Arabian Leopard
Arabian Leopard





The Arabian Leopard is a leopard subspecies native to the Arabian Peninsula and classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN since 1996. The Arabian leopard is the smallest leopard subspecies. Fewer than 200 wild individuals were estimated to be alive in 2006. The population comprises fewer than 250 mature individuals and is severely fragmented. Sub-populations are isolated and not larger than 50 mature individuals. The population is thought to decline continuously.


The Arabian leopard has pelage hues that vary from pale yellow to deep golden or tawny and are patterned with rosettes. At a weight of about 30 kg (66 lb) for the male and around 20 kg (44 lb) for the female, the Arabian leopard is much smaller than the African Leopard and other Asian subspecies.


Leopards occupy remote and rugged high-mountain areas that provide security and vantage points. In the arid terrain of their habitat, Arabian leopards require large territories in order to find enough food and water to survive. The male's territory usually overlaps those of one or more females, and is fiercely defended against other intruding males, although spatial overlap between male ranges is common.


The Arabian leopard seems to concentrate on small-to-medium-sized prey species such as mountain gazelle, Arabian tahr, rock hyrax, hares, birds and possibly lizards and insects. The carcasses of large prey are usually stored in caves or lairs but nothing was seen to be stored in trees.


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