Common Leopard


Leopard male feeding on a kill . rel=
Leopard male feeding on a kill
© / Anup Shah / WWF-Canon

The main threats to the leopard population include habitat degradation (timber, fuel wood, unruly development, solid waste and pollution etc.), encroachments on protected forest, alarming decrease in its natural prey base, conflicts between humans and leopards with increasing depredation on both livestock and humans that lead to retaliatory killing by livestock owners and communities. A series of incidences involving leopard attacks were reported in the Galliat area (Northern Pakistan) in the summer 2005, when six women died as a consequence of these conflicts.

The other threats include poaching, removal of cubs by animal dealers and trade of body parts, pelts in particular. Pelts, claws and teeth have been reported to be available for sale in the markets in the northern Pakistan. Moreover, non existent policy frame work to compensate livestock owners or support towards long term survival of the common leopard and/or other carnivore species (snow leopard, Eurasian lynx, Asiatic wolf, etc.) in general, is another factor affecting their conservation in Pakistan.

The habitat of the leopard is also under serious threat. With only 2.5% of its land with forest cover, Pakistan has the deforestation at -2.1% and no other country in Asia has the deforestation rate higher than this. Erosion of land and land slides, principally owing to this high deforestation is threatening the ecology of the area. Main factors leading to this high deforestation include fuel wood and timber extraction, ongoing development programmes such as gas pipeline plans, expansion of the road networks and forest land conversion to non forest uses.

Did you know?

Leopards camouflage in forest really well because of the spots.