Monday, October 12, 2009

Leopard, Panthera pardus

Leopard (Panthera pardus) is belonging to the "Big Cats" genus, Panthera, which contains four members including Lion, Tiger, Jaguar and Leopard. Leopard is the smallest member within the genus. It has a broad distribution which ranged from most of sub-Saharan Africa, Arabian Peninsula, India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. It has a status of Near-threatened according to the IUCN Red List (ver. 2009.1) with decreasing population trend.

These photographs were taken in Masai Mara National Park, Kenya. This individual completely ignored the vehicles and humans surrounding it and was trying to hunt. It even made use of the vehicles to hide itself from the prey. It is quite rare to find Leopards during the daytime according to the guides as they are mainly active at night and resting on trees during the daytime.

Unidentified Eunoymus

An Euonymus species found on Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, is recently recognized not recorded before. It is quite surprised that there is still unidentified/unrecorded woody species in Hong Kong as they seem not to be easily overlooked in the previous extensive surveys conducted by various parties, including AFCD, KFBG and HKU etc. Even though specimens of flowers and fruits have been collected, the identity of this species is still unsolved, which means, it is probably a new species in Guangdong, or even China. Identification work is supposed to be done by IBSC, South China Institute of Botany.

This Euonymus species is highly restricted to a small area in Hong Kong, which is thought to be a very rare species in Hong Kong. It looks like another commoner Euonymus, E. laxiflorus, when flower or fruit is not observed. You might find its flowering season in early June where its fruits mature in December.