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Arabian leopard fact file

Arabian leopard description

GenusPanthera Arabian leopard biology

In the arid terrain of their habitat, Arabian leopards require large territories in order to find enough food and water to survive Traditional prey of the Arabian leopard include species such as the Arabian tahr (Hemitragus jayakari), mountain gazelle (Gazella gazella), Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana), Cape hare (Lepus capensis cheesmani) and rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), but in some areas these species have declined so dramatically due to hunting and overgrazing that the leopards have been forced to occasionally prey mammals

Arabian leopard range

Formerly common throughout the Arabian Peninsula, only small scattered Arabian leopard populations now remain. A few individuals are confined to the Negev Desert in the north of Arabia, and in the south, populations are known from just one location in the Republic of Yemen and one in the Sultanate of Oman Arabian leopard habitat

The Arabian leopard is found in rugged mountains, preferably where permanent water sources occur Arabian leopard status

The Arabian leopard is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List Arabian leopard threats

The Arabian leopard clings to a desperately precarious existence. With an official estimate of probably no more than 250 mature individuals, and a declining trend, this cat edges ever closer to the jaws of extinction Arabian leopard conservation

Fortunately, the situation is much more hopeful in Oman than in Yemen, with the leopards of the Dhofar Mountains benefiting from comprehensive conservation measures To this end, a surge in conservation effort ermammals

Despite all these conservation measures, the Arabian leopard still has dangerously low numbers and is extremely vulnerable to the threat of extinction. The most important identified need of this unique cat is to urgently safeguard it and its prey species in the Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve, possibly the last viable refuge of the species

Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi is a principal sponsor of ARKive. EAD is working to protect and conserve the environment as well as promoting sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

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For more information on the Arabian leopard:



Authenticated (27/06/2006) by Dr. Andrew Spalton, Office of the Advisor for Conservation of the Environment, Diwan of Royal Court Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.



The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
In its original or natural position or range.
A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
An area occmammals


  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2006)
  2. BBC Online: Science and Nature (April, 2006)
  3. UAE Interact: Comprehensive news and information on the United Arab Emirates (April, 2006)
  4. CITES (January, 2006)
  5. Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah (April, 2006)
  6. Hellyer, P. and Aspinall, S. (2005) The Emirates: A Natural History. Trident Press Limited, United Arab Emirates.
  7. Spalton, J.A. and Al Hikmani, H.M. (1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM) The leopard Panthera pardus in the Arabian Peninsula; distribution and sub-species status. Cat News (IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Gromammals
  8. Spalton, J.A., Al Hikmani, H.M., Jahdhami, M.H., Ibrahim, A.A.A., Bait Said, A.S. and Willis, D. (1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM) STATUS REPORT FOR THE ARABIAN LEOPARD Panthera pardus nimr IN THE SULTANATE OF OMAN. Cat News (IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Gromammals
  9. Spalton, J.A., Al Hikmani, H.M., Willis, D. and Bait Said, A.S. (2006) Endangered Arabian leopards Panthera pardus nimr persist in the Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve, Sultanate of Oman. Oryx, 40(3): 1 - 10.

Image credit

Male Arabian leopard  
Male Arabian leopard

© David Cayless / gettyimages.com

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