Tami Nadu - Wildlife of Tamil Nadu - Leopard of Tamil Nadu

Leopard of Tamil Nadu

The Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) is a leopard subspecies native to the Indian subcontinent, primarily India. It is one of the three major big cats found in India, other being the Asiatic lion and the Bengal tiger.

Habitat and Range

The Indian leopard is one of the most successful members of the big cats found in India. The animal is distributed throughout the subcontinent, including in the border nations of Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and southern China. Habitat varies from dry deciduous forests, desert ecosystems, tropical rainforests, northern coniferous forests, to near human habitation.

 

Leopard-of-Tamil-Nadu

 

Scientific classification

Kingdom:

Animalia

Phylum:

Chordata

Class:

Mammalia

Order:

Carnivora

Family:

Felidae

Genus:

Panthera

Species:

P. pardus

Subspecies:

P. p. fusca

 

Threats

Despite being the most widespread cat, the Indian leopard faces several types of threat. The animal shares its habitat with other animals, which include Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, bears, wolves, asian elephants, hyenas, and wild dogs. These animals may kill leopard cubs if given a chance. In addition, lions and tigers may even attack a full-grown leopard.

Apart from its natural enemies, the leopard's main threat is people. For years, it has been threatened, due to loss of habitat and poaching. In some parts of India, the animal thrives alongside human populations. There, it may find domestic livestock to make for easy prey, resulting in a man-leopard conflict.

These conflicts have increased in recent years due to population growth among humans and, in some areas, leopards. To avoid such problems, India's Forest Department regularly sets up traps in potential conflict areas. After capturing the animal, they release it in an appropriate habitat, away from human development.

 

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