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Leopard, Sabi Sand reserve, Mpumalanga province, South Africa photo
Leopard, Sabi Sand reserve, Mpumalanga province

The leopard, Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera; the other three being the tiger, lion and jaguar.

Once distributed across southern Asia and Africa, from Korea to South Africa, the leopard's range of distribution has decreased radically due to hunting and loss of habitat, and the greatest concentration of leopards now occurs chiefly in sub-Saharan Africa, but there are also fragmented populations in Pakistan, India, Indochina, Malaysia, and China.

Due to the loss of range and declines in population, it is graded as a "Near Threatened" species. Its numbers are greater than other Panthera species, all of which face more acute conservation concerns.

PHOTO SOURCE: D. Allen, courtesy of, and copyright, South Africa Tourism, a department of the government of South Africa, used with permission.



NOTE: The information regarding South Africa on this page is re-published from other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of south_africa information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about south_africa photos should be addressed to the copyright owner noted below the photo.



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