MAY 15, 2016 10:06 AM PDT

Leopards Estimated to Have Lost Up to 75% of Their Historic Roaming Space

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

As humans continue to go about their lives, building themselves up as a civilization and increasing the coverage of our footprint on the planet, we leave less room for the wild animals that try to inhabit it.
 
Leopards are among one of the animals that are losing out. A study, published in PeerJ, finds that Leopards have lost up to 75% of their historic range that they’ve been known to occupy in the past.

Leopards are losing their habitation space quickly to humans.

The study was conducted by more than one research group, including the National Geographic Society's Big Cats Initiative, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
 
It’s estimated that the historic range regions for the big cat spanning Africa, Asia, and the middle East spanned a fair 35 million square kilometers, but because of modern agriculture and human intervention, that range is now shrunken down to a measly 8.5 million square kilometers.
 
It took the three groups to realize this because the leopard is already a rather difficult to track creature, and the fact that it’s so difficult to track means that it’s hard to figure out where their roaming spots really are. This collaborative effort would shed some more light.
 
“This study represents the first of its kind to assess the status of the leopard across the globe and all nine subspecies,” Lead author Andrew Jacobson, of the ZSL said in a statement.
 
Leopard habitation is reportedly rapidly declining in the region, especially that of the Asian leopard, which is said to have lost up to 98% of its habitats. The idea that these animals are actually doing well on their own in the wild is proving to be a fallacy and not actually a fact.
 
Fortunately for leopards, they are highly adaptive, and can provide for themselves even when humans are present and dominating their habitats. They have very versatile diets and are capable of surviving so long as they have the resources to hide from their prey and ambush it.
 
Unfortunately, all the deforestation and agriculture that is going on overseas is taking away a lot of that cover and leaving these animals out in the open where they’re unable to hunt and provide for themselves.
 
As this is the first study of its kind, more are likely to take place to test its accuracy and to continue to track leopard numbers in the region so that they don’t fall too low.

Source: Phys.org, PeerJ

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 06, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
DEC 06, 2019
Invasive Mussels are Taking Over Australia's Coastlines
Any type of organism that is not native to a location but ends up there anyway is considered an invasive species....
DEC 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 22, 2019
Ever Wonder What Happens Inside a Clam's Shell?
Most people think of clams as a gooey blob inside of a two-piece shell, but there’s actually a lot more going on inside that shell that you might com...
JAN 06, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
JAN 06, 2020
Psychedelics Linked to Stronger Connection to Nature
Taking psychedelic drugs, sometimes referred to as “tripping,” was recently shown to increase individuals’ “nature relatedness&rdqu...
JAN 13, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 13, 2020
An Albatross Mother's Work is Never Done
Albatross chicks are naturally flightless, and this increases their dependence on their parental units to bring back food for them to eat. In this chick&rs...
JAN 28, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 28, 2020
Humans Causing "Blue Acceleration" on Ocean Resources
Humans have depended on ocean resources for centuries. However, a recent analysis of the state of the ocean showed a sharp acceleration in human pressures...
FEB 22, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
FEB 22, 2020
Evidence of Resistance to White-Nose Syndrome Appears in Some Bats
A small new study suggests that some bats might be able to resist a devastating fungal disease called white nose syndrome that has destroyed many bat populations....
Loading Comments...