Barbary leopard

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Barbary leopard
The last barbary leopard.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. pardus
Subspecies: P. p. panthera
Trinomial name
Panthera pardus panthera
(Schreber, 1777)

The Barbary leopard or North African leopard has been described originally as a separate subspecies (Panthera pardus panthera) of the leopard. It is native to the Atlas Mountains of North Africa. However, according to recent genetic data, the subspecies status is probably not valid, because there are no significant genetic differences to other African leopards, which are supposed to represent one single subspecies, the African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus).[1]

The leopard is very rare in northern Africa. Only small populations persist in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Algeria and a few may remain in Egypt.[2]

This subspecies has a very thick coat of fur, as compared to other leopards, that suits its cold mountain habitat. It preys on Barbary macaques, gazelles and some small animals.[3]


Mosaic of a chariot pulled by two Barbary leopards, Cherchell Museum, Algeria
  1. ^ Uphyrkina, O.; Johnson, E.W. et al. (November 2001). "Phylogenetics, genome diversity and origin of modern leopard, Panthera pardus". Molecular Ecology 10 (11): 2617–2633. doi:10.1046/j.0962-1083.2001.01350.x. PMID 11883877. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  2. ^ Kristin Nowell,Peter Jackson,IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group: Wild cats: status survey and conservation action plan. Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature et de ses Ressources,Switzerland (Juni 1993). ISBN 2-8317-0045-0
  3. ^ Breitenmoser, U., Breitenmoser-Wursten, C., Henschel, P. & Hunter, L. 2008. Panthera pardus. In: IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1.

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