Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

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Middle East
ARKive species - Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr) * To See the original image, please click the image
Shared by : Arushi Madan, Mohit Talreja and Simran Vedvyas (UAE)
Region : Arabian Peninsula
Status : Critically Endangered
Introduction
The Arabian Leopard (scientific name: Panthera pardus nimr) is the smallest leopard subspecies overall with a head and body length of aproximately 1.3 meters and lives in the deserts of the Middle East. The Arabian Leopard is endangered because of it's yellow fine fur with distinct black spots which is desired by humans to produce cloths. Other facts are that the habitat of the Arabian leopard decreases aswell as the prey.
In 2006 less than 200 animals existed. The Arabian Leopard is listed in the IUCN Red Data List as “CR C2a(I)” (“Critically Endangered with extinction in the wild”) and in Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
History
A spate of killings by hunters in the early 1990s triggered a conservation effort, spearheaded by the Arabian Leopard Trust, which aims at preserving the mountain habitat with all its wildlife. These leopards once ranged all across the Arabian Peninsula. Now, according to the IUCN Red List, there are 250 or fewer known Arabian leopards in the wild, and they are heading towards outright extinction. Since the beginning of the 19th century, the leopards’ range has decreased by around 90 per cent in Saudi Arabia, according to US-based iNaturalist.org. Their population has been in dramatic decline in the Middle East ever since.
The Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr) is the largest and most powerfully built of all Arabian cats, there has not been a reliable sighting of an Arabian leopard in the UAE in recent years and the last to been seen in Abu Dhabi was on Jabal Hafeet in 1976.
Due to the lack of wild animals available for food and development leading to Habitat Loss, it is no longer thought possible that the Arabian leopard could survive in the wild in Abu Dhabi. Now confined to the remote mountains of Yemen, Oman and possibly Saudi Arabia, there are thought to be less than 200 or perhaps as few as 100 Arabian leopards left in the wild. They are extremely close to becoming extinct in the wild in the near future.
Though there is a successful captive breeding programme in a breeding Centre in Sharjah, the future of the Arabian leopard will only be in zoos and private collections.
Threat
The main threats to the Arabian leopard are: 1. The deliberate killing by people in retaliation or to prevent leopards from killing livestock. 2. Leopards are also affected by Wildlife Trade. 3. They are caught live and sold at a high price as pets or for private collections. 4. Habitat loss and fragmentation. 5. A reduction in available food due to unsustainable hunting by people and a lack of effective legal protection are also threats. Traditional prey of the Arabian leopard includes species such as the Arabian tahr (Hemitragus jayakari), mountain gazelle (Gazella gazella), Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana), Cape hare (Lepus capensis cheesmani) and rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), but in some areas these species have declined so dramatically due to hunting and overgrazing that the leopards have been forced to occasionally prey upon domestic stock, bringing them into direct conflict with man.

Sources :
https://endangeredspeciesbiomesprojects.wikispaces.com/Arabian+Leopard
http://gulfnews.com/your-say/your-reports/how-you-can-help-save-the-uae-s-endangered-species-1.1430372
http://www.thenational.ae/uae/sharjah-breeding-centre-brings-arabian-leopard-back-from-the-brink
http://www.uaeinteract.com/nature/mammal/mam11.asp
http://www.alainzoo.ae/home/conservation/arabian-endangered-species-month/arabian-leopard.aspx

1 Comments

  • anathemalina says :
    Thanks for the information guys.The leopard(Panthera pardus fusca) specie found in Nepal is also under threat due to some similar reasons as mentioned above.And in Nepal differen cases where they have enetred the supermarket and human settlements have been common keeping them t high risk.
    Posted 24-07-2016 10:13

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