Conservation of Leopard – Asia

Conservation of Leopard – Asia

Project Animal(s) : Leopard (Panthera pardus)
Project Category : Mammals
Project Region : Asia
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL :
Project is timebound? : No

The leopard is included into the Appendix I of CITES. It is largely protected across its range. Hunting is prohibited or restricted to “problem” animals in Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The legal international traffic is limited to an annual quota for export of sport hunting skins and trophies. There is no legal protection in Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. No information is available for Azerbaijan, Iraq, Libya, Kuwait, Syria, Tajikistan and Yemen. In Afghanistan, the leopard is protected (hunting and trading prohibited) and has recently been placed on the country’s Protected Species List.

The reduction of human-leopard conflict, for example by improved livestock management measures, swiftly dispensed compensation procedures for lost livestock, is of high importance. Translocation of problem animals in order to mitigate “conflict” does not seem to be a suitable mitigation of such conflicts and has seen to increase attacks on humans. Therefore, it is not recommended. In West Asia, protected areas are too small to support viable leopard populations. Leopards are extremely adaptable species but to increase their range, it is important that ecological and social carrying capacity is increased.

Especially in Indo-Malaya and China, better protection from illegal trade should be addressed. There is a lack in information for some of the leopard subspecies such as for P. p. delacouri. It is important to get more information on these subspecies to be able to prioritize conservation measures.

Throughout its range it is important to reduce human-leopard conflict and to raise public awareness, involve local inhabitants and establish protected areas to ensure survival of the leopard. Some conservation plans are underway such as the one for the endangered Arabian or Caucasus leopard and measures to reduce human-leopard conflict are taking place.Leopard population recovery effors are currently under way with reintroduciton projects in Sochi, Greater Caucasus and the Russian far East. Nonetheless, there is still a lot to do to assure the long-term protection of the leopard throughout its range. The reduced leopard population in Arabia, for example, requires immediate action to avoid further losses or even extinction as numbers are decreasing drastically.

Recent work in India indicates that some communities revere leopards in the form of a large cat deity called waghoba or waghro.

Project Agency : Cat Specialist Group

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