Indian Leopard - Characteristics and Diet

Indian leopard: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. In the group of felines, there are leopards (Panthera pardus),...

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In the feline group, there are leopards (Panthera pardus), agile predators native to Africa and Asia. They are distinguished by the patterns of their bodies and their magnificent coat, formed of black rosettes. Eight subspecies have been identified, a classification that has evolved over time. One of the subspecies is the Indian leopard (P. p. fusca), typical of the eponymous subcontinent.

Do you want to know all the characteristics of the Indian leopard? Well, continue reading this PlanetAnimal sheet and find out all there is to know about it!

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Origin

  • Asia
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan

Characteristics of the Indian Leopard

The Indian leopard has several characteristics that differentiate it from other types of leopards, such as its size or its rosettes. Let's see their characteristics:

  • The size of the Indian leopard: males are larger and heavier than females. They generally measure between 2 and 2.3 meters in length for an oscillating weight of 50 to 80 kg. As for females, they usually do not exceed 1.2 meters in length and reach a weight of just over 30 kg.
  • His paws are strong.
  • Its tail is long, in fact, it can measure up to almost a meter.
  • His ears are short and rounded.
  • His eyes are small and yellow in color.
  • Its muzzle is broad, with a powerful jaw.
  • The pattern of the coat is unique to each individual and is made up of large black rosettes, which decrease towards the belly of the animal.
  • When young, they appear darker because the rosettes are denser and closer together.
  • The coat color can vary depending on the habitat, ranging from light yellow in more arid areas, to golden in jungle areas or more greyish in colder environments.

Where does the Indian leopard live?

The Indian leopard inhabits regions such as India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Himalayan forests, Bangladesh and Tibet, although in some cases its presence may be associated with incursions individuals rather than local populations, as in the case of Bangladesh.

Its habitat is based on very dense wooded areas, which can correspond to tropical rainforests, dense forests, even cold coniferous forests and arid areas. It is a species that is thus able to diversify and live in many different environments. It is present in some reserves and national parks of the subcontinent, as well as near some suburban areas.

Habits of the Indian Leopard

The Indian leopard is a mainly nocturnal and solitary animal, endowed with great agility in climbing, running up to nearly 60 km/h, making great leaps of about 3 meters high and up to about 6 meters long.

Males tend to have larger expansion areas than females, which can even be twice as large. The latter also tend to reduce their expansion even more when they are with their young.Normally the leopard is dislodged by the tiger from certain areas where they overlap causing the leopard to move to other places.

On the other hand, although he doesn't really like going in the water, he is a good swimmer, who defends himself very well in the water. During the day, it often climbs trees, where it spends most of its time resting.

Indian Leopard Feeding

The Indian leopard, like the rest of the felines, is a carnivore, which makes it a top predator in the ecosystems it inhabits. Its diet is very varied and depends on the prey found there. It can hunt large prey because it has very strong legs. It is common that once the animal is captured, he takes it to a tree to eat it quietly.

Among the different species that this Indian leopard feeds on, we can mention:

  • Deer
  • Antelopes
  • Boar
  • Monkeys
  • Hares
  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Pets

Don't miss this other article in which we explain what leopards eat.

Reproduction of the Indian leopard

These leopards can breed throughout the year, although depending on the region, they may have breeding peaks. Females have heat cycles that last about 7 days and are repeated about every 46 days. Gestation lasts an average of 97 days, then the female seeks a den in caves or logs for whelping, from which 2-4 young are born, which are blind for the first 7-9 days or so.

At the age of three months, the cubs follow the mother and begin to learn hunting techniques; at one year they can fend for themselves, but as is usually the case with leopards, they stay with the mother until they are 18-24 months old.

State of conservation of the Indian leopard

The leopard as a species is considered vulnerable and some subspecies are placed in special categories by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, the Indian leopard maintains the same general classification, which indicates that it is subject to certain pressures.

Among the threats facing the Indian leopard, hunting and trade are the main reasons affecting the population. On the other hand, in areas where human populations live, there are conflicts with these felines, which unfortunately end up being exterminated. Likewise, many of the natural prey items that are part of the leopard's diet have drastically decreased, which eventually affects this animal as well.

The main population estimate made a few years ago estimated that there are less than 10,000 mature individuals in the wild.

Listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), banning hunting and safeguarding protected areas are a few -one of the main actions that aim to promote the conservation of the Indian leopard.

Indian leopard pictures

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