The leopard population is broadly estimated to be at 250,000 animals world-wide. The population isn't segregated into color and type but into the overall leopard species.
Black leopards, also called black panthers, are the same species, Panthera pardus, as leopards with normal coloring. Black leopards exhibit a melanistic hereditary trait that is a result of both parents carrying the melanistic gene. The gene can be dominant or recessive, and frequently black leopard cubs are born into a litter of light-colored cubs.
Panthers are native to Africa, Asia, Central and South America. They are a predator species that prey on large and small animals. Panthers are nocturnal, solitary hunters.
Though leopards are able to adapt readily to different environments, their habitats are shrinking, and the leopard population is dwindling because of it. Human beings have been named as the biggest threat to the leopard population. Their conservation status is listed as threatened.