Because it hadn’t been officially sighted since 1983, the Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura).
a rare species of big cat in Taiwan, was thought to be extinct. Taiwanese and American zoologists also surveyed the area between 2001 and 2013, but they failed to find even one leopard. As a result, in 2013, this species was declared extinct.
However, multiple witnesses reported seeing these creatures alive and well roaming around in the wilderness of Taitung County. Taiwan, in January 2019, prompting a group of rangers to monitor the area. Two sightings of Formosan clouded leopards hunting goats and one running up a tree have been reported by rangers.
The significance of the discovery is striking for the locals,. who are now holding tribal meetings to discuss the sightings and how to prevent outsiders from hunting leopards.
Tribal members believe they can stop outsiders from hunting in the area. while village elders are lobbying Taiwanese authorities to stop logging and other land-damaging activities.
Professor Liu Chiung-hsi of National Taitung University’s Department of Life Science believes this animal still exists. The Formosan is known to be quite agile and vigilant, eluding human attempts to trap or otherwise capture it, so it is not surprising that it has not been seen by a human being in more than two decades, according to Liu.
According to scientists and conservationists, the Earth is currently experiencing the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals, with species becoming extinct at rates that range from 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate. As a result, the discovery of the Formosan clouded leopard in Taiwan is fantastic news for our planet.
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H/T: The Mind Unleashed