Leopards are host to many common felid parasites, including lung flukes, flat worms, spirurian nematodes, hookworms, lung worms, intestinal and hepatic parasites, and parasitic protozoa.
Wild leopards average 10-12 years, the oldest being 17 years, but captive leopards average 21-23 years, the oldest having lived 27 years.
Similar to other mammalian species, the home ranges of male leopards are larger and tend to overlap with those of multiple females.
Many of the leopard’s predator characteristics also serve as defense mechanisms, such as its spots that allow it to travel inconspicuously and avoid detection.
Leopards are economically important for humans as they can be seen in national parks throughout Asia and Africa.
Lions, tigers, spotted hyaenas, and African wild dogs compete with leopards for food and are capable of killing leopards.
After capturing its prey, a leopard will break its neck causing paralysis and asphyxiation, then carries the carcass to a nearby tree or caches it in leaves and soil.
Leopards are comfortable in water and are adequate swimmers.
Leopards positively contribute to the ecosystem by helping to control baboon populations and dispersing seeds that stick to their fur.
4,500-7,000 leopards are illegally harvested annually to fuel the demand for leopard skins and trophy hunting.
Leopards are polygynandrous and breed year-round, peaking during the rainy season in May.
Leopards mark their territory with urine, feces, and claw marks.
Leopards are protected throughout most of their range in west Asia and show resistance to minor habitat disturbances.
Leopards are sexually dimorphic as males tend to be larger than females.
A commercialized bushmeat trade has caused a 59% decline in leopard prey populations across 78 protected areas between 1970 and 2005.
Although leopards can run up to 60 km/hr and can jump more than 6m horizontally and 3m vertically, they’re not likely to chase prey.
Each individual leopard has a unique coat which can be used for identification.
Southern Africa has the healthiest leopard populations of the cat’s entire African and Asian range.
Humans are the primary predators of leopards, capturing them for the pet trade and hunting them for trophies, fur, skin, traditional medicine, and retaliation.
The body size and color patterns of leopards vary geographically among subspecies and reflect adaptations to particular habitats.
Leopard cubs are born with smoky gray coats with indistinct rosettes and are moved from den to den by their mothers until independence at 20 months.
Leopards are ambush predators and sneak up to 3-10 meters close to its prey before pouncing, able to tackle prey up to 10 times its own weight.
Although leopards are silent most of the time, they communicate by growling, roaring, spitting, and even purring.
Leopards have long bodies with short legs, broad heads, powerful jaws, and specialized scapulas for climbing.
Leopards are widely distributed across Africa and Asia, but populations have become reduced and isolated, and they are now extirpated from large portions of their historic range.
Leopards are solitary, nocturnal carnivores and are even less diurnal in areas close to humans.
Leopards inhabit a variety of terrain including forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, rocky areas, and deserts and are most comfortable in lower forest canopy.
Black panthers, which are most populous in humid forests, are leopards with recessive melanistic genes.
There are conflicting results on the leopard’s taxonomy, but as of 2017, the IUCN SSC Cat Classifaction Task Force of the Cat Specialist Group recognizes 8 subspecies.
Leopards are classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because of habitat loss and fragmentation, prey declines, persecution, and exploitation.