Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Saudi Arabia: Conservation of the Arabian leopard

"Distribution and conservation of the Arabian Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr) in Saudi Arabia"

This paper authored by Al-Johany and published in Journal of Arid Environments 68 (1), January 2007 is available online.

Abstract: Field surveys of populations and potential habitats of leopards in Saudi Arabia were conducted to assess the current distribution and status of the species. Related topics such as habitat characteristics of the current distribution, prey of the species, the human impact and conservation of the species were also investigated. Survey results from 153 sites showed that leopards had disappeared from their former range in the Median Mountains in northern Saudi Arabia. The species still survives in reasonable numbers in Hijaz and Sarawat Mountains. In spite of their rugged and arid locations, many sites were found to have shrubs, trees and waterholes. These sites provide habitat for the leopard's prey, such as hyrax, ibex and others. Results of this investigation reveal that there is a need for public awareness, involvement of local inhabitants, and establishment of protected areas to ensure the survival of the Arabian leopard.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2006.04.002

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