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Leopard (Panthera pardus) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

Distribution

Broadest geographic distribution of wild cats (Nowell and Jackson 1996)

  • Present in over 70 countries; Africa, Eurasia and the Indian sub-continent (see below for details on select countries and regions) (from Henschel et al. 2008)
    • In Africa:
      • Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
    • In Eurasia and India:
      • Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen
    • Regionally extinct
      • Hong Kong, Kuwait, Libya, Singapore, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia

African distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Wide (though patchy) distribution
    • Locally extinct in Zanzibar
  • North-Africa; small remnant populations
    • Moroccan Atlas Mountains
    • South-eastern Algerian Ahaggar region
    • Extinction likely in Egypt
      • Possibly present in the Eastern Desert

Arabian distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • Small population (c. 200 individuals) dispersed across the peninsula
    • Yemeni Negev Desert
    • Yemeni Wada Mountains
    • Oman's Dhofar Mountains
    • Uncertain presence in Saudi Arabia

Russia/Northern Caucasus distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • Avarskoe Koisu and Andiiskoe Koisu River headwaters
    • Mountain ridges near sources of each river
  • Extinction possible in many regions
    • Chegem River canyon (Kabardino-Balkarian Republic), Erzi Reserve, Assa River valley (Republic of Ingushetia), Armkhi River basin (Republic of North Osetia-Alania), and headwaters of Sharoargun and Argun rivers (Chechen Republic)

Georgian distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • South-eastern regions
    • Portions in the Vashlovani Reserve
  • North-eastern regions
    • Upper canyons of the Assa River basin; headwater regions of the Andiiskoe Koisu River

Armenian distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • North-west range
    • Bound by the Azat River; the north by the Vardenis Ridge; the west by the semi-desert of the Ararat Valley; the south-west and east by the state border with Azerbaijan and the alpine meadow/nival belt transition zone; the south by the Arax River basin along the Armenian-Iranian border.
  • South and south-western regions
    • Khosrov Reserve to the Armenian-Iranian borders; Geghama, Zangezur, Aiotsdzor, Bargushat and Meghri ridges
  • Extirpation likely in north-eastern portions of the state
    • No citing since early 1970's

Azerbaijan distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • South-eastern regions
    • Talysh Mountains
  • North-western regions
    • Lori-Mingechaur Highlands
  • Western regions
    • Zangezur Ridge in the Nakhichevan Republic along the state border with Armenia

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • Current distributions unknown (since 1967)
    • Shushi, Mardakert, Hadrut, and Kelbajar districts (1941-1967)
  • Corridor between southern, central, and northern Caucasus

Iranian distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • Broadly distributed across the country
    • Except the deserts of Desht-e-Kevir and Desht-e-Lut at center and east
  • Commonly present
    • Alborz Mountains, on the southern fringe of the Caspian Sea
    • Protected areas: Tandooreh, Sarigol, Bafgh, Golestan, Kolah?ghazy, Touran, Kavir, Khojir, Khabr, and Bamu national parks; Kiamaki and Naybandan wildlife refuges; Jahan Nama, Central Alborz, Varijin, Arasbaran, Dena, and Bahram?gur protected areas
    • Chapur-Ghoymeh, Safee Abad-Dozain or Minoo Dasht, Ramsar, Khaeez and Darestan-Rudbar regions

Turkey distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • North-eastern regions
    • Near the Artivin city
  • Eastern regions
    • Near Mount Ararat or Agri
  • South-eastern regions
    • Bitlis Ridge
  • Possibly present
    • Coastal mountains of the Black Sea, south-westward to the Taurus Mountains
  • Western populations not clearly known

Turkmenistan distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • Historic distribution wider than current range
  • Western regions
    • Kopetdag Ridge
  • Central regions
    • Kopetdag Ridge
  • Eastern regions
    • Kopetdag Ridge, Badkhyz Reserve, and Giaz-Gyadyk Ridge

Afghanistan distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • Central regions
    • Hindu Kush, Kohe Baba, Kohe Paghman, and Safed Koh mountain ranges
  • North-eastern and northern regions
    • Darkad peninsula of Badakshan

Central Asian republics distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • Current distribution poorly known
  • Historically
    • Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
    • Kazakhstan: a single, aged male killed by a hunter in 2000

Pakistan distribution (from Henschel et al. 2008)

  • Few individuals
  • Restricted to montane areas

Habitat

Occupies many habitats (from Henschel et al. 2008; Hunter et al. 2013)

  • Africa
    • Woodland, grassland savanna, and all forest habitats
    • Found in some mountain regions, coastal scrub, shrubland, swampy areas, semi-desert, and desert habitats
  • SW and Central Asia
    • Historically broad ranging
    • Currently confined to remote, montane, and rugged foothill areas
  • India and SE Asia
    • Found in all forest type
    • Tropical rainforest to temperate deciduous and alpine coniferous; dry scrub and grasslands
  • Inhabit diverse climatic zones
    • Regional rainfall extremes from hyper-arid to rainforest areas
  • Altitudinal range
    • 0-5,200 m (0-17,060 ft)

Amur (P.p. orientalis) Subspecies

Russia

  • Primorye region (southeastern Russia)
    • c. 2,500 km2 (965 mi2) (Jackson and Nowell 2008)

Extinct in China and the Korean Peninsula (Jackson and Nowell 2008)


Habitat

  • Mountain forests, valleys, and plains
    • Manchurian broad-leaved forests
    • Rarely visit rocky coastal regions
  • Hunt along deer trails in some areas
  • Obstacles to movement
    • Deep snow cover limits dispersal; prefer locations with low snow cover
    • Avoid roads, human and (most) animal trails, frozen ice crusts, and rivers

Distribution Map

Leopard distribution map

Leopard distribution.

Adapted from www.d-maps.com according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Page Citations

Henschel et al. (2008)
Hunter et al. (2013)
Nowell and Jackson (1996)
Jackson and Nowell (2008)

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