This month’s featured image is the delicate Sunda Leopard Cat. It is a beautifully patterned species that fortunately still occurs quite widely throughout much of tropical Southeast and Eastern Asia, north through China and into Siberia, and across and into Myanmar, India and Nepal. Due to it being largely nocturnal, it is never simple to find, but they do tend to occur at a reasonable density, and Borneo is definitely one of the best places on the planet to try and see one.
Leopard Cats have a great ability to get around unnoticed, though, owing largely to their small size. The adult males found in the tropics typically weigh in at around 3.8kg, making them roughly the same size as a regular domestic cat. Interestingly, Leopard Cats occurring further north where it is colder, such as Siberia and Northern China, are a fair bit heftier and can weigh up to 7kg.
As recently as 2017, the Leopard Cat has undergone a taxonomic update, where the populations occurring through Indonesia, The Philippines and Borneo have been split off as Sunda Leopard Cat. This species differs from the mainland Asia Leopard Cats on morphology, and is based on molecular analysis and biogeographic separation.
Typically, Leopard Cats occur at altitudes below 900m; however, in Nepal’s Makalu-Barun National Park they are resident at an astonishing elevation of above 3,000m! The highest ever elevation record for the species is also in Nepal, where an individual was found at an incredible 4,400m!
As mentioned before, though, Borneo is THE place to try and find this gorgeous species. The island is also home to a few more exceptional cat species, and realistic chances exist for the legendary Clouded Leopard, Marbled Cat and Flat-headed Cat in addition to the featured species. Borneo is also justly famous for its primates, with headline species including Bornean Orangutan, Proboscis Monkey and Bornean Gibbon, besides a host of macaques and langurs. In addition to these highlights, other species to consider are Bornean Pygmy Elephant, Sunda Flying Lemur and Malayan Tarsier, and the birding is also phenomenal. A visit to this island paradise cannot be more highly recommended.
Join a Rockjumper Wildlife adventure today and you will discover more.
Borneo – Rainforest Wildlife of Tropical Asia
12 – 20 Jun, 2019 (9 days)
Tour Price: USD5,350