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Scent marking in Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi): Novel observations close a key gap in understanding felid communication behaviours

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posted on 18.06.2020 by ML Allen, Heiko Wittmer, E Setiawan, S Jaffe, AJ Marshall
© 2016 Author(s). Intraspecific communication is integral to the behavioural ecology of solitary carnivores, but observing and quantifying their communication behaviours in natural environments is difficult. Our systematic literature review found that basic information on scent marking is completely lacking for 23% of all felid species, and information on 21% of other felid species comes solely from one study of captive animals. Here we present results of the first systematic investigation of the scent marking behaviours of Sunda clouded leopards in the wild. Our observations using motion-triggered video cameras in Indonesian Borneo are novel for clouded leopards, and contrary to previous descriptions of their behaviour. We found that clouded leopards displayed 10 distinct communication behaviours, with olfaction, scraping, and cheek rubbing the most frequently recorded. We also showed that males make repeated visits to areas they previously used for marking and that multiple males advertise and receive information at the same sites, potentially enhancing our ability to document and monitor clouded leopard populations. The behaviours we recorded are remarkably similar to those described in other solitary felids, despite tremendous variation in the environments they inhabit, and close a key gap in understanding and interpreting communication behaviours of clouded leopards and other solitary felids.

History

Preferred citation

Allen, M.L., Wittmer, H.U., Setiawan, E., Jaffe, S. & Marshall, A.J. (2016). Scent marking in Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi): Novel observations close a key gap in understanding felid communication behaviours. Scientific Reports, 6(1), 35433-. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep35433

Journal title

Scientific Reports

Volume

6

Issue

1

Publication date

14/10/2016

Pagination

35433

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

14/10/2016

ISSN

2045-2322

eISSN

2045-2322

Article number

35433

Language

en

Exports