Research Article

The clouded leopard in Nepal

Eric Dinersteina1 and Jai N. Mehtaa2

a1 World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th St. NW, Washington, DC. 20037, USA.

a2 Institute of Forestry, P.O. Box 43, Pokhara, Nepal.


Clouded leopards were believed to be extinct in Nepal, the last published record being from 1863, but in 1987–1988 four individuals were found in the country. These findings extend the known range of the species westward and suggest that clouded leopards are able to survive and breed in degraded woodlands and scrub previously supporting moist subtropical semi-deciduous forest. One of the clouded leopards was radio-collared, the first free-ranging individual to be so, and tracked for several days after its release in Royal Chitwan National Park. The translocation was unsuccessful—the leopard rapidly travelled towards the site from which it was captured.