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Animal Detail ViewՄանրամասն` նրանց մասին

05.02.2014

Leopard (Panthera pardus)


Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class:   Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Genus: Panthera

Species: P. pardus

 

Description 

The Leopard is a big, powerfully built cat with a very elegant shape. The body is long with comparatively short, stout legs and a long tail. The head-body length is up to 171 cm, tail length is up to 100 cm and the height at the shoulder is 50-70 cm. It weighs 30-80 kg. The head is rather small, with a convex profile. The ears are rounded, black at the backside and with a conspicuous median white spot. The tail has a black tip and no terminal tuft. The coat is dense, soft and rather short and marked with numerous black spots in the form of "rosettes" on a buff or yellowish-tawny ground colour. The Rosettes in most individuals are without central spots. The under parts and inner side of limbs are white and less densely spotted.

Range and Habitat

The leopard has an exceptionally large range, occurring throughout Africa and Asia. It occurs across most of sub-Saharan Africa, with smaller populations in North Africa. Its range extends east to the Arabian Peninsula and throughout southwest Asia to India, China and the Russian Far East, and it is also found on the islands of Java and Sri Lanka.

Leopards inhabit a variety of terrain. They are most populous in mesic woodlands, grassland savannas, and forests. They also occupy mountainous, scrub, and desert habitats.

Behavior

Leopards are shy, cunning and very dangerous, especially when wounded. Leopards are very good tree climbers and can pull large prey up a tree to protect it from other predators or scavengers in the vicinity. They return later to feed again. Leopards still occur outside conservation areas.

Diet

Leopards generally prey upon mid-sized ungulates, which includes small antelopes, gazelles, deer, pigs, primates and domestic livestock. They are opportunistic carnivores and eat birds, reptiles, rodents, arthropods, and carrion when available. Leopards prefer prey that weigh between 10 and 40 kg. They are also known to scavenge from cheetahs, solitary hyenas, and smaller carnivores as well. They are known to cache food and may continue hunting despite having multiple carcasses already cached.

Reproduction

The reproductive season is year-round but peaks during the rainy season in May. In China and southern Siberia, leopards mainly breed in January and February. Females are in estrus for 7 days and have a 46 day long cycle. Gestation last 96 days and females usually give birth once every 15 to 24 months. Typically, females stop reproducing around 8.5 years old. Leopard cubs weigh less than 1 kg at birth, and their eyes remain closed for the first week. Mothers leave their cubs in the protection of dense bush, rock clefts, or hollow tree trunks for up to 36 hours while hunting and feeding. Cubs learn to walk at 2 weeks of age and regularly leave the den at 6 to 8 weeks old, around which time they begin to eat solid food. Mothers share less than a third of their food with their cubs. Cubs are completely weaned by 3 months old and independent at just under 20 months old. Often, siblings maintain contact during the early years of independence.

Conservation Status

Listed as “Near Threatened” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.



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