Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thailand Trip
Well, despite my best efforts the Internet has not cooperated with my plan to do blog posts from my trip. Otherwise you would be seeing photos of the latest batch of adorable cubs at the breeding project. I've now left the zoo and am having a bit of vacation over Christmas on an island called Ko Samet. It sure doesn't feel like Christmas as I know it here! Tonight I'll toast Christmas Eve with a banana smoothie and think about how blessed clouded leopards are to have so many people working hard on their behalf!

I'll post some photos and video from my trip when I return Jan. 1, so stay tuned.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thailand Clouded Leopard Education Planning
I'm off to Thailand in the morning to meet with our partners at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, site of the breeding center for the Clouded Leopard Consortium. I'm going to be meeting with the Education Dept. staff at the zoo to assess and plan for the development of wild cat education program/curriculum in support of our storybook and the clouded leopard program. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again and hope we make some good progress with our planning. Depending on my Internet access, I hope to post a few times while I'm there, so stay tuned!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Exhibit Construction
Our contractors are moving quickly and have already transformed the look of the site. Cats of the Canopy is on the way!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Clouded Leopard Exhibit Breaks Ground!

It's been a very long time coming, but we are thrilled that ground has finally broken for Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's new clouded leopard exhibit! This exhibit will provide everything we need to provide a comfortable home for our clouded leopards and great viewing and educational opportunities for our guests. We have designed the exhibit to give the cats lots of height for climbing, glass and mesh viewing, and a special viewing area for when we have young cubs. I'm working with our interpretive team to design the accompanying graphics and other opportunities to teach guests about clouded leopards and their conservation issues. We hope to incorporate some fun technology components too. I'll keep you posted as construction progresses!
Exhibit viewed from the front

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Support Clouded Leopard Conservation with Your Holiday Shopping!

This holiday it’s easy to give a gift that matters. Honor your friends and family with a donation to the Clouded Leopard Project to make a lasting impact on clouded leopard conservation. Visit our CLP online store for Clouded Leopard Project merchandise, featuring Green Brand recycled cotton logo apparel in new colors and styles! Don't forget we also have plush toys, patches, and jewelry to please all the wild cat lovers on your gift list.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Washington DC Clouded Leopard Event
For those of you in the DC area, I hope you'll join our friends at the National Zoo for an evening sharing the clouded leopard conservation story. Budhan, Ken, and Jilian will give you the whole scoop on the great work the Smithsonian is doing to conserve cloudies!

Saving Clouded Leopards: Conservation Through Science
When: 6:30 p.m., December 8
Where: National Zoo Visitor Center Auditorium
Cost: $10 for FONZ members, $15 for nonmembers

Join preeminent National Zoo scientists, animal keepers, and FONZ volunteers for an evening dedicated to the conservation of clouded leopards. Hosted by the Zoo scientist Budhan Pukazhenthi, the event will begin with a special screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s Ghost Cat: Saving the Clouded Leopard, which follows a small cadre of scientists, activists, and veterinarians determined to help stave off extinction of the clouded leopard.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Budhan Pukazhenthi. Panelists include Ken Lang, supervisory biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Jilian Fazio, Ph.D. candidate and long-time clouded leopard keeper; and Rebecca Hobbs, post-doctoral fellow. Together, the panel represents a wealth of knowledge and experience working with clouded leopards in the wild in and captivity.

The evening concludes with the opportunity to mingle with Zoo scientists and animal keepers during a cocktail hour, bid on one-of-a-kind items at our silent auction, or do some holiday shopping at a clouded leopard table or in the Asia Trail gift shop.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

New Research Supporting Two Sub-Species of Sunda Clouded Leopard

In a new article in press in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, authors Andreas Wilting, Per Christiansen, et. al. provide further support through the study of genetics and cranial features for two sub-species of the Sunda clouded leopard, Neofelis diardi.

In the article the authors provide an overview of the evolutionary history of Neofelis diardi, officially present its common name, the Sunda clouded leopard, and formally describe the Bornean subspecies, Neofelis diardi borneensis.