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Persian leopard

The Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), also known as the Caucasian leopard, is a subspecies of leopard that originated in some areas of Asia. It is in danger of extinction.

Scientific name:

Panthera pardus saxicolor


Panthera pardus saxicolor








Small mammals, birds, deer, antelopes, and wild boars


Between 90 and 105 days

Number of puppies

Between 2 and 4


Between 10 and 15 years


Males weigh up to 132 pounds and females up to 110 pounds


60 y 75 cm

Characteristics of the Persian leopard

Believed to be the biggest leopard of all the leopard subspecies in the world, the mean length of this feline’s body is 62 inches, its tail is usually 37 inches, and its head is 7.5 inches. Males are bigger, reaching up to 132 pounds, whereas females tend to be around 110 pounds. They are different from other felines because they have short legs and are stockier.

Like all leopards, they have spots over their entire body. They have rosettes, or spots with a brown area in the center, in the lower area of their body and black spots on the upper area. The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) also shares this trait with the Panthera pardus saxicolor, although they are different in almost every other way.

Habitat of the Persian leopard

The Persian leopard lives in different areas of Asia, including parts of Iran, Turkey, the Caucus Mountains, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In these regions, this feline is accustomed to living on mountain steppes and pastures as well as any other place that has enough cover for them to stalk and hunt their prey.

What does this feline eat?

In general, its diet is wide and varied, as it adapts to its surroundings very easily. It tends to eat small mammals, birds, deer, antelopes, wild boars, etc.  

Reproducción del leopardo persa

Las hembras de leopardo persa alcanzan la madurez sexual en torno a los dos años y medio, y tienen entre dos y cuatro crías. Este felino vive entre 10 y 15 años, aunque se han registrado ejemplares que han alcanzado los 20.

Threats to the Persian leopard

One of the main threats to this mammal is illegal poaching. This directly affects both the Persian leopard as well as the prey it eats, directly and indirectly causing it great harm. Other threats include mass deforestation, wildfires, and the development of infrastructure in its habitat.

In fact, although it is difficult to establish a number, it is estimated that there are about 1,300 Panthera pardus saxicolor left in the entire world. For this reason, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classified the state of conservation of this subspecies in the endangered category*.

*These data correspond to the 2008 report. Currently, the IUCN does not offer an evaluation on this subspecies’ status.

Degree of threat


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Mountain steppes, pastures, mountainous areas, and rocky areas.