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The social behaviour of leopards

29 March 2016

 

Geographic distribution and range size

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The leopard Panthera pardus (Linnaeus, 1758) is the large roaring cat with the greatest geographic distribution in the World as it occurs widely in Africa and in the East as far as China and the far east of Russia. As are most of the cats, the leopard is solitary with only a female and her young or a consorting male and female associating with each other at times. A leopard is resentful of any intrusion of its range although some range use overlaps occur, especially in arid environments with a poor prey base. The land tenure system of a leopard is broadly similar to that of many other types of cat in that the adult males utilize large ranges that overlap with the ranges of one or more adult females. However, the range of an adult female is usually smaller than that of an adult male.

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The range size of a leopard is dependent on the prey abundance, although it seems that a range of 6 km2 seems to be the minimum that will satisfy all the relevant ecological requirements of a leopard as was found for adult female leopards in various wildlife parks in the East and Africa. In arid regions... (Become a subscriber for more)

 

References:

Bothma, J du P & M D Bothma 2012. Leopard range size and conservation area size in the southern Kalahari. Koedoe 54(1), Art.#1076 4 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v54i1.1076.

Bothma, J du P & C Walker 1999. Larger carnivores of the African savannas. Pretoria: J L van Schaik, pages 61 - 91.

Sunquist, M & F Sunquist 2002. Wild cats of the world. Chicago, Chicago University Press, pages 328 - 330.

 

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

 

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