahrie said...

What if nature intended for this cat to go extinct?

How many species are we preserving to make ourselves feel better that natural selection has intended to wipe out?

What dangers does this pose?

How can we tell the difference between extinction that is natural and extinction that is man-made?

Is one form of extinction better than the other? Or worse?

John Lynch said...

General Fransisco Franco is still dead.

dreams said...

I've live my whole after it had become extinct and now that I've found out about it, I'll have to find some way to go on living.

n.n said...

"No trace" is not a definitive statement. The animal may be extinct. It may have evolved (i.e. changed). It may no longer be detectable. This wouldn't be the first time that an "extinct" species was improperly or prematurely classified.

rcommal said...

Yeah! Well, hey, now.

Dustin said...

Extinction is the part of evolution where things actually happen.

Evolution is real progress. It's hard earned progress, and it's ruthless.

Strange animals are wonderful and specimens should be preserved in zoos (when they actually are available, as was not the case here). But extinction is, in and of itself, not really something to be upset about. Evolving biospheres is good, even.

The sad part is when entire natural habitats are ruined. This is sometimes necessary, but sometimes it's not.

Carl said...

http://bookre.org/reader?file=242927

gerry said...

C'est la vie.

Timotheus said...

It's a genetic loss, but not one of earth-shattering magnitude. It is one subspecies of of several in the clouded leopard species. If they wanted to reestablish clouded leopards there are nearly indistinguishable members of the same species present in southeast Asia.

Timotheus said...

It's a genetic loss, but not one of earth-shattering magnitude. It is one subspecies of of several in the clouded leopard species. If they wanted to reestablish clouded leopards there are nearly indistinguishable members of the same species present in southeast Asia.

Larry J said...

bpm4532 said...
Species have been going extinct for millions of years before man had anything to do with it. That's just the way life is. More species ahead.


Yes, about 99% of all the species that ever lived on the Earth are now extinct. This has been going on for a long time. Some extinctions were caused by humans but only a small percentage of the total.

Aridog said...

Gahrie said...

What dangers does this pose?

He he...ask Hawaiians about their rabbits.