The leopard is still illegally hunted for its beautiful skin, although its wide range and adaptability has kept the world number of leopards over an estimated 100,000, but their numbers are going down.With the North African and Sri Lankan leopards especially endangered. The population decline can be attributed to their attacks upon domestic livestock and also to the value placed on their skins. Moreover, in Africa, the leopard is one of the "Big Five" most-sought- after prey of the Western sport hunter, the other four being the lion, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros.
The leopard is found throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara and across Asia Minor and the Middle East, India, Pakistan, China, Siberia, Java and Sri Lanka. There are over 20 subspecies of leopards, found in both Asia and Africa. Leopards are the widest- ranging big cat, and one of the most adaptable. They can live in a large variety of habitats, from deserts to jungles, and even near large human cities. Eight subspecies are endangered, 4 critically.
P.p.japonensis islisted as Endangered, one step below Critically Endangered. Approximately 2500 remain in the wild in highly fragmented ranges. Only about 100 exist in captivity.
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