The contribution of recognized science to the understanding of the ecology of Panthera Pardus across its entire range is currently incomplete. There has historically been a focus of research in controlled areas due to the low anthropologic impact. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that protected areas are impacted by the effects of their surrounding land use methods.
Movement of large carnivores has been repetitively proven to ignore park boundaries, therefore the importance of managing large carnivore populations outside of protected park parameters is not only important for genetic integrity, but also for dynamic species distribution.
Hunters, the active custodians of wildlife and the wilderness they inhabit, directly contribute to the annual conservation of privately managed wilderness systems where Hunting Safaris are the prime income generator of funds redirected to anti-poaching, scientific study, and calculated game management. These contributions persist as prime artillery for preserving the natural environment and her wild inhabitants, globally defined as sustainable utilization.
Supportive scientific data is crucial for the endurance of the sustainable utilization model and modernizing technology increasingly supports the gathering, interpretation, and processing of this fundamental data by Biologists, Citizen scientists, Policy makers and Conservation bodies. The results permit landowners, concessionaires, and local communities to independently conserve their surrounding wildlife systems most effectively.
Known as a flagship large predator, the African Leopard – PANTHERA PARDUS – has become one of the most observed solitary big cats, consequently its ecology and resulting conservation are well defined. The Leopard also comprehensibly enjoys the widest range of Africa’s big cats and qualified sustainable hunting prospects are available across most of the Southern African range.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals from the threats of international trade. This body classes the trade of African leopard under their Appendix I banner.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources whom maintain a public accessible Red List which is an inventory of the global conservation status and extinction risk of biological species. The African leopard is positioned at Vulnerable on a scale ranging, Least Concern to Extinct.
LC — NT — VU — EN — CR — EW — EX
Modern best harvest practice is defined by selection criteria for least impact on residual population dynamics. Mature male Leopard aged at 6 years or older represent a sustainably utilizable portion of the general leopard population. Removal of individuals of this class is scientifically proven to have minimal to zero impact on population stability and genetic diversity.
Therefore, striving for balance between habitat protection, fauna conservation and harvest selection results in a total management package piloted by hunters for current and future conservation of the African leopard.