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Captive-Arabian-leopard-portrait.jpg

The Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr) is a leopard subspecies native to the Arabian Peninsula. It has been listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 1996 as fewer than 200 wild individuals were estimated to be alive in 2006. The population is severely fragmented. Subpopulations are isolated and not larger than 50 mature individuals. The population is thought to decline continuously. The Arabian leopard is one of the smallest leopard subspecies. It was tentatively affirmed as a distinct subspecies by genetic analysis from a single captive leopard from Israel of south Arabian origin, which appeared most closely related to the African leopard. The geographic range of Arabian leopards is poorly understood but generally considered to be limited to the Arabian Peninsula, including Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. They live in mountainous uplands and hilly steppes, but seldom move to open plains, desert or coastal lowlands.

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