Leopards have lost about 75 percent of their worldwide habitat making it an endangered species in the need of protection, says a recent study published in the journal PeerJ.

On Wednesday, the study was published on behalf of the organizations that partnered to study the leopard’s worldwide habitat.  Authors of the study include National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative, Panthera and the Zoological Society of London.

Leopards have lost as much as 75 percent of its historic range, according to a publication in the scientific journal PeerJ. Photo credit: Alta Conservation

The main objective of the published study is to call the International Union for Conservation of Nature to raise awareness for the feline endangered status.

A vulnerable species

Commonly leopards are a species that are found on a wider range than other big cat species, the ‘Panthera Pardus’ or leopards are found from Africa to Eurasia and Pacific islands in habitats such as deserts and jungles.

Is one of the five big cats on the genus of Panthera, when compared to other big felines the leopard has a short pair of legs but a long body, very similar to the jaguar yet smaller. The animal is characterized by its rosettes or dots on the skin.

Yet the leopard’s remarkable adaptability has led researchers and wildlife conservatives to think the feline might not be threatened in its range. The published study find that there are are populations critically endangered and a range loss is bigger than expected.

The team compiled 6,000 records of the animal in 2,500 locations, the information was provided by 1,300 sources of the historic and current distribution of the feline.

The leopard’s fur allows them to be camouflaged on the wild and expand their hunting behavior to a broader diet.

Mapping the animal’s location from Africa to Asia helped the team delineate the areas where the leopard is confirmed to be present, then the distribution figured locations where it may be present, locations where is possibly extinct and where is almost certainly extinct.

The decline of the feline is more critical in North Africa losing almost 99 percent of its habitat, in West Africa is reported an 86 to 95 percent of loss and in East Asia and the Arabian Peninsula is a very rare animal.

According to the study the animal is better to present in India and in the sub-Saharan Africa, the animal has been endangered because of threats in their habitat finding that only 17 percent of their habitat is protected.

The results of the research call for a more approachable information the feline habitat status, to understand the species is currently endangered and could face extinction.

Source: Peer J