Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
CLP Vice President Andy Goldfarb has returned to Thailand for another stint as Manager of the Clouded Leopard Consortium, a breeding project based at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium sends Andy there annually in support of the project where he raises cubs and manages care of the adults. This is Andy's first report since his return:
Hey guys I'm back in Thailand again. This will make four months in under a year. Don't get me wrong, I know I should be bummed that I'm missing out on the 18 degree weather back at my home versus the 90 degree temp with a very low humidity here in Thailand, but I'm not! I was never a cold weather guy. I've been coming here for 6 years and this it the first time that I have come in December and January which I have to say is just awesome. It's still hot, but the humidity is very low so it's quite nice. There are still all the bugs to deal with but to a lesser degree.
Okay, when I left back in April there were three cubs that I had been working with: Mang Po, Dawk Mi and Taifun. Also there was a little girl named Ginnaree born while I was here and she lived with me for my last month. Everybody is still here except Taifun, he went to Chang Mi in northern Thailand to meet a girl. Mang Po is one of my favorite cubs, so it was incredible to see her again. She's a lot bigger but still a sweetie and just jumped in my arms when I showed up. Everybody is doing great. The big news is that in the time that I was gone we have had six more cubs born at the breeding center. That makes ten cubs in a year! So the place is over run with the spotted little rats! What a dream come true for me. I have to say that it's hard to pay attention to all of them, they're always screaming at you when you walk past the enclosures. So I spend a fair bit of time going from one area to another playing with the cubs.
I know you're thinking, "Oh how brutal is that, poor Andy, he's suffering" Okay I know you're not thinking that but it isn't as fun or easy as you might think. Only those brave enough to enter know the truth, that’s why the guys that work with me don't go in. In one area there are four cubs that are five months old, three boys (what a nightmare ) and one little cute, but semi-evil, girl. When you first enter the area there are heaps of cute squeaks, chuffs, and rubbing all over your legs for attention. This lasts for about a minute and then it starts. A flurry of spots start flying through the air. They take turns jumping on you from every direction. From below, one of them always strikes first, and while you're bent over to detach the little beast another one hits from behind and then you lurch backwards to try to remove that one and you get hit from the front that’s when the other moves in for the big prize, your head. Now for those of you that kept up with me last time know that I copped it good in the face. So far my face has remained un-scarred, the rest of me is in real rough shape; my arms, legs, back, neck and scalp look like I scrubbed them with a wire brush.
I do love these maniacs and I'll write more soon ….I promise….. kinda.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Researchers and friends of the CLP, Andy Hearn and Joanna Ross have released the first video footage ever captured of the little known Borneo bay cat. This elusive cat is one research subject in their quest to study the ecology and status of Borneo's five wild cat species as part of Andy and Jo's work with the Global Canopy Programme.
To see the 7 second video clip and learn more about the exceptional bay cat, found nowhere else in the world but the island of Borneo,visit the story on Mongay Bay. We applaud the efforts of Andy and Jo to learn more about Borneo's threatened wild cats and are proud to support their work.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Daughter Earth spreads awareness of endangered species and habitat conservation through the artful design of environmentally conscious clothing, accessories and housewares and we are very grateful for their support.
To order, visit the special ordering page in Clouded Leopard Project online store.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I realize I neglected to post this article, The Plight of the Clouded Leopard, when it first appeared in the Bangkok Post in August. It is a overview of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Breeding Consortium and the Consortium Manager, Rick Passaro. It's great to see the project get such wonderful press - check it out!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Last week the Clouded Leopard Project was an exhibitor at the annual conference of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) that was held for the first time in conjunction with the International Congress of Zookeepers (ICZ). The conference took place in Seattle and brought together nearly 400 delegates from all over the world. There were several days of presentations sharing a wide range of information and experiences from this highly diverse group of animal professionals. Clouded Leopard Project Vice Presidents Maureen O'Keefe and Andy Goldfarb gave a well-received joint presentation on the evolution and accomplishments of the CLP. Their great talk no doubt generated visits to our vendor table and spurred merchandise sales to support our conservation efforts. The hot seller was our insignia fleece, thanks in part, no doubt, to the sub-Arctic temperature of the hotel meeting room! It was great seeing so many conference delegates decked out in their CLP finery.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The first went to Dr. Susan Cheyne, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, Oxford University for her Sabangau Felid Project in Indonesian Borneo. Susan has long been studying orangutans and gibbons in the region and recently expanded the project to research the behavior and ecology of the wild cats as well.
I had the good fortune of meeting Susan at the Clouded Leopard Conservation Summit and was very impressed with her commitment to learning about and conserving Borneo's wildlife. Our funding will help Susan and her team with these goals. For more details on the project visit her page on our website or check out the project's blog for updates.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
It is so amazing to me that just a few years ago almost no one had seen a wild clouded leopard. But thanks to the technology of camera traps, now many of us get at least frequent armchair "views" of these extraordinary cats. Here's the latest, taken in Sabah, Borneo's Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary during the research of Dr. Henry Bernard of the University of Malaysia, Sabah's Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation.
He also got a wonderful shot of a bay cat:
Dr. Bernard is also partnering with the CLP to translate and distribute our forthcoming storybook, The Clouded Leopard's Secret, in Sabah. We are grateful to both him and his student, Danial Pamin, for sharing these photos with us.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Here's Raja enjoying some sprigs today. He don't go quite as nuts as he sometimes does, but it's cute to see nonetheless.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Bornean Wild Cat & Clouded Leopard Project
Andrew Hearn and Joanna Ross, Global Canopy Programme, Principal Investigators
Consequences of different forest management strategies for clouded leopards and other felids and viverrids in Sabah, Malaysia
Andreas Wilting, Leibniz Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research, Principal Investigator
Conservation Genetics of Threatened and Endangered Bornean Wild Cats in Sabah, Malaysia
Daniel Pamin, Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, University Malaysia Sabah
A comparison of the abundance of medium- and large-mammals within a primary rainforest and palm oil plantation of Borneo
Nathan Roberts, University of Cumbria
Effects of Fragmentation, Habitat Conversion, and Hunting on Clouded Leopard Abundance and Distribution in East Kalimantan
Rustam, Tropical Rainforest Research Center, Mulawarman University and Anthony J. Giordano, S.P.E.C.I.E.S, Principal Investigators
Southeast Asia Wild Cat Education Initiative PeunPa Outreach Staff Funding, Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, Thailand
Status, distribution and ecology of small wild cats in Assam, India with a focus on the clouded leopard, Neofelis nebulosa as the flagship species
Dr. Jimmy Borah and Dr. Karabi Deka, Alliance for Research and Conservation of Wild (ARCW), Principal Investigators
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
In the meantime, here's a brief overview of what's new in zoo-based clouded leopard conservation:
Heather DeCaluwe, a student at the University of Maryland, is working with researchers at the National Zoo on determining ways to characterize and control male aggression in an effort to mitigate some of the issues that make it so difficult to form new pairs of clouded leopards.
Despite many years of research, ongoing successful artificial insemination in clouded leopards is still out of reach. (The only success was in 1992.) Therefore, scientists working on this topic are now branching out to pursue in vitro reproduction. This process will use eggs and sperm from donor cats to attempt to create embryos that would then be implanted into cats for gestation. Rebecca Hobbs will be undertaking the first steps of this research through the National Zoo. She will use donor clouded leopards from a number of zoos around the country for the first IVF study in an attempt to create embryos. (None will be implanted in the first stage of the study.) Using IVF will allow genetically valuable unpaired females and older females to have the potential of still contributing to the breeding population. This technique has ralready resulted in live offspring in tigers, servals, caracals, and other species so will hopefully be successful for clouded leopards as well!
In addition to the discussion of assisted reproduction, meeting participants also spent a great deal of time examining the status and genetic lineage of the individual animals in the population to determine the possibility of creating new pairs. We also worked on determining how to pair the numerous cubs born in Thailand, many of which share the same lineage - a situation that presents many challenges. After much work, a plan was created that will hopefully benefit the entire population in the future. I'll have an update on the final plan on the website once the meeting report is published.