Brief SummaryRead full entry
BiologyLeopards in general have a broad diet and are able to adapt to fluctuations in availability of prey (4). Consequently, the diet of the Persian leopard varies throughout its range. In Iran, Armenia and Turkmenistan, bezoar goats, wild boar and mouflon (wild sheep) form the bulk of the leopard's diet (5) (7) (9). Leopards hunt by using vantage points, such as trees and rocky outcrops, to locate prey and then stealthily stalk their target until close enough to pounce (2) (4). They are commonly considered to be nocturnal, but few studies have specifically considered the habits of the Persian leopard. However, in similar regions where large predators such as lions and tigers are absent, leopards are reportedly less nocturnal. Furthermore, as top predator, Persian leopards need be less concerned about concealing prey than their African and central Asian counterparts (4). Leopards mark their well defined territories in a variety of ways such as ground scraping, urine spraying and tree scratching (10). Although normally solitary, males will sometimes remain with females for short periods following mating (2). The reproductive season is year round, but peaks during the winter, with one to four cubs being born following a gestation period of 90 to 105 days. The cubs reach independence and separate from their mother at 13 to 18 months, living for on average 10 to 15 years but potentially as long as 20 (5).