What is a leopard's niche?


Quick Answer

The leopard's niche is that of an alpha predator, a carnivore that, in its adult state, has no natural enemies and no serious competitors outside other members of its own species. Leopards are large and strong enough to hunt dangerous game and to command extensive territories, competing only with other leopards over where they hunt and how far their territory extends.

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Full Answer

Leopards are ambush hunters which conceal themselves from their prey until an opportune moment presents itself. They then strike from concealment, aiming to kill their prey as quickly as possible. This efficient strategy allows them to conserve their energy for use in territorial disputes, attracting mates and protecting their cubs.

The only animals that pose a danger to leopards are other alpha predators. Typically, groups of alpha predators avoid one another, but in lean times, they may be forced to hunt the same prey. In these times, leopards are in danger from tigers, lions, crocodiles and other carnivores, like wild dogs.

The single largest danger to leopards is clashes with human populations. Humans frequently kill leopards out of fear or a belief that leopards will kill their livestock, sometimes leading to concerted efforts to destroy a local leopard population. Loss of habitat to logging and other human endeavors is also a danger leopards face.

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