BEACON TRANSCRIPT – With more than 75 percent of the leopard historic population being lost, we might want to ask ourselves: are we losing leopards as well?. These fascinating big cats that we all love are experiencing a dramatic decrease in their number.
A study conducted over a period of three years has confirmed that the suspicions of the scientists were true. Since 1750, about 75 percent of the leopard population has been lost. Besides this, the area in which we can find these big cats has also shrunk. From over 30 million square kilometers, the area has been reduced to about 8 million square kilometers. Asia has completely lost its leopard population in many of its regions. Scientists also confirm that parts of Africa, such as West and North, are seeing a dramatic loss as well.
The study has been published in PeerJ, a scientific journal. It is of great importance because it is believed to be the first study on this matter.
Even though leopards can survive amongst people, it is mandatory that they have enough pray and acceptance from the people. However, in many regions, their natural herbivore habitat is replaced by livestock. Human development also plays a crucial part. Villages and farms are being built in their area of roaming. And if we are to add this to the illegal hunting, it is clear why the loss is constantly increasing.
Critically endangered subspecies, such as the Javan leopard, have the risk of going extinct in the upcoming five years. The Sri Lankan leopard is currently listed as endangered. Conservation strategies are necessary to keep it from going on the critical list.
The total number of leopards worldwide is unknown. Biologists do point out that leopards still outnumber the populations of tigers and lions. This is why conservationists have given little attention to the leopards. Questions were recently raised: are we losing leopards as well?. It was known that the population of leopards was abundant. It is now that the truth came out.
However, there is hope in other parts of the world. Such is the case of the Caucasus and Northern China, where the population has seen a stabilization. And it is all thanks to the conservation efforts made by the authorities. Wildlife biologists are now faced with the difficult task of stabilizing the existing population.
IMAGE SOURCE: Wikipedia