Does Taiwan want to see Clouded Leopards Again? First We Need to Ask!

It is not entirely clear when, but some time during the last century more or less the Formosan clouded leopard, as it was known, went extinct on Taiwan.  Exactly what drove its decline is also not known, as there are extensive areas on the island, including Tawu Mountain Nature Reserve, suited to hosting populations of clouded leopards and those of their prey.  Rumored to be the most beautiful of clouded leopards, recent genetic analyses suggest it was no different from the species that occurred in mainland Asia.  Given the high potential for Taiwan to host clouded leopards once again, the question then becomes more pointed: how would local Taiwanese feel about that?  S.P.E.C.I.E.S. is headed to Taiwan and is working with local collaborators to answer this question.  This is the critical next step needed to one day see their return to the island’s beautiful mountain forests.




Carnivores of Sri Lanka: A Collaboration with SLWCS

S.P.E.C.I.E.S. is joining forces with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society to launch priority conservation surveys for at least five of the island nation’s native carnivore species, and initiate a more comprehensive effort to assess threats to these carnivores across the country. These activities began in early 2016 with expeditions to focus on the endangered Sri Lankan leopard, fishing cat, and sloth bear, in important forest and wetland habitats.  Our long-term goals are to identify priority regions for the conservation of these species, integrate local human communities into stewardship activities and provide educational opportunities for the public, and identify the biggest threats to species while reducing human-carnivore conflicts that cause economic hardships or pose a direct danger to human safety.

Mitigating Carnivore Conflict with Partners in Northern Mexico

Mexico is among the top three countries in the world with the greatest biodiversity.  Because the country contains mammal species native to both North America and Latin America, it hosts the greatest number of carnivore species and endangered mammals in the western hemisphere.  S.P.E.C.I.E.S. is now supporting the efforts of the Wildlife Investigation Laboratory at the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon in Monterrey to develop the next generation of wildlife and conservation science professionals, and train protected area managers and staff in monitoring techniques and human-wildlife conflict reduction methods.  In addition, we are working hard to establish a permanent conservation resource for Mexican government agencies and land managers across the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and broad regions of northern Mexico, where ecological information on many species is lacking, but land conservation potential remains very high