A remote camera reveals a leopard in South Africa's Timbavati Game Reserve.
Leopards Have Lost Three-Fourths of Their Territory
The most comprehensive study to date sounds a warning about the survival of the iconic big cat.
But that doesn't mean they haven't suffered at the hand of man.
The most comprehensive worldwide study of leopards (Panthera pardus) to date shows that the cats now occupy just 25 to 37 percent of their historic range, a team of scientists report in the journal PeerJ Wednesday. And while leopards are doing relatively well in parts of Africa and India, some of the nine subspecies in other areas have experienced precipitous decline of more than 90 percent.
The overall decline is worse than the average for large land carnivores. Further, only about 17 percent of existing leopard range is legally protected, with lower percentages for the most at-risk subspecies. (Learn more about learning to live with leopards from