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leopard
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{{Other uses|Leopard (disambiguation)|Leopards (disambiguation)}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|A large cat native to Africa and Eurasia}}{{Speciesbox| fossil_range = Early Pleistocene to recent| name = Leopard| image = Namibie Etosha Leopard 01edit.jpg| image_caption = African leopard (P. p. pardus) in Etosha National Park, Namibia| status = VU| status_system = IUCN3.1 style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;"
AUTHOR3=GERNGROSS, P. AUTHOR5=HENSCHEL, P. AUTHOR7=MIQUELLE, D. AUTHOR9=KAMLER, J.F. LAST-AUTHOR-AMP=YES PANTHERA PARDUS >JOURNAL=THE IUCN RED LIST OF THREATENED SPECIES PAGE=15954/102421779 IUCN >DATE=2016 DOI=10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T15954A50659089.EN, id=14000250 heading=Species Panthera pardus}}Carl Linnaeus>Linnaeus, 1758)| subdivision_ranks = Subspecies#Subspecies>text| range_map = Leopard distribution.jpg| range_map_caption = Present and historical distribution of the leopard| synonyms =}}The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae.JOURNAL, Kitchener, A. C., Breitenmoser-Würsten, C., Eizirik, E., Gentry, A., Werdelin, L., Wilting, A., Yamaguchi, N., Abramov, A. V., Christiansen, P., Driscoll, C., Duckworth, J. W., Johnson, W., Luo, S.-J., Meijaard, E., O’Donoghue, P., Sanderson, J., Seymour, K., Bruford, M., Groves, C., Hoffmann, M., Nowell, K., Timmons, Z., Tobe, S., 2017, A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, Cat News, Special Issue 11, 73–75,weblink It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western and Central Asia, on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and are declining in large parts of the global range. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and most likely in Morocco, leopard populations have already been extirpated.Contemporary records suggest that the leopard occurs in only 25% of its historical global range.JOURNAL, Jacobson, A. P., Gerngross, P., Lemeris Jr., J. R., Schoonover, R. F., Anco, C., Breitenmoser-Würsten, C., Durant, S. M., Farhadinia, M. S., Henschel, P., Kamler, J. F., Laguardia, A., Rostro-García, S., Stein, A. B., Dollar, L., Leopard (Panthera pardus) status, distribution, and the research efforts across its range, PeerJ, 2016, 4, e1974, 10.7717/peerj.1974, 27168983, 4861552, JOURNAL, Williams, S. T., Williams, K. S., Lewis, B. P., Hill, R. A., Population dynamics and threats to an apex predator outside protected areas: implications for carnivore management, Royal Society Open Science, 2017, 4, 4, 161090, 10.1098/rsos.161090, 28484625, 5414262, 2017RSOS....461090W, Leopards are hunted illegally, and their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife trade for medicinal practices and decoration.JOURNAL, Bergin, D., Nijman, V., 2014, Open, Unregulated Trade in Wildlife in Morocco's Markets, TRAFFIC Bulletin, 26, 1, 65–70,weblink JOURNAL, Bergin, D., Nijman, V., 2015, Potential benefits of impending Moroccan wildlife trade laws, a case study in carnivore skins, Biodiversity and Conservation, 25, 1, 199–201, 10.1007/s10531-015-1042-1,weblink Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. Its fur is marked with rosettes. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but has a smaller, lighter physique, and its rosettes are generally smaller, more densely packed and without central spots. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers. The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behaviour, broad diet, strength, and its ability to adapt to a variety of habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas. It can run at speeds of up to {{Convert|58|km/h|mph}}. The earliest known leopard fossils excavated in Europe are estimated 600,000 years old, dating to the late Early Pleistocene.JOURNAL, Ghezzo, E., Rook, L., The remarkable Panthera pardus (Felidae, Mammalia) record from Equi (Massa, Italy): taphonomy, morphology, and paleoecology, Quaternary Science Reviews,weblink 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.12.020, 110, 110, 131–151, 2015, Leopard fossils were also found in Japan.BOOK, Izawa, M., Nakanishi, N., Felidae, 226−231, Ohdachi, S. D., Ishibashi, Y., Iwasa, M. A., Saitoh, T., 2015, The Wild Mammals of Japan, Shoukadoh Book Sellers and the Mammalogical Society of Japan, Second, 978-4-87974-691-7, Kyoto,

Etymology

The common name 'leopard' is derived from the Old English word 'leuparz' used in the poem The Song of Roland written in the late 8th century.BOOK, North, R., Allard, J., Gillies, P., 2014, Longman Anthology of Old English, Old Icelandic, and Anglo-Norman Literatures, Oxon, New York, Routledge, Reprinted, annotated, 9781317861621, 792−801, The Song of Roland,weblink It is thought to be a Greek compound of 'leōn' meaning lion and 'pardos'.BOOK, Partridge, E., Eric Partridge, Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, Greenwich House, 1983, New York, 978-0-517-41425-5, Leopard, 349, The word 'panther' is derived from the Latin word 'panther' and the ancient Greek 'pánthēr'.BOOK, Lewis, C. T., Short, C., yes, 1879, A Latin Dictionary. Founded on Andrews' edition of Freund's Latin dictionary, Revised, enlarged, and in great part rewritten, Oxford, Clarendon Press, panther,weblink BOOK, Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., yes, 1940, A Greek-English Lexicon, Revised and augmented, Oxford, Clarendon Press, πάνθηρ,weblink The phonetically similar sounding Sanskrit word पाण्डर 'pând-ara' means 'pale yellow, whitish, white'.BOOK, Macdonell, A. A., 1929, A practical Sanskrit dictionary with transliteration, accentuation, and etymological analysis throughout, London, Oxford University Press, पाण्डर pând-ara, 95,weblink The specific name pardus is derived from the Greek 'pardalos' meaning 'spotted'.BOOK, Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., yes, 1940, A Greek-English Lexicon, Revised and augmented, Oxford, Clarendon Press, πάρδαλος,weblink

Characteristics

File:P.p.saxicolor-Wilhelma1.jpg|thumb|Male leopard with an atypical coat pattern (WilhelmaWilhelmaThe leopard's skin colour varies between individuals from pale yellowish to dark golden with dark spots grouped in rosettes. Its belly is whitish and its ringed tail shorter than its body. Its pupils are round.BOOK, Mivart, St. G. J., St. George Jackson Mivart, The Cat: An Introduction to the Study of Backboned Animals, Especially Mammals, 1900, John Murray, London, Different kind of Cats, 391–439,weblink Leopards living in arid regions are pale cream, yellowish to ochraceous and rufous in colour; those living in forests and mountains are much darker and deep golden. Spots fade toward the white underbelly and the insides and lower parts of the legs.JOURNAL, Pocook, R. I., 1932, The Leopards of Africa, Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 102, 2, 543–591, 10.1111/j.1096-3642.1932.tb01085.x, Rosettes are circular in East African leopard populations, and tend to be squarish in Southern African and larger in Asian leopard populations. The fur tends to be grayish in colder climates, and dark golden in rain forest habitats.BOOK, Nowell, K., Jackson, P., 1996, Wild Cats: status survey and conservation action plan, IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland, Leopard Panthera pardus (Linnaeus, 1758),weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140222223654weblink">weblink The pattern of the rosettes is unique in each individual.BOOK, Schütze, H., Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park, 2002, Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa, 978-1-86872-594-6, 92–3, BOOK, Menon, V., Indian Mammals: A Field Guide, 2014, Hachette, Gurgaon, India, 978-93-5009-761-8, Its fur is generally soft and thick, notably softer on the belly than on the back.BOOK, 2005, The mammals of the southern African subregion, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 9780521844185, Skinner, J. D., Chimimba, C. T., Third, Mills, M. G. L., Subfamily Pantherinae, 385–396,weblink It tends to grow longer in colder climates.JOURNAL, Stein, A. B., Hayssen, V., Panthera pardus (Carnivora: Felidae), Mammalian Species, 2010, 45, 900, 30–48, 10.1644/900.1, yes,weblink 2016-03-05,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160305134603weblink">weblink The guard hairs protecting the basal hairs are short, {{convert|3|-|4|mm|in|abbr=on}} in face and head, and increase in length toward the flanks and the belly to about {{convert|25|-|30|mm|in|abbr=on}}. Juveniles have woolly fur, and appear dark due to the densely arranged spots.BOOK, Estes, R., 1991, The Behavior Guide to African Mammals, Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, Primates, Los Angeles, The University of California Press, 978-0-520-08085-0, Leopard Panthera pardus, 366–369,weblink Its white-tipped tail is about {{convert|60|-|100|cm|abbr=on}} long, white underneath and with spots that form incomplete bands toward the tail's end.BOOK, Hoath, R., Field Guide to the Mammals of Egypt, 2009, American University in Cairo Press, Cairo, Egypt, 978-977-416-254-1, 106–107, Leopard Panthera pardus (Linnaeus, 1758),weblink The leopard's rosettes differ from those of the jaguar, which are darker and with smaller spots inside. The cheetah has small round spots without any rosettes.

Skull

The largest skull recorded for a black panther from India, recorded in 1920, measured {{convert|11.2|in|cm|abbr=on}} in basal length, and {{convert|7.9|in|cm|abbr=on}} in breadth, and weighed {{convert|2|lb|4|oz|g|abbr=on}}. The skull of a West African panther measured {{convert|11.25|in|cm|abbr=on}} in basal length, and {{convert|7.125|in|cm|abbr=on}} in breadth, and weighed {{convert|1|lb|12|oz|g|abbr=on}}.JOURNAL, Prater, S. H., Record Panther Skull (P. p. pardus), The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, XXVII, 1, IV, 933–935,weblink 1921,

Size and weight

{{See also|Balaji (leopard)}}Among the current species of the Panthera genus, it is the second smallest, averaging larger only than the snow leopard.Wei, L., Wu, X., & Jiang, Z. (2009). The complete mitochondrial genome structure of snow leopard Panthera uncia. Molecular biology reports, 36(5), 871.. The leopard is sexually dimorphic, males are larger and heavier than females. It is muscular, with relatively short limbs and a broad head. Males stand {{convert|60|-|70|cm|in|abbr=on}} at the shoulder, while females are {{convert|57|-|64|cm|in|abbr=on}} tall. The head-and-body length may normally range anywhere between {{convert|90|and|196|cm|ftin|0|abbr=on}}. Tail length may be from {{convert|66|to|102|cm|in|abbr=on}}. While males weigh {{convert|37|-|90|kg|lb|abbr=on}}, females may weigh {{convert|28|-|60|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.BOOK, Nowak, R. M., Walker's Mammals of the World, 1999, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA, 978-0-8018-5789-8, Sixth, 828–831, Panthera pardus (Leopard),weblink These measurements vary geographically.Usually, leopards are larger in areas where they are at the top of the food chain, without competitive restriction from larger predators such as the lion and tiger.BOOK, Brakefield, T., Big Cats: Kingdom of Might, Leopard: The Super Cat?,weblink 1993, 978-0-89658-329-0, Alfred Edward Pease accounted to have seen leopards in North Africa nearly as large as Barbary lions. In 1913, an Algerian newspaper reported of a leopard killed that allegedly measured about {{convert|275|cm|ftin|0|abbr=on}} in total length.BOOK, Pease, A. E., Alfred Edward Pease, The Book of the Lion, John Murray (publisher), John Murray, Of dangerous game, 46–68, London,weblink 1913, To compare, male lions measure {{convert|266|-|311|cm|ftin|0|abbr=on}} from head to end of tail.BOOK, West, P. M., Packer, C., Panthera leo Lion, 150–159,weblink Kingdon, J., Happold, D., Butynski, T., Hoffmann, M., Happold, M., Kalina, J., Mammals of Africa, 2013, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 978-1-4081-8996-2, The maximum weight of a wild leopard is about {{Convert|96|kg|lb|abbr=on}}, recorded in Southern Africa. It measured {{convert|262|cm|ftin|0|abbr=on}}.BOOK, Burnie, D., Wilson, D. E., 2001, Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife, DK Adult, 978-0-7894-7764-4, BOOK, Brain, C. K., The Hunter or the Hunted: An Introduction to African Cave Taphonomy, University of Chicago Press, 1983, 978-0-226-07090-2, Perhaps the largest known wild Indian leopard, which was killed in Himachal Pradesh in 2016, measured a similar {{convert|261|cm|ftin|0|abbr=on}} in total length (though estimated weigh was much lower at {{convert|78.5|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.NEWS, Times of India, 2016, Is this the longest leopard in India?, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.,weblink NEWS, The Tribune, 2016, Leopard shot in Bilaspur turns out to be a record breaker, The Tribune Trust,weblink

Variant colouration

File:Blackleopard.JPG|thumb|Melanistic leopard or black panther]]Melanistic leopards are also called black panthers. Melanism in leopards is inherited as a recessive trait relatively to the spotted form.JOURNAL, Eizirik, E., Yuhki, N., Johnson, W. E., Menotti-Raymond, M., Hannah, S. S., O'Brien, S. J., Molecular genetics and evolution of melanism in the cat family, Current Biology, 2003, 13, 5, 448–453, 10.1016/S0960-9822(03)00128-3, 12620197, 1996CBio....6.1213A, 6 May 2013,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130506054200weblink">weblink Interbreeding in melanistic leopards produces a significantly smaller litter size than is produced by normal pairings.JOURNAL, Robinson, R., Inheritance of the black form of the leopard Panthera pardus, Genetica, 1970, 41, 1, 190–7, 10.1007/BF00958904, 5480762, The black panther is common in the equatorial rainforest of the Malay Peninsula and the tropical rainforest on the slopes of some African mountains such as Mount Kenya.BOOK, Searle, A. G., 1968, Comparative Genetics of Coat Colour in Mammals, Logos Press, London, Between January 1996 and March 2009, Indochinese leopards were photographed at 16 sites in the Malay Peninsula in a sampling effort of more than 1,000 camera trap nights. Of the 445 photographs of melanistic leopards, 410 were taken in study sites south of the Kra Isthmus, where the non-melanistic morph was never photographed. These data indicate the near fixation of the dark allele in the region. The expected time for the fixation of this recessive allele due to genetic drift alone ranged from about 1,100 years to about 100,000 years.JOURNAL, Kawanishi, K., Sunquist, M. E., Eizirik, E., Lynam, A. J., Ngoprasert, D., Wan Shahruddin, W. N., Rayan, D. M., Sharma, D. S. K., Steinmetz, R., Near fixation of melanism in leopards of the Malay Peninsula, Journal of Zoology, 2010, 282, 3, 201–206, 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2010.00731.x, 2010JZoo..281..263G, JOURNAL, Sunquist, F., 2007, Malaysian Mystery Leopards, National Wildlife Magazine, 45, 1,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080116051326weblink">weblink 2008-01-16, Pseudomelanist leopards have also been reported.BOOK, The Beasts that Hide from Man : Seeking the World's Last Undiscovered Animals, Shuker, K. P. N., Paraview Press, 2003, 978-1-931044-64-6, New York, USA, 273, In India, nine pale and white leopards were reported between 1905 and 1967.JOURNAL, Divyabhanusinh, 1993, On mutant leopards Panthera pardus from India, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 90, 1, 88−89,weblink Leopards exhibiting erythrism were recorded between 1990 and 2015 in South Africa's Madikwe Game Reserve and in Mpumalanga. The cause of this morph, known as known as 'pink panther' and 'strawberry' leopard, is not well understood.JOURNAL, Pirie, T. J., Thomas, R. L., Fellowes, M. D. E., 2016, Erythristic leopards Panthera pardus in South Africa, Bothalia, 46, 1, 1–5, 10.4102/abc.v46i1.2034,weblink

Taxonomy

(File:Panthera pardus subspecies map.png|thumb|Map showing approximate distribution of leopard subspecies)Felis pardus was the scientific name proposed by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.BOOK, Linnaeus, C., 1758, Caroli Linnæi Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tomus I, decima, reformata, Holmiae, Laurentius Salvius, 41−42, Felis pardus,weblink {{la icon}}The generic name Panthera was first used by Lorenz Oken in 1816, who included all the known spotted cats into this group.BOOK, Oken, L., 1816, Lehrbuch der Zoologie. 2. Abtheilung, Jena, August Schmid & Comp., 1052, 1. Art, Panthera,weblink Oken's classification was not widely accepted, and Felis or Leopardus was used as generic name until the early 20th century.BOOK, Ellerman, J. R., Morrison-Scott, T. C. S., 1966,weblink Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian mammals 1758 to 1946, 2nd, British Museum of Natural History, London, 315–317, The leopard was determined as type species of Panthera by Joel Asaph Allen in 1902.JOURNAL, Allen, J. A., 1902, Mammal names proposed by Oken in his 'Lehrbuch der Zoologie', Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 16, 27, 373−379,weblink In 1917, Reginald Innes Pocock also subordinated tiger (P. tigris), lion (P. leo), and jaguar (P. onca) to Panthera.JOURNAL, Pocock, R. I., 1917, The Classification of existing Felidae, The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 8, XX, 329–350, 10.1080/00222931709487018,weblink BOOK, Pocock, R. I., 1939, The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia: Volume 1, Taylor and Francis, London, 222–239, Panthera pardus,weblink

Subspecies

Following Linnaeus' first description, 27 leopard subspecies were proposed by naturalists between 1794 and 1956. Since 1996, only eight subspecies have been considered valid on the basis of mitochondrial analysis.JOURNAL, Miththapala, S., Seidensticker, J., O'Brien, S. J., Phylogeographic subspecies recognition in leopards (Panthera pardus): molecular genetic variation, Conservation Biology, 1996, 10, 4, 1115–1132, 10.1046/j.1523-1739.1996.10041115.x,weblink Later analysis revealed a ninth valid subspecies, the Arabian leopard.Since 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the Cat Specialist Group recognizes the following eight subspecies, summarized in the table below:{{clear}}{| class="wikitable"! Subspecies !! Distribution !! Image
African leopard (P. p. pardus) {{small>(Linnaeus, 1758), Synonym (taxonomy) P. p. panthera (Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber>Schreber, 1777), P. p. leopardus (Schreber, 1777), P. p. melanotica (Gunther, 1885), P. p. suahelicus (Oscar Neumann, 1900), P. p. nanopardus (Oldfield Thomas>Thomas, 1904), P. p. ruwenzorii (Camerano, 1906), P. p. chui (Edmund Heller, 1913), P. p. reichenowi (Cabrera, 1918), P. p. antinorii (de Beaux, 1923), P. p. iturensis (Joel Asaph Allen>Allen, 1924), P. p. adusta Reginald Innes Pocock, 1927, P. p. shortridgei Pocock, 1932, Zanzibar leopard>P. p. adersi Pocock, 1932}}It is the most widespread leopard subspecies and occurs in Morocco and most of sub-Saharan Africa.(File:Leopard (Panthera pardus).jpg|frameless)
Indian leopard (P. p. fusca) {{small>(Friedrich Albrecht Anton Meyer, 1794)MEYER, F. A. A. TITLE=ZOOLOGISCHE ANNALEN. ERSTER BAND PUBLISHER=IM VERLAGE DES INDUSTRIE-COMPTOIRS CHAPTER=ÜBER DE LA METHERIES SCHWARZEN PANTHER,weblink syn. P. p. pernigra (Hodgson, 1863), P. p. millardi Pocock, 1930}}It is native to the Indian subcontinent, possibly including Myanmar and southern Tibet.LAGUARDIA, A. >LAST2=KAMLER, J. F. LAST4=ZHANG, C. LAST6=SHI, K. TITLE=THE CURRENT DISTRIBUTION AND STATUS OF LEOPARDS PANTHERA PARDUS IN CHINA VOLUME=51 PAGES=153−159, 10.1017/S0030605315000988, (File:Nagarhole Kabini Karnataka India, Leopard September 2013.jpg|frameless)
Javan leopard (P. p. melas) {{small>(Georges Cuvier, 1809)}}CUVIER, G. TITLE=RECHERCHES SUR LES ESPėCES VIVANTES DE GRANDS CHATS, POUR SERVIR DE PREUVES ET D'éCLAIRCISSEMENT AU CHAPITRE SUR LES CARNASSIERS FOSSILS VOLUME=TOME XIV, 136–164, It is native to Java and Critically Endangered.(File:Levhart jávský v Zoo Praha 001.jpg|frameless)
Arabian leopard (P. p. nimr) {{small>(Wilhelm Hemprich and Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg>Ehrenberg, 1833)HEMPRICH >FIRST1=W. FIRST2=C. G. CHAPTER=FELIS, PARDUS?, NIMR TITLE=SYMBOLAE PHYSICAE, SEU ICONES ET DESCRIPTIONES MAMMALIUM QUAE EX ITINERE PER AFRICAM BOREALEM ET ASIAM OCCIDENTALEM FRIDERICI GUILELMI HEMPRICH ET CHRISTIANI GODOFREDI EHRENBERG. DECAS SECUNDA. ZOOLOGICA I. MAMMALIA II PUBLISHER=OFFICINA ACADEMICA CHAPTERURL=HTTPS://ARCHIVE.ORG/DETAILS/SYMBOLAEPHYSICAMAMMEHREA/PAGE/N60, syn. P. p. jarvisi Pocock, 1932}}It is native to the Arabian Peninsula, and considered extinct in the Sinai Peninsula. It is the smallest leopard subspecies.SPALTON, J. A. >LAST2=AL HIKMANI, H. M. TITLE=THE LEOPARD IN THE ARABIAN PENINSULA – DISTRIBUTION AND SUBSPECIES STATUS ISSUE=SPECIAL ISSUE 1 URL=HTTP://WWW.CATSG.ORG/FILEADMIN/FILESHARING/3.CONSERVATION_CENTER/3.2._STATUS_REPORTS/LEOPARD/SPALTON___HIKMANI_2006_STATUS_OF_THE_LEOPARD_ON_THE_ARABIAN_PENINSULA.PDF, (File:PikiWiki Israel 14861 judean desert leopard cropped.JPG|frameless)
Anatolian leopard>Anatolian or Persian leopard (P. p. tulliana) {{smallAchille Valenciennes>Valenciennes, 1856)VALENCIENNES, A. >DATE=1856 JOURNAL=COMPTES RENDUS HEBDOMADAIRES DES SéANCES DE L'ACADéMIE DES SCIENCES PAGES=1035–1039, syn. P. p. ciscaucasica (Satunin, 1914), P. p. saxicolor Pocock, 1927, P. p. sindica Pocock, 1930, P. p. dathei Zukowsky, 1964}}It persists in eastern Turkey, the Caucasus, Georgia, Armenia, southern Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and northern Iran.The Balochistan leopard possibly evolved in the south of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, being separated from the northern population by the Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut deserts.JOURNAL, Khorozyan, I. G., Gennady, F., Baryshnikov, G. F., Abramov, A. V., 2006,weblink Taxonomic status of the leopard, Panthera pardus (Carnivora, Felidae) in the Caucasus and adjacent areas, Russian Journal of Theriology, 5, 1, 41–52, yes, 2016-03-03, 10.15298/rusjtheriol.05.1.06,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160303232940weblink">weblink (File:Persian leopard 1.jpg|frameless)
Amur leopard (P. p. orientalis) {{small>(Hermann Schlegel, 1857)SCHLEGEL, H. CHAPTER=FELIS ORIENTALIS TITLE=HANDLEIDING TOT DE BEOEFENING DER DIERKUNDE, IE DEEL LOCATION=BREDA, syn. P. p. japonensis (John Edward Gray, 1862)GRAY, J. E. TITLE=DESCRIPTION OF SOME NEW SPECIES OF MAMMALIA VOLUME=30 DOI=10.1111/J.1469-7998.1862.TB06524.X,weblink }}It is native to the Russian Far East and northern China, but regionally extinct in the Korean peninsula.(File:AmurLeopard.jpg|frameless)
Indochinese leopard (P. p. delacouri) {{small>Pocock, 1930}}POCOCK, R. I. >YEAR=1930 JOURNAL=JOURNAL OF THE BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY ISSUE=2, 307–336, It inhabits mainland Southeast Asia and probably southern China.(File:Indochinese leopard.jpg|frameless)
Sri Lankan leopard (P. p. kotiya) {{small>Deraniyagala, 1956}}DERANIYAGALA >FIRST=P. E. P. TITLE=THE CEYLON LEOPARD, A DISTINCT SUBSPECIES VOLUME=28, 115–116, It is native to Sri Lanka.(File:Slleo1.jpg|frameless)

Evolution and genetics

(File:Two cladograms for Panthera.svg|thumb|Two cladograms proposed for Panthera. The upper cladogram is based on the 2006 and 2009 studies, while the other is based on the 2010 and 2011 studies.)Results of a phylogenetic analysis of chemical secretions amongst cats indicated that the leopard is closely related to the lion.JOURNAL, Bininda-Emonds, O. R. P., Decker-Flum, D. M., Gittleman, J. L., The utility of chemical signals as phylogenetic characters: an example from the Felidae, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2001, 72, 1, 1–15, 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2001.tb01297.x,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100131193321weblink">weblinkweblink 2010-01-31, 2008-06-07, Results of phylogenetic studies based on nDNA and mtDNA analysis showed that the leopard is a sister taxon to a clade within Panthera consisting of the lion and the jaguar.JOURNAL, Johnson, W. E., Eizirik, E., Pecon-Slattery, J., Murphy, W. J., Antunes, A., Teeling, E., O'Brien, S. J., The late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: a genetic assessment, Science, 2006, 311, 5757, 73–77, 16400146, 10.1126/science.1122277, 2006Sci...311...73J,weblink BOOK, Werdelin, L., Yamaguchi, N., Johnson, W. E., O'Brien, S. J., Phylogeny and evolution of cats (Felidae), 2010, 59–82,weblink Macdonald, D. W., Loveridge, A. J., Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 978-0-19-923445-5, The last common ancestor of the Panthera and Neofelis genera is thought to have lived about {{Ma|6.37}}. Neofelis diverged about {{Ma|8.66}} from the Panthera lineage, which is thought to have emerged in Asia and migrated to Africa. The tiger diverged about {{Ma|6.55}} followed by the snow leopard about {{Ma|4.63}} and the leopard about {{Ma|4.35}}.Results of a following phylogenetic study revealed a swapping between the leopard and the jaguar in the cladogram.JOURNAL, Davis, B. W., Li, G., Murphy, W. J., Supermatrix and species tree methods resolve phylogenetic relationships within the big cats, Panthera (Carnivora: Felidae), Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 2010, 56, 1, 64–76, 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.01.036, 20138224,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160305131606weblink">weblink 2016-03-05, JOURNAL, Mazák, J. H., Christiansen, P., Kitchener, A. C., Goswami, A., Oldest known pantherine skull and evolution of the tiger, PLoS ONE, 2011, 6, 10, e25483, 10.1371/journal.pone.0025483, 22016768, 3189913, 2011PLoSO...625483M, Fossils of leopard ancestors were excavated in East Africa and South Asia, dating back to the Pleistocene between 2 and {{Ma|3.5}}. The modern leopard is suggested to have evolved in Africa about {{Ma|0.5|0.8}} and to have radiated across Asia about 0.2 and {{Ma|0.3}}.JOURNAL, Uphyrkina, O., Johnson, E. W., Quigley, H., Miquelle, D., Marker, L., Bush, M., O'Brien, S. J., 2001, Phylogenetics, genome diversity and origin of modern leopard, Panthera pardus, Molecular Ecology, 10, 11, 2617–2633,weblink 10.1046/j.0962-1083.2001.01350.x, 11883877, In Europe, the leopard occurred at least since the Pleistocene. Leopard-like fossil bones and teeth possibly dating to the Pliocene were excavated in Perrier in France, northeast of London, and in Valdarno, Italy. Until 1940, similar fossils dating back to the Pleistocene were excavated mostly in loess and caves at 40 sites in Europe, including Furninha Cave near Lisbon, Genista Caves in Gibraltar, and Santander Province in northern Spain to several sites across France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, in the north up to Derby in England, in the east to Přerov in the Czech Republic and the Baranya in southern Hungary,JOURNAL, Schmid, E., 1940, Variationstatistische Untersuchungen am Gebiss pleistozäner und rezenter Leoparden und anderer Feliden, Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 15, 1–179,weblink Leopard fossils dating to the Late Pleistocene were found in Biśnik Cave in south-central Poland.JOURNAL, Marciszak, A., Stefaniak, K., 2010, Two forms of cave lion: Middle Pleistocene Panthera spelaea fossilis Reichenau, 1906 and Upper Pleistocene Panthera spelaea spelaea Goldfuss, 1810 from the Bísnik Cave, Poland,weblink Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen, 258, 3, 339–351, 10.1127/0077-7749/2010/0117, The oldest known leopard fossils excavated in Europe are about 600,000 years old and were found in the Grotte du Vallonnet in France and near Mauer in Germany.Four European Pleistocene leopard subspecies were proposed. P. p. begoueni from the beginning of the Early Pleistocene was replaced about {{Ma|0.6}} by P. p. sickenbergi, which in turn was replaced by P. p. antiqua around 0.3 million years ago. The most recent, P. p. spelaea, appeared at the beginning of the Late Pleistocene and survived until about 24,000 years ago in several parts of Europe.JOURNAL, Diedrich, C. G., Late Pleistocene leopards across Europe – northernmost European German population, highest elevated records in the Swiss Alps, complete skeletons in the Bosnia Herzegowina Dinarids and comparison to the Ice Age cave art, Quaternary Science Reviews, 2013, 76, 167–193, 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.05.009, 2013QSRv...76..167D, All four subspecies, as well as P. p. vraonensis, have been merged into one, P. p. spelaea.{{cn|date=May 2019}}Leopard fossils dating to the Pleistocene were also excavated in the Japanese archipelago.Like most cat species, the leopard has a diploid chromosome number of 38.BOOK, Heptner, V. G., Sludskii, A. A., 1972, 1992, Mlekopitajuščie Sovetskogo Soiuza. Moskva: Vysšaia Škola, Mammals of the Soviet Union, Volume II, Part 2, Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington DC, Bars (leopard),weblink 203–273, 978-90-04-08876-4, The chromosomes include four acrocentric, five metacentric, seven submetacentric and two telocentric pairs.JOURNAL, Tanomtong, A., Khunsook, S., Keawmad, P., Pintong, K., Cytogenetic study of the leopard, Panthera pardus (Carnivora, Felidae) by conventional staining, G-banding and high-resolution staining technique, Cytologia, 2008, 73, 1, 81–90, 10.1508/cytologia.73.81,weblink

Distribution and habitat

{{multiple image |perrow=1 |image1=A leopard on the tree in the Serengeti Plain.JPG |caption1=A female and her cub on the tree in the Serengeti savanna |image2=Sousse museum Smirat-retouched.jpg |caption2=Leopards on the Magerius Mosaic from modern Tunisia. Numerous Roman mosaics from North African sites depict fauna now found only in tropical Africa.JOURNAL,weblink The Decline of North Africa Since the Roman Occupation: Climatic or Human?, Murphey, R., Annals of the Association of American Geographers, XLI, 2, 1951, 116–132, 10.1080/00045605109352048, }}The leopard has the largest distribution of all wild cats, occurring widely in Africa as well as the Caucasus and Asia, although populations are fragmented and declining. It is considered to be extinct in North Africa. It inhabits foremost savanna and rain forest, and areas where grasslands, woodlands, and riverine forests remain largely undisturbed. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is still numerous and surviving in marginal habitats where other large cats have disappeared. There is considerable potential for human-leopard conflict due to leopards preying on livestock.JOURNAL, Pirie, T. J., Thomas, R. L., Fellowes, M. D. E., 2017, Increasing game prices may alter farmers' behaviours towards leopards (Panthera pardus) and other carnivores in South Africa, e3369, PeerJ, 5, 10.7717/peerj.3369, 28584709, 5452990, In southeastern Egypt, a leopard killed in 2017 was the first record in this area in 65 years.JOURNAL, Soultan, A., Attum, O., Hamada, A., Hatab, E. B., Ahmed, S. E., Eisa, A., Al Sharif, I., Nagy, A. and Shohdi, W., 2017, Recent observation for leopard Panthera pardus in Egypt, Mammalia, 81, 1, 115–117, 10.1515/mammalia-2015-0089, Leopard populations on the Arabian Peninsula are small and fragmented.JOURNAL, Spalton, J. A., Al Hikmani, H. M., 2006, The Leopard in the Arabian Peninsula – Distribution and Subspecies Status, Cat News, Special Issue 1, 4–8,weblink JOURNAL, Judas, J., Paillat, P., Khoja, A., Boug, A., 2006, Status of the Arabian leopard in Saudi Arabia, Cat News, Special Issue 1, 11–19,weblink JOURNAL, Al Jumaily, M., Mallon, D. P., Nasher, A. K., Thowabeh, N., 2006, Status Report on Arabian Leopard in Yemen, Cat News, Special Issue 1, 20–25, In western and central Asia, it avoids deserts, areas with long snow cover and proximity to urban centres.JOURNAL, Gavashelishvili, A., Lukarevskiy, V., 2008, Modelling the habitat requirements of leopard Panthera pardus in west and central Asia, Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 2, 579–588, 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2007.01432.x, In Nepal's Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, a melanistic leopard was photographed at an altitude of {{convert|4300|m|abbr=on}} by a camera trap in May 2012.JOURNAL, Thapa, K., Pradhan, N. M. B., Berker, J., Dhakal, M., Bhandari, A. R., Gurung, G. S., Rai, D. P., Thapa, G. J., Shrestha, S., Singh, G. R., 2013, High elevation record of a leopard cat in the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area, Nepal, Cat News, 58, 26–27, In the Indian subcontinent, the leopard is still relatively abundant, with greater numbers than those of other Panthera species. In India, some leopard populations live quite close to human settlements and even in semi-developed areas. Although adaptable to human disturbances, leopards require healthy prey populations and appropriate vegetative cover for hunting for prolonged survival and thus rarely linger in heavily developed areas. Due to the leopard's stealthiness, people often remain unaware that they live in nearby areas.WEB, Arthreya, V., 2012, Living with Leopards Outside Protected Areas in India,weblink conservationindia.org, In Sri Lanka, leopards were recorded in Yala National Park and in unprotected forest patches, tea estates, grasslands, home gardens, pine and eucalyptus plantations.JOURNAL, Kittle, A. M., Watson, A. C., Chanaka Kumara, P. H., Nimalka Sanjeewani, H. K., 2014, Status and distribution of the leopard in the central hills of Sri Lanka, Cat News, 56, 28−31, JOURNAL, Kittle, A. M., Watson, A. C., Kumara, P. H. S. C., Sandanayake, S. D. K. C., Sanjeewani, H. K. N., Fernando, T. S. P., 2014, Notes on the diet and habitat selection of the Sri Lankan Leopard Panthera pardus kotiya (Mammalia: Felidae) in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, Journal of Threatened Taxa, 6, 9, 6214–6221, 10.11609/JoTT.o3731.6214-21, In Myanmar, leopards were recorded for the first time by camera traps in the hill forests of Myanmar's Karen State.JOURNAL, Saw Sha Bwe Moo, Froese, G.Z.L., Gray, T. N.E., 2017, First structured camera-trap surveys in Karen State, Myanmar, reveal high diversity of globally threatened mammals, Oryx, 52, 3, 537−543, 10.1017/S0030605316001113, The Northern Tenasserim Forest Complex in southern Myanmar is considered a leopard stronghold. In Thailand, leopards are present in the Western Forest Complex, Kaeng Krachan-Kui Buri, Khlong Saeng-Khao Sok protected area complexes and in Hala Bala Wildlife Sanctuary bordering Malaysia. In Peninsular Malaysia, leopards are present in Belum-Temengor, Taman Negara and Endau-Rompin National Parks.JOURNAL, Rostro-García, S., Kamler, J. F., Ash, E., Clements, G. R., Gibson, L., Lynam, A. J., McEwin, R., Naing, H., Paglia, S., 2016, Endangered leopards: Range collapse of the Indochinese leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) in Southeast Asia, Biological Conservation, 201, 293–300, 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.07.001, In Laos, leopards were recorded in Nam Et-Phou Louey National Biodiversity Conservation Area and Nam Kan National Protected Area.JOURNAL, Johnson, A., Vongkhamheng, C., Hedemark, M., Saithongdam, T., 2006, Effects of human–carnivore conflict on tiger (Panthera tigris) and prey populations in Lao PDR, Animal Conservation, 9, 4, 421–430, 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2006.00049.x,weblink BOOK, Robichaud, W., Insua-Cao, Sisomphane, P. C., Chounnavanh, S., 2010, A scoping mission to Nam Kan National Protected Area, Lao PDR, Fauna & Flora International, Appendix 4, 33−42,weblink In Cambodia, leopards inhabit deciduous dipterocarp forest in Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary and Mondulkiri Protected Forest.JOURNAL, Gray, T. N., Phan, C., 2011, Habitat preferences and activity patterns of the larger mammal community in Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia, The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 59, 2, 311−318,weblink JOURNAL, Gray, T. N. E., 2013, Activity patterns and home ranges of Indochinese leopard Panthera pardus delacouri in the Eastern Plains Landscape, Cambodia, Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society, 59, 39−47,weblink In southern China, leopards were recorded only in the Qinling Mountains during surveys in 11 nature reserves between 2002 and 2009.JOURNAL, Li, S., Wang, D., Lu, Z., Mc Shea, W. J., 2010, Cats living with pandas: The status of wild felids within giant panda range, China, Cat News, 52, 20–23, In Java, leopards inhabit dense tropical rainforests and dry deciduous forests at altitudes from sea level to {{convert|2540|m|ft|abbr=on}}. Outside protected areas, leopards were recorded in mixed agricultural land, secondary forest and production forest between 2008 and 2014.JOURNAL, Wibisono, H. T., Wahyudi, H. A., Wilianto, E., Pinondang, I. M. R., Primajati, M., Liswanto, D., Linkie, M., 2018, Identifying priority conservation landscapes and actions for the Critically Endangered Javan leopard in Indonesia: Conserving the last large carnivore in Java Island, PLOS ONE, 13, 6, e0198369, 10.1371/journal.pone.0198369, 29949588, 6021038, 2018PLoSO..1398369W, In the Russian Far East, it inhabits temperate forests where winter temperatures reach a low of {{convert|−25|°C|°F}}.

Behaviour and ecology

{{Multiple image |direction=horizontal |align=top |header=Leopard visual communication |width1=120 |image1=leopard rear view soft.jpg |caption1=Female showing white spots on the back of the earsimage2=leopard walking.jpg |caption2=Female leopard showing white spots on the tail}}(File:Leopard on the tree.jpg|thumb|Leopard resting on a tree)The leopard is a solitary and territorial animal. Adults associate only in the mating season. Females continue to interact with their offspring even after weaning, and have been observed sharing kills with their offspring when they can not obtain any prey. They produce a number of vocalisations, including growls, snarls, meows and purrs. The roaring sequence in leopards consists mainly of grunts and is also called "sawing", having been described as resembling the sound of sawing wood. Cubs are known to call their mother with a urr-urr sound.The whitish spots on the back of their ears are thought to play a role in communication.BOOK, Leyhausen, P., 1979, Cat behavior: the predatory and social behavior of domestic and wild cats, Berlin, Garland Publishing, Incorporated, 281, 9780824070175, It has been hypothesized that the white tips of their tails may function as a 'follow-me' signal in intraspecific communication. However, no significant association were found between a conspicuous colour of tail patches and behavioural variables in carnivores.JOURNAL, Ortolani, A., 1999, Spots, stripes, tail tips and dark eyes: predicting the function of carnivore colour patterns using the comparative method, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 67, 4, 433–476, 10.1111/j.1095-8312.1999.tb01942.x, JOURNAL, Caro, T., 2005, The adaptive significance of coloration in mammals, BioScience, 55, 2, 125–136, 10.1641/0006-3568(2005)055[0125:TASOCI]2.0.CO;2, Leopards are active mainly from dusk till dawn and rest for most of the day and for some hours at night in thickets, among rocks or over tree branches. Leopards have been observed walking {{convert|1|-|25|km|mi|abbr=on}} across their range at night; they may even wander up to {{convert|75|km|mi|abbr=on}} if disturbed. In some regions, they are nocturnal.JOURNAL, Hunter, L., Balme, G., Walker, C., Pretorius, K., Rosenberg, K., 2003, The landscape ecology of leopards (Panthera pardus) in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a preliminary project report, Ecological Journal, 5, 24–30,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090304233241weblink">weblink March 4, 2009, {{open access}}JOURNAL, Spalton, J.A., Al Hikmani, H. M., Willis, D., Said, A. S. B., Critically endangered Arabian leopards Panthera pardus nimr persist in the Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve, Oman, Oryx, 2006, 40, 3, 287–294, 10.1017/S0030605306000743, In western African forests, they have been observed to be largely diurnal and hunting during twilight, when their prey animals are active; activity patterns varies between seasons.JOURNAL, Jenny, D., Zuberbuhler, K., Hunting behaviour in west African forest leopards, African Journal of Ecology, 2005, 43, 3, 197–200, 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2005.00565.x,weblink Leopards can climb trees very skilfully, often rest on tree branches and descend from trees headfirst.They can run at over {{Convert|58|km/h|mph|abbr=on}}, leap over {{Convert|6|m|ft|abbr=on}} horizontally, and jump up to {{Convert|3|m|ft|abbr=on}} vertically.BOOK, Sunquist, M. E., 2002, Sunquist, F., Wild Cats of the World, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 978-0-226-77999-7, Leopard Panthera pardus, 318–342,weblinkweblink

Social spacing

In Kruger National Park, most leopards tend to keep {{convert|1|km|mi|abbr=on}} apart. Males interact with their partners and cubs at times, and exceptionally this can extend beyond to two generations.BOOK, Hunter, L., Henschel, P., Ray, J. C., Panthera pardus Leopard, 159–168, 2013, 978-1-4081-8996-2,weblink Kingdon, J., Happold, D., Butynski, T., Hoffmann, M., Happold, M., Kalina, J., Mammals of Africa, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, JOURNAL, Pirie, T. J., Thomas, R. L., Reilly, B. K., Fellowes, M. D. E., 2014, Social interactions between a male leopard (Panthera pardus) and two generations of his offspring, African Journal of Ecology, 52, 4, 574–576, 10.1111/aje.12154, Aggressive encounters are rare, typically limited to defending territories from intruders. In a South African reserve, a male was wounded in a male–male territorial battle over a carcass.JOURNAL, Hunter, L., Balme, G., Walker, C., Pretorius, K., Rosenberg, K., 2003, The landscape ecology of leopards (Panthera pardus) in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: A preliminary project report, Ecological Journal, 5, 24–30,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090304233241weblink">weblink 2009-03-04, File:African Leopard Near Okevi Waterhole Etosha Namibia.jpg|thumb|African Leopard near Okevi waterhole in Etosha National ParkEtosha National ParkMales occupy territories that often overlap with a few smaller female territories, probably as a strategy to enhance access to females. In the Ivory Coast, the home range of a female was completely enclosed within a male's.JOURNAL, Jenny, D., 1996, Spatial organization of leopards Panthera pardus in Tai National Park, Ivory Coast: Is rainforest habitat a "tropical haven"?, Journal of Zoology, 3, 240, 427–440,weblink 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1996.tb05296.x, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071011112457weblink">weblink 2007-10-11, 2010JZoo..281..263G, Females live with their cubs in territories that overlap extensively, probably due to the association between mothers and their offspring. There may be a few other fluctuating territories, belonging to young individuals. It is not clear if male territories overlap as much as those of females do. Individuals try to drive away intruders of the same sex.A study of leopards in the Namibian farmlands showed that the size of territories was not significantly affected by sex, rainfall patterns or season; it concluded that the higher the prey availability in an area, the greater the population density of leopards and the smaller the size of territories, but territories tend to expand if there is human interference (which has been notably high in the study area).JOURNAL, Marker, L. L., Dickman, A. J., Factors affecting leopard (Panthera pardus) spatial ecology, with particular reference to Namibian farmlands, South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 2005, 35, 2, 105–115,weblink {{open access}}Territorial sizes vary geographically and depending on habitat and availability of prey. In the Serengeti, they are as small as {{convert|33|-|38|sqkm|sqmi|abbr=on}} for males and {{convert|14|-|16|sqkm|sqmi|abbr=on}} for females,JOURNAL, Mizutani, F., Jewell, P. A., 1998, Home-range and movements of leopards (Panthera pardus) on a livestock ranch in Kenya, Journal of Zoology, 269–286, 244, 10.1017/S0952836998002118, 2, 2010JZoo..281..263G, JOURNAL, Bertram, B. C. R., Leopard ecology as studied by radio tracking, Symposia of the Zoological Society of London, 1982, 49, 341–352, and as large as {{convert|451|sqkm|sqmi|abbr=on}} for males and {{convert|188|sqkm|sqmi|abbr=on}} for females in northeastern Namibia.JOURNAL, Stander, P. E., Haden, P. J., Kaqece, II., Ghau, II., The ecology of asociality in Namibian leopards, Journal of Zoology, 1997, 242, 2, 343–364, 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1997.tb05806.x, 2010JZoo..281..263G, They are even larger in arid and montane areas. Territories recorded in Nepal's Bardia National Park, {{convert|48|sqkm|sqmi|abbr=on}} for males and {{Convert|5|-|7|sqkm|sqmi|abbr=on}} for females, are smaller than those generally observed in Africa.JOURNAL, Odden, M., Wegge, P., 2005, Spacing and activity patterns of leopards Panthera pardus in the Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal, Wildlife Biology, 11, 2, 145–152, 10.2981/0909-6396(2005)11[145:SAAPOL]2.0.CO;2,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110728190608weblink">weblink 2011-07-28,

Hunting and diet

{{Multiple image |direction=vertical |align=top |header=Stages of leopard hunting prey
|image1=Leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) stalking.jpg |caption1=Stalking
|image2=Leopard kill - KNP - 001.jpg |caption2=Killing young bushbuck
|image3=Leopard,_by_G_Keith_Douce,_University_of_Georgia.jpg |caption3=Dragging kill
|image4=Leopardo (Panthera pardus) devorando un antílope, parque nacional Kruger, Sudáfrica, 2018-07-26, DD 06.jpg|caption4=Caching kill in a tree}}
The leopard depends mainly on its acute senses of hearing and vision for hunting.BOOK, Mills, M. G. L., Hes, L., 978-0-947430-55-9, 178–180, Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa, The Complete Book of Southern African Mammals, 1997, It primarily hunts at night in most areas. In western African forests and Tsavo National Park, leopards have been also observed hunting by day.THESIS, Hamilton, P. H., 1976, The movements of leopards in Tsavo National Park, Kenya, as determined by radio-tracking, M.Sc., University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Leopards usually hunt on the ground. In the Serengeti, leopards have been observed to ambush prey by jumping down on it from trees.JOURNAL, Kruuk, H., Turner, M., 1967, Comparative notes on predation by lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog in the Serengeti area, East Africa, Mammalia, 31, 1, 1–27, 10.1515/mamm.1967.31.1.1, The leopard is a carnivore that prefers medium-sized prey with a body mass ranging from {{convert|10|–|40|kg|lb|abbr=on}}. Prey species in this weight range tend to occur in dense habitat and to form small herds. Species that prefer open areas and developed significant anti-predator strategies are less preferred. More than 100 prey species were recorded. The most significantly preferred species are ungulates; impala. bushbuck, common duiker and chital. Primate prey species preyed upon include Colobus, Cercocebus, Cercopithecus and langur. Analysis of leopard scat in Taï National Park revealed that primates, except chimpanzee and potto, are primary leopard prey during the day.JOURNAL, Zuberbühler, K., Jenny, D., Leopard predation and primate evolution, Journal of Human Evolution, 2002, 43, 6, 873–886, 12473487, 10.1006/jhev.2002.0605,weblink Leopards also kill smaller carnivores like black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, genet and cheetah.JOURNAL, Hayward, M.W., Henschel, P., O'Brien, J., Hofmeyr, M., Balme, G., Kerley, G. I. H., Prey preferences of the leopard (Panthera pardus), Journal of Zoology, 2006, 270, 4, 298–313, 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00139.x,weblink 2010JZoo..281..263G, Prey as heavy as a {{convert|550|kg|lb|abbr=on}} giraffe is hunted, especially in areas that lack larger carnivores such as lions or tigers since they do not need to drag prey up trees to retain it. In areas such as Sri Lanka, reserves in Central Asia and the Middle East and most of the montane and tropical rainforests of Africa, the leopard is the remaining top terrestrial predator present and often take varied prey of various sizes, including at times large ungulates weighing hundreds of kilograms, although they also takes smaller prey such as monkeys where ungulates are scarce.JOURNAL, Scheepers, J. L., Gilchrist, D., Leopard predation on giraffe calves in the Etosha National Park, Madoqua, 1991, 18, 1, 49,weblink The largest prey killed by a leopard was reportedly a male eland weighing {{convert|900|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.The leopard stalks the prey and tries to approach as close as possible, typically within {{convert|5|m|ft|abbr=on}} to the target, and finally pounces on it and kills it by suffocation. It kills small prey with a bite on the back of the neck, but holds larger animals by the throat and strangles them. It is able to take large prey due to its massive skull and powerful jaw muscles, and is therefore strong enough to drag carcasses heavier than itself up into trees; an individual was seen to haul a young giraffe, weighing nearly {{convert|125|kg|lb|abbr=on}}, up {{convert|5.7|m|ft|abbr=on}} into a tree. Kills are cached up to {{convert|2|km|ft|abbr=on}} apart. Small prey is eaten immediately, while larger carcasses are dragged over several hundred metres and safely cached in trees, bushes or even caves to be consumed later. The way the kill is stored depends on local topography and individual preferences; while trees are preferred in Kruger National Park, bushes are preferred in the plain terrain of the Kalahari.BOOK, Schaller, G., 1972, Serengeti: a kingdom of predators, Knopf, New York, 978-0-394-47242-3,weblink (File:Leopard at Kufri Zoo.jpg|thumb|A leopard showing its canine teeth)A study in Wolong National Nature Reserve in southern China demonstrated variation in the Indochinese leopard's diet over time; over the course of seven years, the vegetative cover receded, and leopards opportunistically shifted from primarily consuming tufted deer to pursuing bamboo rats and other smaller prey.JOURNAL, Johnson K. G., Wei W., Reid D. G., Jinchu H., 1993, Food habits of Asiatic leopards (Panthera pardus fusca) in Wolong Reserve, Sichuan, China, Journal of Mammalogy, 74, 3, 646–650, 1382285, 10.2307/1382285, 2007JMamm..88..275L, Average daily consumption rates of {{convert|3.5|kg|lb|abbr=on}} were estimated for males and of {{convert|2.8|kg|lb|abbr=on}} for females.BOOK, Bailey, T. N., 1993, The African leopard: a study of the ecology and behaviour of a solitary felid, Columbia University Press, New York, US, 978-1-932846-11-9, A study in the southern Kalahari showed that leopards met their water requirements by the bodily fluids of prey and succulent plants; they drink water every two to three days, and feed infrequently on moisture-rich plants such as gemsbok cucumbers (Acanthosicyos naudinianus), tsamma melon (Citrullus lanatus) and Kalahari sour grass (Schmidtia kalahariensis).JOURNAL, Bothma, J. du P., Water-use by southern Kalahari leopards, South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 2005, 35, 131–137,weblink {{open access}}In a reserved forest of southern India, species preyed upon by leopard, dhole and striped hyena overlapped considerably.JOURNAL, Arivazhagan, C., Arumugam, R., Thiyagesan, K., 2007, Food habits of leopard (Panthera pardus fusca), dhole (Cuon alpinus) and striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) in a tropical dry thorn forest of southern India, Journal of the Bombay National Historical Society, 104, 2, 4 March 2009,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090304233241weblink">weblinkweblink Predation on bear cubs has been reported in Asia.BOOK, Servheen, C., Herrero, S., Peyton, B., Bears: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan,weblink 1999, IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group, Missoula, Montana, 978-2-8317-0462-3, Sub-adult giant pandas weighing up to {{convert|50|kg|lb|abbr=on}} may also be vulnerable to predation by leopards.BOOK, Schaller, G.B., Jinchu, H., Wenshi, P., and Jing, Z., 1985, The giant pandas of Wolong, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, A few instances of cannibalism have been reported.JOURNAL, Steyn, V., Funston, P. J., A case of cannibalism in leopards, South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 2006, 36, 2, 189–190,weblink JOURNAL, Bodendorfer, T., Hoppe-Dominik, B., Fischer, F., Linsenmair, K. E., Prey of the leopard (Panthera pardus) and the lion (Panthera leo) in the Comoé and Marahoué National Parks, Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa, Mammalia, 2006, 70, 3/4, 231–246, 10.1515/MAMM.2006.037,

Enemies and competitors

(File:Lioness vs Leopard 9 July 2016 Latest Sightings 1.png|thumb|Lioness stealing a leopard kill in Kruger National Park) Leopards co-exist alongside with other large predators such as tigers, lions, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, striped hyenas, brown hyenas, up to five bear species and both African and Asiatic wild dogs. These animals may steal its kill, devour its cubs or even kill adult leopards. Leopards may also retreat up a tree in the face of direct aggression from other large carnivores but leopards have been seen to either kill or prey on competitors such as black-backed jackal, African civets, caracal, African wildcat, various foxes the cubs of lions, cheetahs and hyenas, and probably both pups and, infrequently, adults of African wild dogs and dholes.Palomares, F., & Caro, T. M. (1999). Interspecific killing among mammalian carnivores. The American Naturalist, 153(5), 492-508. While interspecies killings of fully-grown leopards are generally rare, given the opportunity, both tigers and lions readily kill and may consume both young and adult leopards.Johnsingh, A. J. T. (1992). Prey selection in three large sympatric carnivores in Bandipur. Mammalia, 56(4), 517-526.Schaller, G. B. (1972). The Serengeti Lion: A Study of Predator-prey Relations. University of Chicago Press.JOURNAL, Seidensticker, J., 1976, On the ecological separation between tigers and leopards, Biotropica, 8, 4, 225–234, 10.2307/2989714, 2989714,weblink Leopards, quite to the contrary of tigers (which can semi-regularly hunt some bears), generally seem to avoid encounters with adult bears but will readily kill vulnerable cubs of overlapping species. In Sri Lanka, a few recorded vicious fights between leopards and sloth bear apparently result in both animals winding up either dead or grievously injured.Powell, A. N. W. (2008). Call of the Tiger, Read Books, {{ISBN|1-4437-6235-0}}Baskaran, N., Sivaganesan, N., & Krishnamoorthy, J. (1997). Food habits of sloth bear in Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary, Tamil Nadu, southern India. JOURNAL-BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY, 94, 1-9.Kurt, F., & Jayasuriya, A. (1968). Notes on a dead bear. Loris, 11, 182-183. Resource partitioning occurs where leopards share their range with tigers. Leopards tend to take smaller prey, usually less than {{convert|75|kg|lb|abbr=on}}, where tigers are present. In areas where leopard and tiger are sympatric, coexistence is reportedly not the general rule, with leopards being few where tigers are numerous.The mean leopard density decreased significantly (from 9.76 to 2.07 animals per 100 km2) when the mean density of tigers increased (from 3.31 animals/100km2 to 5.81 animals/100km2) from 2004–5 to 2007–8 in Rajaji National Park in India following the relocation of pastoralists out of the park. There, the two species have high dietary overlap, and an increase in the tiger population resulted in a sharp decrease in the leopard population and a shift in the leopard diet to small prey (from 9% to 36%) and domestic prey (from 6.8% to 31.8%).JOURNAL, Harihar, Abishek, Pandav, Bivash, Goyal, Surendra P, 2011, Responses of leopard Panthera pardus to the recovery of a tiger Panthera tigris population, Journal of Applied Ecology, 48, 3, 806–814, 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2011.01981.x, In Nepal's Chitwan National Park, the Bengal tiger coexists with the Indian leopard because there is a large prey biomass, a large proportion of prey is of smaller size, and dense vegetation exists. Here leopards killed prey ranging from less than {{convert|25|kg|lb|abbr=on}} to {{convert|100|kg|lb|abbr=on}} in weight with most kills in the {{convert|25|–|50|kg|lb|abbr=on}} range; tigers killed more prey in the {{convert|50|–|100|kg|lb|abbr=on}} range.JOURNAL, Seidensticker, J., 1976, On the ecological separation between tigers and leopards,weblink Biotropica, 8, 4, 225–234, 10.2307/2989714, 2989714, {{dead link|date=December 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} There were also differences in the microhabitat preferences of the individual tiger and leopard followed over five months (December to April); the tiger used roads and (except in February) forested areas more frequently, while the leopard used recently burned areas and open areas more frequently.JOURNAL, Seidensticker, J, 1976, On the ecological separation between tigers and leopards,weblink Biotropica, 8, 4, 229–230, 10.2307/2989714, 2989714, {{dead link|date=December 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} Usually when a tiger began to kill baits at sites formerly frequented by leopards, the leopards would no longer come and hunt there.JOURNAL, Seidensticker, J, 1976, On the ecological separation between tigers and leopards,weblink Biotropica, 8, 4, 225–234, 10.2307/2989714, 2989714, {{dead link|date=December 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} In the tropical forests of India's Nagarhole National Park, tigers selected prey weighing more than {{convert|176|kg|lb|abbr=on}}, whereas leopards selected prey in the {{convert|30|–|175|kg|lb|abbr=on}} range.JOURNAL, Karanth, K. U., Sunquist, M. E., 1995, Prey selection by tiger, leopard and dhole in tropical forests, Journal of Animal Ecology, 64, 439–450, 5647, 10.2307/5647, 4, In tropical forests, they do not always avoid the larger cats by hunting at different times. With relatively abundant prey and differences in the size of prey selected, tigers and leopards seem to successfully coexist without competitive exclusion or inter-species dominance hierarchies that may be more common to the leopard's co-existence with the lion in savanna habitats.JOURNAL, Karanth, U. K., Sunquist, M. E., 2000, Behavioural correlates of predation by tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus) and dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Nagarahole, India, Journal of Zoology, 250, 255–265, 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2000.tb01076.x, 2, 2010JZoo..281..263G, In areas with high tiger populations, such as in the central parts of India's Kanha National Park, leopards are not permanent residents, but transients. They were common near villages at the periphery of the park and outside the park.In the mid-20th century, Amur leopards were absent or very rarely encountered in the Primorye region of the Russian Far East at places where Siberian tigers roamed. Surveys conducted at the beginning of the 21st century revealed that the range of both species overlaps in this region, especially in protected areas where ungulate densities are high and human disturbance is low.BOOK, Pikunov, D. G., Miquelle, D. G., Abramov, V. K., Nikoaev, I. G., Seredkin, I. V., Murzin, A. A., and Korkishko, V. G., 2003, A survey of Far eastern leopard and Amur tiger populations in southwest Primorski Krai, Russian Far East (February 2003). Report: 1-38, Vladivostok, Pacific Institute of Geography, FEB RAs, Wildlife Conservation Society, Occasionally, Nile crocodiles prey on leopards of any age. One large adult leopard was grabbed and consumed by a large crocodile while attempting to hunt along a bank in Kruger National Park.WEB,weblink Nile Crocodile, Crocodilian Species List, Bailey, T. N. (1993). The African leopard: ecology and behavior of a solitary felid. Columbia University Press.Kingdon, J., Happold, D., Butynski, T., Hoffmann, M., Happold, M., & Kalina, J. (2013). Mammals of Africa. Volume V. London, New Delhi, New York, Sydney: Bloomsbury. Mugger crocodiles have reportedly killed an adult leopard in India.JOURNAL, Bhatnagar, C., & Mahur, M., 2010, Observations on feeding behavior of a wild population of marsh crocodile in Baghdarrah Lake, Udaipur, Rajasthan, Reptile Rap, 10, 16–18, Lions are occasionally successful in climbing trees and fetching leopard kills. In the Kalahari Desert, leopards frequently lose kills to the brown hyena, if the leopard is unable to move the kill into a tree. Single brown hyenas have been observed charging at and displacing male leopards from kills.BOOK, Owens, M., Owens, D., 1984, Cry of the Kalahari, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 978-0-395-32214-7,weblink JOURNAL, Owens, D., Owens, M., February 1980, Hyenas of the Kalahari, Natural History, 89, 2, 50, Burmese pythons have reportedly preyed on leopards, and an adult leopard was recovered from the stomach of a {{convert|5.5|m|ft|abbr=on}} specimen.BOOK, Gower, D., Garrett, K., Stafford, P., 2012, Snakes, Firefly Books, 60, 978-1-55407-802-8, Two cases of leopards killing cheetahs have been reported in 2014.Perowne, J. (2014). Blog: Leopard kills cheetah in the Mara and hoists it up a tree. The Safari Collection, Nairobi.Hagen, M. (2014). Leopard kills Cheetah. youtube.comIn some areas of Africa, troops of large baboon species (potential leopard prey themselves) will kill and sometimes eat leopard cubs if they discover them.Leopard left for dead by baboon troop. wilderness-safaris.com (2006-10-25). {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20110927001120weblink |date=2011-09-27 }} George Schaller wrote that he had seen carcasses of a leopard and a gorilla, and that both had wounds.Making a Last Stand Counterattack and Chutzpah Living Primates {{webarchive|url=https://archive.today/20120330232944weblink |date=2012-03-30 }}. Intechinc.com (19 August 2011). Retrieved on 2011-09-27.{{Multiple image |direction=vertical|align=top
|image1=Leopard Mating Dance.jpg|caption1=Female in estrus fighting with male attempting to mate
|image2=Kgalagadi National Park, South Africa (3187484056).jpg|caption2=Female with cub}}

Reproduction and life cycle

Depending on the region, leopards may mate all year round. In Manchuria and Siberia, they mate during January and February. The estrous cycle lasts about 46 days and the female usually is in heat for 6–7 days.JOURNAL, 10.1111/j.1748-1090.1966.tb01746.x, Sadleir, R., 1966, Notes on the Reproduction of the larger Felidae, International Zoo Yearbook, 6, 184–87, Gestation lasts for 90 to 105 days.BOOK, Hemmer, H., 1976, Gestation period and postnatal development in felids, 143–165, Eaton, R.L., The world's cats, 3, Carnivore Research Institute, Univ. Washington, Seattle, Cubs are usually born in a litter of 2–4 cubs.JOURNAL, Eaton, R.L., 1977, Reproductive biology of the leopard, Zoologischer Garten, 47, 5, 329–351, Mortality of cubs is estimated at 41–50% during the first year.Females give birth in a cave, crevice among boulders, hollow tree, or thicket to make a den. Cubs are born with closed eyes, which open four to nine days after birth. The fur of the young tends to be longer and thicker than that of adults. Their pelage is also more gray in colour with less defined spots. Around three months of age, the young begin to follow the mother on hunts. At one year of age, leopard young can probably fend for themselves, but remain with the mother for 18–24 months.WEB,weblink Leopard (Panthera pardus); Physical characteristics and distribution, Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections, The average typical life span of a leopard is between 12 and 17 years.WEB,weblink Leopard: The Spotted Cat, animals.about.com, The oldest recorded spotted leopard was a female named Roxanne living in captivity at McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary in The Acreage, Palm Beach County, Florida. She died August 8, 2014 at the age of 24 years, 2 months and 13 days. This has been verified by the Guinness Book of World Records.Salisbury, S. (2014-08-09) weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140811165340weblink">Roxanne, oldest spotted leopard in captivity, dies at Acreage preserve. The Palm Beach Post Previously, the oldest recorded leopard was a female named Bertie living in captivity in the Warsaw Zoo. She died in December 2010 at the age of 24.WEB,weblink Nie ma już lampartów cejloÅ„skich w warszawskim zoo â€¦, 15 December 2010, The oldest recorded male leopard was Cezar, who reached the age of 23. He also lived at the Warsaw Zoo and was Bertie's lifelong companion.WEB,weblink Co w zoo? – wtorkowy raport aktualnoÅ›ci, 30 March 2010, The generation length of the leopard is 9.3 years.JOURNAL, Generation length for mammals, Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P., Rondinini, C., Nature Conservation, 2013, 5, 87–94, {{anchor|Leopards in culture}}

Leopards and humans

(File:Benin, acquamanile a forma di leopardo, XVIII sec.JPG|thumb|right|Benin water vessel shaped in the form of a leopard)Leopards have been known to humans throughout history, and have featured in the art, mythology, and folklore of many countries where they have historically occurred, such as ancient Greece, Persia, and Rome, as well as some where they have not existed for several millennia, such as England. The modern use of the leopard as an emblem for sport or a coat of arms is much more restricted to Africa, though numerous products worldwide have used the name. During the Benin Empire, the leopard was commonly represented on engravings and sculptures and was used to symbolise the power of the king or oba; since the leopard was considered the king of the forest. Leopards were also kept and paraded as mascots, totems and sacrifices to deities.WEB, British Museum,weblink Benin: an African kingdom, 2016-03-29, As a result of their association with kings in Africa, the leopard's pelt is often seen today as a symbol of aristocratic rank, chiefs using it as a part of their traditional regalia.File:Flag of Shropshire.svg|thumb|left|Three leopards (loggerheads) on the flag of ShropshireShropshireThe lion passant guardant or leopard is a frequently used charge in heraldry, most commonly appearing in groups of three.BOOK, The Mark of the Beast: The Medieval Bestiary in Art, Life, and Literature, Strickland, Debra Higgs, Debra Hassig, Taylor & Francis, 1999, 978-0-8153-2952-7, The heraldic leopard lacks spots and sports a mane, making it visually almost identical to the heraldic lion, and the two are often used interchangeably. These traditional lions passant guardant appear in the coat of arms of Dalmatia and the coat of arms of England and many of its former colonies; more modern naturalistic (leopard-like) depictions appear on the coat of arms of several African nations including Benin, Malawi, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon, which uses a black panther.BOOK, The International Flag Book in Color, Pedersen, Christian Fagd, Morrow, 1971, Leopard domestication has also been recorded—several leopards were kept in a menagerie established by King John at the Tower of London in the 13th century; around 1235, three of these animals were given to Henry III by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.WEB, Owen, James, Medieval Lion Skulls Reveal Secrets of Tower of London 'Zoo', National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic, November 3, 2005,weblink 2007-09-05,

Hybrids

File:Pumapard-1904.jpg|thumb|upright|PumapardPumapardCrossbreeding between the leopard and the other members of the Panthera has been documented. In 1953, a lioness and a male leopard were mated in the Hanshin Park in Nishinomiya, Japan. The first litter from this pairing was born on 2 November 1959, consisting of a male and a female. Another litter was born in 1961, in which all the offspring were spotted and bigger than a juvenile leopard. The hybrid came to be known as a "leopon". Unsuccessful attempts were made to mate a leopon with a tigress.BOOK, Kisling, V.N., Zoo and Aquarium History : Ancient Animal Collections to Zoological Gardens, 2001, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida (USA), 978-0-8493-2100-9, 314, Although lions and leopards may come into contact in sub-Saharan Africa, they are generally not known to interbreed naturally. However, there have been anecdotal reports of felids larger than the cheetah but smaller than the lion, with a lion-like face, from the Central African Republic, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. This animal, known as the marozi and by several other names, is covered with grayish spots or rosettes on the back, the flanks and the legs. However, there have been no confirmed sightings of the marozi since the 1930s.BOOK, Eberhart, G. M., Mysterious Creatures : A Guide to Cryptozoology, 2002, ABC-Clio, Oxford, UK, 978-1-57607-283-7, 514–516, A pumapard is a hybrid animal resulting from a mating between a leopard and a puma (a member of the genus Puma, not the genus Panthera). Three sets of these hybrids were bred in the late 1890s and early 1900s by Carl Hagenbeck at his animal park in Hamburg, Germany. While most of these animals did not reach adulthood, one of these was purchased in 1898 by the Berlin Zoo. A similar hybrid in the Berlin Zoo purchased from Hagenbeck was a cross between a male leopard and a female puma. A specimen in the Hamburg Zoo (in the photo at right) was the reverse pairing, fathered by a puma bred to an Indian leopardess. The pumapard is characterised by a long body like the puma's, but with shorter legs. The hybrid is in general a dwarf, smaller than either parent. The coat is variously described as sandy, tawny or greyish with brown, chestnut or faded rosettes.WEB,weblink Geocites – Liger & Tigon Info, June 9, 2008,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071015110856weblink">weblink October 15, 2007,

Tourism

(File:Leopard near driver.jpg|thumb|A female leopard in the Sabi Sands of South Africa near a game vehicle)In protected areas of several countries, wildlife touring programs and safari ventures offer sightings of leopards in their natural habitat. While luxury establishments may boast the fact that wild animals can be seen at close range on a daily basis, the leopard's camouflage and propensity to hide and stalk prey typically make leopard sightings rare.NEWS, Wines, M., 2004, In South Africa, It's All in the Game, The New York Times,weblink 6 February 2015, In Sri Lanka's Yala National Park, leopards have been ranked by visitors to be among the least visible of all animals in the park despite their high concentration in the reserve.Weerasinghe, U.M.I.R.K., Kariyawasm, D. and M. De Zoysa (2003). Ruhuna (Yala) National Park in Sri Lanka: Visitors, Visitation, and Eco-Tourism. Contribution to the XII World Forestry Congress, Quebec. FAO.In South Africa, safaris are offered in numerous nature reserves such as in Sabi Sand Game Reserve. In Sri Lanka, wildlife tours are available in Yala and Wilpattu National Parks. In India, safaris are offered in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand national parks as well as in the Pali district of western Rajasthan.NEWS,weblink Life Among the Leopards, H., Kunzru, 2015, NYTimes,

Man-eating

File:PanarManeater.jpg|thumb|right|The Panar Leopard, shot by Jim CorbettJim CorbettMost leopards avoid people, but humans may occasionally be targeted as prey. Most healthy leopards prefer wild prey to humans, but injured, sickly, or struggling cats or those with a shortage of regular prey may resort to hunting humans and become habituated to it. Although usually slightly smaller than a human, an adult leopard is much more powerful and easily capable of killing one. Two extreme cases occurred in India: the first leopard, "the Leopard of Rudraprayag", killed more than 125 people; the second, "the Panar Leopard", was believed to have killed more than 400. Both were killed by the renowned hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett.BOOK, Death in the Long Grass, Capstick, Peter Hathaway, St. Martin's Press, 1978, 978-0-312-18613-5,weblink Man-eating leopards are considered bold and difficult to track and may enter human settlements for prey, more so than lions and tigers.BOOK, Anderson, K., Nine Man-Eaters and one Rogue, Allen & Unwin, 1954, London, Author and big game hunter Kenneth Anderson had first-hand experience with many man-eating leopards, and described them as far more threatening than tigers:

See also

References

{{Reflist|30em}}

Further reading

  • BOOK, Schaller, G. B., 1972, The Serengeti Lion, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 978-0-226-73639-6,
  • JOURNAL, DeRuiter, D. J., Berger, L. R., Lee R. Berger, 2000, Leopards as Taphonomic Agents in dolomitic Caves—Implications for bone Accumulations in the Hominid-bearing Deposits of South Africa, Journal of Archaeological Science, 27, 8, 665–684, 10.1006/jasc.1999.0470,
  • BOOK, Thomas T. Allsen, Allsen, Thomas T., Mair, Victor H., Natural History and Cultural History: The Circulation of Hunting Leopards in Eurasia, Seventh-Seventeenth Centuries, Contact and Exchange in the Ancient World, 2007, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 978-0-8248-2884-4,
  • BOOK, Sanei, A., Analysis of leopard (Panthera pardus) status in Iran,weblink Sepehr Publication Center, Persian, Tehran, 2007, 978-964-6123-74-8,
  • JOURNAL, Sanei, A., Zakaria, M., Yusof, E., Roslan, M., 2011, Estimation of leopard population size in a secondary forest within Malaysia's capital agglomeration using unsupervised classification of pugmarks, Tropical Ecology 52, 1, 209–217,weblink
  • BOOK, Beyond Conservation: A Wildland Strategy, Taylor, P., S., Barrientos, C., Dolan, Earthscan, 2005, 978-1-84407-197-5,
  • JOURNAL, Zakaria, M., Sanei, A., 2011,weblink Conservation and management prospects of the Persian and Malayan leopards, Asia Life Sciences, Supplement 7, 1–5,

External links

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