Leopards are one of the larger cats. They belong to Cat family. The Leopards are easily identified due to spotted pattern all over body. The leopards are mainly found in wide range in Africa and South Asia.
Habitat loss is a major threat to the leopards and population of the leopards is declining. the leopard are listed as vulnerable species according to the IUCN Red list.
The Leopards are available in wide range of habitats. These cats can suits themselves in many habitats so they are found in a wide range.
The Leopards are found in Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia and also in India.
The Leopards are found in woodlands, shrub lands, Savannas, bushes and forests, too. Due to their nature, these cats can survive in rain forests as well as in dry desert areas.
Diet & Attack
Leopards are carnivores and are ambush predators. Leopards are great hunters and they hunt wide variety of animals as they live in wide range in wild. Leopards eat deer, antelope, chital, hyrax, sambar, zebras . These species depended for feeding on rodents like rats, birds, small reptiles and mice.Female varieties like to catch smaller prey.
Although the leopards are good runner they stalk the prey with bent legs and lowered body. They remain hidden in grasses and bush. The color and spots over body help them in camouflage. They remain calm and slow until they reach few meters away from the prey,then they run fast and pounce the prey and grab them from throat or neck of the prey. The prey dies due to suffocation as the grip of leopards at neck or throat is powerful.
They drag the dead prey away from other animals. Leopards are strong enough to drag heavier prey over a long distance and on the trees. Leopards have keen sense of hearing and night vision. They are nocturnal hunters, they hunt in day also.
Size, Weight, Color
The Leopard has muscular tough body with large and wider head and short legs. The body color is brownish yellow to golden in touch and with dark spots like rose all over the coat. The belly and internal limb shows white color patches.
This species are known as big cat by its robust build and muscular but relatively short limbs, a broad head and a a coat covered with spots.
Male Leopard stands about 60 to 70 cm at the shoulder, while females stands about 55 to 65 cm tall. The total length is about 90 to 190 cm. Male Leopard weight is around 30 to 90 kg and females are about 30 to 60 kg. The maximum recorded weight was recorded about 96.5 kg and male leopards are larger than female leopards.
They are of different color varies from gold to deep gold and pale yellow with black rosettes that don’t have a central spot. Solid black spots are present all over head, belly and lower limb portion. Melanistic African Leopards are blackish in color in farther view.
Female releases pheromones to attract opposite potential. African leopards copulates for 3 seconds at 6 min intervals. African Leopards mate whole usually but the most favorable season is wet rainy season. The Copulation process lasts for a few days. The gestation period lasts between 90 to 110 days and 4 cubs are born. Sometimes Leopards have been giving birth up to 6 cubs.
- Leopard Species are habitual to wide range of habitat. This Leopards are commonly found in Saharan Africa, Central Asia and India, too.
- This group has special quality that they are spending most of their time alone. They are most common territorial animals and don’t allow other leopards or animals to come and join their territory. They marks their presence by scratching on tree and pour scent of urine marks on their way.
- They are the most common fast moving animals and can run at 58 to 60 km/h. They can catch their prey at 6m forward distance approximately three adults lying head to toe.
- Most Leopards are light colored with dark spots present on fur. These spots are called “Rosettes” because they are almost look like Rose. The black leopards also have dark spots but less visible due to their dark color.
- Leopards are good climbers and rest in the branches of trees during the day time.They are to strong to catch heavier prey over a long distance or on the trees.
- These cats have a varied diet and enjoy different kind of meal. They are fond of eating bugs, fish, antelope, monkeys, rodents, deer.
- The Leopards move forward and takes their victim with a bite on the throat or neck. Small prey like small birds or mice, will receive a fatal blow from their presence.
- Though these group members are good runners they stalk the prey with bent legs and lowered body. They remain hidden in grasses and bushes.They remain calm and slow until they reach few meters away from the prey, then they can run fast to catch their prey.
- Female leopards can give birth two or three cubs at a time in any season of the year. Mothers can stay with their cubs until the two years of their age.
- Leopards can communicate with each other through a call only. For instance, when one male wants to make another aware of this presence he’ll make a harsh and raspy cough.
|Panthera pardus pardus|
These Leopards are considered as Vulnerable as per IUCN list. Populations of leopards are declined over all range. Shrinkage and loss of habitat, prey loss, hunting for illegal trade are major threats to the species of the Leopards. They are commonly suffering in Africa and Asia.