It is reported that the elusive clouded leopard has been spotted in the Langtang National Park, in Nepal, on the border with China, at 3,500 metres above sea level. The Times newspaper reports that they had never previously been seen above 2,300 metres above sea level. I think that that is a mistake because my research indicates that clouded leopards have been found in coastal hardwood forests at sea level and in coniferous forests at elevations of 3,000 metres in Taiwan before.
Notwithstanding that slight error by The Times journalists, there is no doubt that clouded leopards are moving upwards to maintain the ambient temperature and habitat which suits them and which is now located at a higher altitude above sea level due to global warming.
A recent study by the Geological Survey of India found that about 50 species of butterfly and moth had relocated 1,000 metres higher in search of new habitats. Perhaps, too, the clouded leopard’s habitat is being altered because climate change. The cat is seeking more suitable habitats which are found higher up in the Himalayas.
This medium-sized cat species is found south of the Himalaya in Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Assam and South to Myanmar, southern China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.
In a picturesque mountain village in central Nepal, Lete, the residents are seeing changes. They saw a big stake in the village for the first time in their lives and they have mosquitoes and flies even at its altitude of 3,100 metres above sea level.
Native species are moving to higher ground prompted by shifting weather patterns and rising temperatures. One of those species is the beautiful clouded leopard. Proof if it is needed of global warming. Nowhere near enough is being done about it. China is building many more coal-fired power stations. More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels. China’s attitude to global warming more or less cancels out the efforts of other countries. America is almost as bad.
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