It turns out a leopard really can change its spots—or at least its species. DNA tests have shown that Borneo's top predator is one of a kind.
The clouded leopard of the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra is its own unique species, according to genetic test results announced March 14, 2007, by WWF, the international conservation organization (Indonesia map showing Borneo and Sumatra). Until now the cat was believed to be of the same species as the mainland clouded leopard.
"The fact that Borneo's top predator is now considered a separate species," said WWF's Adam Tomasek in a statement, "further emphasizes the uniqueness of the island and the importance of conserving the Heart of Borneo."
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