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Leopard (Panthera pardus) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

History in Managed Care

Long history of leopards in managed care

  • 5,000+ year history of humans keeping leopards (Turnbull-Kemp 1967)

Populations within European (EAZA) zoos

  • Provide care for 5 subspecies (as of 2005)
    • P. p. japonensis, kotiya, nimr, orientalis, and saxicolor (Houssaye and Budd 2009)

Current population size

  • North American (AZA) institutions
    • 106 individuals housed in 47 institutions, current as of August 2012 (AZA 2012)

Management programs

  • Amur leopard (P. p. orientalis) management program
    • Captive breeding programs at several AZA zoos help safeguard against extinction of this subspecies
      • 48 individuals identified as suitable for an Amur breeding program
      • Zoos in Europe and North America coordinate breeding programs for the critically endangered Amur leopard
    • History of success
      • 2009-2011: 12 births; 5 males and 9 females

Breeding by Zoos Guards Against Extinction

Amur Leopard

Amur leopards are critically endangered. 

With fewer than c. 85 adults surviving in the wild, populations in managed care settings serve as a vital resource to ensure the survival of this rare subspecies.

These programs safeguard the unique genetic makeup of Amur leopards and provide a potential source population for reintroducing individuals back into the wild.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

AZA (2012)
Houssaye and Budd (2009)
Turnbull-Kemp (1967)

SDZWA Library Links