ALL 互動英語 03月號/2020 第184期

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  • 語言:繁體中文


Taiwanese Leopard Cats: Clinging to Survival
—Meagunn Hart
When people think of the world’s wildcats, they picture big ones: lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars. However, that excludes more than 30 species of wildcats documented across much of the world. Most regions lay claim to their own variety of wildcat, and for centuries, the island of Taiwan was fortunate enough to have two: the Formosan clouded leopard and the Taiwanese leopard cat.

Sadly, due to a combination of overhunting and habitat loss, clouded leopards are thought to be extinct in Taiwan today. The leopard cat, on the other hand, is still clinging to survival, with estimates putting the total population at fewer than 500 individuals. Unlike clouded leopards, leopard cats can hide in plain sight. They’re the same size as a domestic cat and have similar tendencies—they primarily eat mice and rats, and though they can swim, they prefer to avoid water.

Leopard cats sit firmly at the top of the food chain in the places they call home, mainly the low-altitude mountain regions of Miaoli, Taichung, and Nantou. Their presence in these areas keeps the local ecosystem in balance. Research begun little more than a decade ago has started to demonstrate just how essential they are—and why we need to save them.





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動物保育:保育石虎從你我開始Taiwanese Leopard Cats: Clinging to Survival

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