Leopard Projects
March 13, 2018

Leopard Identification Techniques in Wildlife Monitoring

Like in humans and other animals (such as zebras and elephants), leopards have distinct features that tell them apart from one another and aid in leopard identification. Rosette patterns to leopards are like fingerprints to humans. This important identification characteristic allows the Leopard Survey team to identify unique individuals and generate leopard identification kits that are used by Panthera to calculate population density estimates for the wildlife reserves.

Leopard Identification

There is no set rule on how to identify a leopard, but researchers must rather trust their eye in a scientific game of spot-the-difference. Rosettes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and formations and learning how to identify and isolate these patterns for comparison against other coats, is a leopard identification skill that takes some practice!Have a look at some of these big cats and their beautiful coats and rosette patterns.[caption id="attachment_16392" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]

Leopard Identification

This secretive cat is the master of ‘stalk and ambush’ and will creep up to its prey before emitting an explosive charge - pouncing on its prey and slaying it with a bite to the neck. Leopards eat approximately one third of the carcass therefore utilizing most of the animal and leaving very little for scavengers.[/caption]

Leopard Identification

Wildlife ACT, Panthera and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife provide volunteers with the unique opportunity to capture leopards and many other animal species on camera in reserves across northern KwaZulu-Natal. The leopard is a graceful animal with an elongated muscular body and relatively short legs. Males and females differ only in weight with male leopards reaching 90kg and females weighing up to 60kg.Find out more about how you can volunteer with leopards and take part in this unique project in South Africa. This leopard is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

All Photos Property of PantheraText by Leopard Survey Monitor Kaylee van Heerden