Leopard (Panthera pardus)

Conservation Status

Near Threatened (NT)

Physical Description

Large feline with black-orange/tan rosette spots on yellow-tan body, solid black spots on legs, and head. Tail is half of body length with rosette spots and a white tip.
Weight 20-90kg (male) 17-60kg (female)
Size 160-210cm length, 70-80cm shoulder height.
Lifespan (wild) 10-12 years
Lifespan (captivity) 21-23 years

Behaviors

Normally solitary animals except for when pairs come together for mating or when a female is raising cubs. They are mostly nocturnal, although they can be active during daylight hours during cooler times. Territories are marked and defended from other leopards, however, a males territory may overlap with several females’. Territory sizes can range from 10 square kilometers to several hundred square kilometers.

Social and Reproduction

Leopards are solitary animals, other than during mating and raising young.

Mating System Polygamy (Polygynandry)
Breeding interval 15-24 months
Breeding season Year round with a peak in the rain season
Gestation 96-100 days
Number of offspring 2-3 weighing around 0.5kg

Habitat and Food

Habitat

Wide habitat tolerance, from mountains to coastal plains; will adapt to high rainfall areas and arid environments. Leopards need areas of dense cover for protection and concealment.

Food

Broad diet including insects up to medium and large antelope such as oryx and young kudu. Food is sometimes stored and cached under bushes, between rocks, or in trees out of reach of other predators and scavengers such as hyena.

Predators

Leopards may fall victim to lions, spotted hyenas, and wild dogs, but primary predators are humans.

Conservation Challenges

Leopards often come into conflict with humans when resources become scarce, livestock is unprotected, or older leopards find it too difficult to pursue wild prey species.

Naankuse Solutions

Conflict mitigation studies on leopard behaviors, territories, and populations.

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Leopard at Naankuse sites