LEOPARD
Panthera pardus


 

Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 1-800-385-9712

defenders@mail.defenders.org

STATUS:

Endangered in Asia and parts of Africa. Threatened south of, and including, Gabon, Congo, Zaire, Uganda, Kenya in Africa.

DESCRIPTION:

Leopards are medium-sized cats found in a range of colors from pale yellow to gray to chestnut. A leopardís shoulders, upper arms, back and haunches are marked with dark spots in a rosette pattern, while the head, chest and throat are marked with small black spots. Large black spots cover the leopardís white belly. Black, or melanistic, leopards are common, especially in dense forests.

SIZE:

Leopards are 1.5 to 2.6 feet tall at the shoulder. They are three to six feet long, with a tail that is two to 3.5 feet long. Males weigh between 82 and 200 pounds, females are slightly smaller.

 
LIFESPAN:

Leopards live for up to 20 years.

RANGE:

Leopards are found throughout most of Africa and Asia from the middle east to the Soviet Union, Korea, China, India, and Malaysia.

HABITAT:

Leopards are found in a variety of habitats including forests, mountains, grassland and deserts.

FOOD:

Leopards eat small hoofstock such as gazelle, impala, deer and wildebeast. On occasion, they may also hunt monkeys, rodents and birds.

BEHAVIOR:

Leopards are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active at night. During the day, they rest in thick brush or in trees. Leopards are solitary, preferring to live alone. They are very agile and good swimmers. They are able to leap more than 20 feet.

OFFSPRING:

Following a 90 to 105 day gestation, one to six kittens are born. The average litter size is two or three. Kittens weigh about one pound when they are born. They will stay with their mother for 18 to 24 months.

THREATS:

Fur trade, human encroachment.

PROTECTION:

*CITES, Appendix I, Endangered Species Act

*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if it does not harm their survival.

 


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