Persian Leopard

The Persian Leopard, also called the Caucasian leopard, is the largest leopard subspecies. It is endangered throughout its range with fewer than 871–1,290 mature individuals and a declining population trend. Persian leopards are threatened by poaching, depletion of their prey base due to poaching, human disturbance such as presence of military and training of troops in border areas, habitat loss due to deforestation, fire, agricultural expansion, overgrazing, and infrastructure development.


The Persian leopard is large, weighing up to 90 kg (200 lb), and light in color. They vary in coloration; both pale and dark individuals are found in Iran.


Persian leopards avoid deserts, areas with long-duration snow cover and areas that are near urban development. Their habitat consists of subalpine meadows, broadleaf forests and rugged ravines from 600–3,800 m (2,000–12,500 ft) in the Greater Caucasus, and rocky slopes, mountain steppes, and sparse juniper forests in the Lesser Caucasus and Iran. Only some small and isolated populations remain in the whole ecoregion. Suitable habitat in each range country is limited and most often situated in remote border areas. Local populations depend on immigration from source populations in the south, mainly in Iran.


Leopards' diet varies depending on the habitat of their territory. Their principal prey is the most abundant ungulate such as Bezoar goat, roe deer, Goitered gazelle, West Caucasian tur, mouflons, urial, and wild boar. They also prey on smaller wildlife such as Crested porcupine and Cape hare, and occasionally attack livestock and herd dogs.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.