June 23, 2024
  • A new portal dedicated to leopards (Panthera pardus) was launched by the Cape Leopard Trust (CLT), an active predator conservation working group, on International Leopard Day (May 3) to promote and celebrate leopards worldwide.

About Leopards

  • The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the cat family, Felidae.
  • The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behavior, broad diet, strength, and its ability to adapt to a variety of habitats including savanna and rainforest, grasslands, desert and semi-desert regions of southern Africa, woodlands, and riverine forests.
  • Global Distribution– These cats are distributed across areas, stretching from sub-Saharan Africa to West Asia and the Middle East, reaching South and Southeast Asia and Siberia.
  • The earliest known leopard fossils excavated in Europe are estimated 600,000 years old, dating to the late Early Pleistocene.
  • Leopards are carnivores and their diet includes animals such as antelopes, gazelles, monkeys etc.
  • Leopards attain all required moisture from their food, so they can survive without drinking water for long periods of time.
  • Leopards are closely related to Black panthers which are leopards, but with recessive melanistic genes.
  • Threats- habitat fragmentation, poaching for its skin and teeth, illegal trade etc
  • Protection status
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
    • CITES: Appendix-I.
    • Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule-I.
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