Scientists Try to Save African Leopards from Extinction
The African leopard, the king of the jungle and symbol of power in many societies, is undergoing a serious threat at present. With a drastic decline in its population in recent years, conservationists are desperately working to save them from extinction.
Background on African Leopards
African leopards (Panthera pardus) are found throughout sub-saharan Africa and parts of northern Africa as well. They inhabit forests, deserts and grasslands but prefer areas with dense vegetation like rainforests or thick bushvelds for their home range. Predators such as lions often prey on adult leopards though cubs can sometimes be killed by hyenas instead. In some cases males and females may even share territory although this is somewhat rarer than territorial competition between different males or females respectively.
Threat Level and Population Decline
Currently the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists all eight subspecies of African leopard as ‘vulnerable’ due to an estimated 30% reduction in their populations since the early 1990’s according to IUCN’s regional assessments. This has mainly been attributed to human activities such as poaching for pelts or trophy hunting; habitat loss due to urban development; declining wild prey availability; disease transmission from domestic livestock; persecution linked to predation on livestock vulnerable communities nearby protected areas among other factors.
Conservation Efforts underway
In order to reduce this alarming trend several organizations are placing research teams into various regions across Africa in an effort coordinate conservation interventions which help both local people living near these protected sites whilst benefitting wildlife species under threat including leopard populations most significantly . These interventions include establishing community-based wildlife management initiatives where locals are employed by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or private sector firms partnered with governments like Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Authority for instance through tourism businesses that help train local guides promote eco-tourism offer employment opportunities via lodges/hotel facilities etc that can benefit local livelihoods too . Additionally new anti poaching laws have also been amended with increased penalties – up two life imprisonment being applied against poachers caught within certain countries like South Africa Namibia Botswana Zimbabwe etc so seriousness taken towards preserving these big cats should hopefully decrease illegal hunting substantially over time as deterrent effect kicks in particularly around reserve/protected areas where large numbers reside !
Research Initiatives Leading The Way Forward
There have been several scientific studies conducted recently pertaining specifically African Leopard ecology behavior genetics environmental impacts climate change effects etc providing more comprehensive insights into these animals thus allowing more effective conservation strategies be put forward address their plight today than ever before! For example researchers at University College London who published paper 2017 explored how changes climatic conditions could potentially affect types habitats utilized or maybe even determine success mating season depending fluctuations temperature humidity rainfall availability sources food water etc which then allow us construct better models predicting behaviors detect declines earlier mitigate any risks posed our beloved Big Cats before it becomes too late save them future generations enjoy again!
In conclusion saving world’s remaining endangered species including iconic animal like African Leopard requires heightened awareness global action not only amongst ecologists biologists activists but ordinary citizens everywhere who will ultimately make difference if information about issues spread far enough inspire them take tangible steps preserve environment improve overall picture health planet Earth efforts seem bearing fruit already leading way here NGO WildCRU out Oxford University producing reports evaluating successes failures when comes protecting specific locations significant drops attributable actions taken place show invaluable importance doing something now rather waiting until critical point no return reached beyond reach humanity restore balance nature protect last true kings jungles eternity!