Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Clouded leopards have been hunted extensively for their pelts, which may be bought on the wildlife black market. The smuggling of skins from mainland China has increased as the demand for clouded leopard pelts in Taiwan has been renewed. Prior to the conversion of tribal peoples in Taiwan to Christianity, clouded leopard skins were used in ceremonies and the hunter was considered heroic for killing these animals. Today, ownership of a clouded leopard pelt is a status symbol among men in some Asian countries. Authorities have found pelts for sale in many markets throughout mainland Southeast Asia as well. Body parts, especially claws, teeth and bones, are still used in traditional medicine practices. Clouded leopard occasionally appears on menus at upscale restaurants in Asia. In addition, live animals are traded illegally as pets. (Beacham and Beltz, 1998; IUCN, 1996; Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002; The Clouded Leopard Project, 2008)
- Sunquist, M., F. Sunquist. 2002. Wild Cats of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Beacham, W., K. Beltz. 1998. Beacham's Guide to International Endangered Species, Vol. 2. Osprey, Florida: Beacham Publishing Corp..