Sunday, 9 July 2017

Arabian Leopards -- Flagship Species of the Persian Gulf

Introduction :

Arabian Leopards were once found in plenty from Saudi Arabia to Oman and from Oman to Israel.

Today, They are restricted to "Protected Areas" in Southern Oman.

In Southern Oman, They can be found in Fair Numbers in "Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve" -- A Rugged Mountain Range comprising of plateaus and rocky paths where temperatures in Summer hover around 46 Degrees Celsius.

The "Arabian Leopard" is one of the Big Cat Predators that is extremely "Rare and Elusive".

The Arabian Leopard is considered to be a Beautiful and Magnificent Animal -- All in One.

It is 4 Feet 4 Inches Tall and considered to be one of the smallest leopards still living on Planet Earth.

Male Arabian Leopards are usually around 25-35 Kilos in Weight, While Female Arabian Leopards are around 20 Kilos in Weight.

The Habitat that Arabian Leopards prefer is Arid- Mountainous Areas with Oasis that have Permanent Drinking Water.

Prey of Arabian Leopards :

Arabian Leopards are the "Apex Predators" in the Arabian Desert Region. They prey exclusively on Desert Dwelling Gazelles as well as on Ibex that are found near Oasis in the form of "Mini- Herds".

What is most beautiful about Arabian Leopards are its black rosettes on its creamy yellow coloured skin. Isn't that Outstanding !!

Between 1997 - 2000 Camera Trap Images revealed that there were 15 Leopards at Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve as a Breeding Population.

They consisted of 9 Female Arabian Leopards, Five Male Arabian Leopards, and most interestingly a Cub.

Threats to Arabian Leopards :

The Biggest Threat to Arabian Leopards are "Habitat Degradation" and Poaching for their Skins by the local population. Often They are killed by local herdsmen when their livestock are killed and eaten by Arabian Leopards.

Conclusion :

Arabian Leopards need to win over the Hearts and Minds of the Local Population not only in Oman but elsewhere where they are found. They Should not be seen as Pests but rather as a vital part of the ecology of that region.

Credits :

The Last Lair of the Leopard
By Anna McKibbin

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