What female and male leopards eat

This video is called Leopard Documentary – National Geographic Eye of the Leopard.

By Forschungsverbund Berlin in Germany:

Leopard meals: Females go for diversity

Female leopards have a much wider spectrum of prey species than males

May 8, 2018

Leopards, top predators of the African savannah, are known to feed on a variety of prey species. These include smaller and medium-sized mammals such as impala, gemsbok, kudus and warthogs but they can also target relatively small “appetizers” such as hares.

It has been largely unknown, however, whether they specialise in certain prey animals and which factors might influence prey preferences. Christian Voigt and his colleagues from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) in Berlin investigated these questions by studying the diet of leopards on commercial farmland in central Namibia.

Leopards avoid humans and it is difficult to observe them when they catch their prey. The team of scientists, therefore, chose an indirect method: they measured the composition of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in leopard whiskers. The tissue of prey animals consists of specific isotopes of an element which is characteristic for that prey species. Once leopards consumed their prey, the isotope composition of the prey is assimilated into the leopard‘s body, including their whiskers, according to the relative abundance in the overall diet. This allows conclusions about the main diet of each leopard and the variety of items it might have consumed.

While the leopards were sedated to facilitate GPS collaring and examination of their health, the researchers cut off one whisker from each of the 18 adult female and 18 male animals. Back in the laboratory the hair was then cut into 5 mm segments and analyzed on stable isotope ratios. As the whiskers of leopards grow at a rate of approximately 0.65 mm per day, each segment therefore corresponds to a period of approximately eight days. The 8 to 10 cm long whiskers allowed the scientists to look back on approximately 150 days of the “feeding history” of each animal.

Voigt, the lead author of the study, and his colleagues identified prey groups with similar isotopic composition based on the ratio of the rare and common stable isotopes of the elements carbon and nitrogen (?13C and ?15N). “The females used a significantly wider isotope food niche than males”, explains Voigt, head of the stable isotope laboratory at Leibniz-IZW. The scientists suggest that one of the reasons for this result lies in the size differences between the sexes: female leopards, at 34 kg on average, are substantially smaller and weigh less than their male counterparts at up to 58 kg. Females need less energy owing to their lower body weight, but are also restricted in their movements when rearing young cubs, which they do on their own. “The females cannot specialize on certain prey species because the abundance of these prey species would decrease over time and access to them would become more difficult in their restricted home range when rearing cubs. They therefore need to feed on a wider range of, by necessity then smaller, prey species”, says Jörg Melzheimer, ecologist at the Leibniz-IZW and initiator of the study. The males, on the contrary, have large home ranges, thus more options and specialize on a relatively small number of prey species.

In central Namibia leopards are currently spreading and increase in numbers on commercial farmland. At the same time the local population of cheetahs is apparently declining. “Whether there is a correlation between these two trends is currently unknown. However, it is known that lions, spotted hyenas and also leopards sometimes chase cheetahs away when encountered or even kill them”, explains Bettina Wachter, lead scientist of the cheetah research project of the Leibniz-IZW.

The current study is based on a previous study of the cheetah research project. “In cheetahs, we also documented a high specialization in certain prey groups, but no difference in the diet between the sexes”, Voigt explains. Unlike leopards, cheetah females are quite similar in body size to males.

The expansion of leopards in central Namibia might lead to new conflicts with local farmers. They are likely to persecute these charismatic big cats if they lose an increasing number of their livestock. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the diet of leopards and to develop solutions for potential conflicts in close cooperation with farmers.


Young leopard sees mirror image of itself

This video says about itself:

5 February 2018

Young Leopard sees reflection of itself against an Open Safari Vehicle – Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Was this Leopard confused and/or amused? You decide…

“Just came in from Malelane gate, about 3km when I saw the white face of the mother on top of rocks between the bushes. I stopped and waited to see what would happen. That’s when the cub approached the car.

You see me tapping the door. I was hoping that would stop her from going under the car (she did stop). Cub and mother left, crossing the road.” – video taker, Gerhardt Strydom

African young leopard bad at tree climbing

This video says about itself:

21 January 2018

Clumsy Leopard Cub Fails at Tree Climbing and walks away embarrassed ….

Leopard mom watches her cub trying to climb in a small tree (called the Magic Gwarri Tree/ Qwarri Bush) when the incident happened 🙂

One can clearly see the embarrassment of the cub as he walks away.

Greater Kruger National Park. “This particular video were filmed in Sabi Sands, while staying at Kirkmans Kamp” – Video Contributor, David Westerman

Leopards in Kenya, video

This video from Kenya says about itself:

Evasive leopards of the Maasai Mara

18 January 2018

Just a short highlight showing the most seen and famous leopards of the Mara, showing their beauty, speed and skill.

Leopard against wild dogs in South Africa

This video from South Africa says about itself:

Leopard Takes on 9 Wild Dogs

19 September 2017

A pack of wild dogs happily digging into their meal did not expect it to be short-lived as this leopard ordered himself an easy drive through meal…

Field Guide (Ranger) Patrick Mziyako was taking his guests for a ride when he captured this footage in Kruger [National Park], at Kwaggaspan Waterhole near Skukuza.

Young leopard steals food from its mother

This video says about itself:

Young Leopard Steals Kill From Mother – Africa – BBC Earth

4 August 2017

Young leopard must learn how to fend for itself in the Kalahari Desert.

The word Kalahari is derived from a word meaning great thirst. In this part of Africa, food is scarce and this young leopard must learn the skills needed to survive. Even if that means stealing a kill from its mother!

African impala escapes from leopard

This video says about itself:

Impala Miraculously Escapes Jaws Of Leopard – The Hunt – BBC Earth

23 June 2017

With a burst of speed of 65 km an hour, the leopard without doubt is a formidable predator. In this tense and compelling encounter, we stalk quietly alongside a leopard as it sizes up an unsuspecting impala, from the cover of a gully.