Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 11252088
FPALY continues to work towards ensuring a sustainably managed wild population of Arabian Leopards living in harmony with local communities in Yemen. Our mission is based on the critically endangered status of Arabian Leopards, the weight of the threats against them (particularly in Yemen), and the fact that as apex predators they can only exist in a pristine environment. Conserving leopards has a “knock-on” benefit for their prey, the vegetation base that sustains it, right on down to the soil, water, and micro-organisms that keep the whole system from collapsing. Our objectives are to ensure an expanding population of wild Arabian Leopards in Yemen by 1) Increasing public awareness, understanding, sympathy, commitment, and involvement in the conservation of Arabian Leopards, 2) Improving the breeding success of the captive Arabian Leopards at Sana’a Zoo, 3) Lobbying for the establishment of protected areas for wild Arabian Leopards and their prey, 4) Conducting an accurate census of Arabian Leopards in Yemen, 5) Cooperating with organizations in other countries that are concerned with the conservation of Arabian Leopards for the benefit of the subspecies regionally. FPALY was officially registered with the Yemen Ministry for Social Affairs and Labour on November 18, 2009. FPALY covers all territory within the borders of mainland Yemen. Although the focus of FPALY is the Arabian Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr) we recognize that this flagship species can only exist in intact ecosystems. The fact that preserving Arabian Leopards in situ necessitates preserving the entire ecosystem is one of the main rationales of the program. Arabian Leopards inhabit mountain wadi systems with permanent surface water. There must be adequate vegetation to sustain the leopards’ herbivorous prey, suitable den sites, and freedom from harassment. The current Yemen population of Arabian Leopards is unknown; however, with support from the Mohamed Bin Species Fund (Project No. 367) we have documented a potential breeding population of Arabian leopards (one female photographed on January 11, 2011, and a male photographed on February 24 and May 17, 2011). Hawf Protected Area on the Oman border is key to the preservation of Arabian Leopards for several reasons: 1) It is adjacent to the largest documented population of wild Arabian Leopards in the world at Jebels Qammar, Qara, and Samhan, 2) the habitat is ideal for the subspecies, and 3) it definitely harbours a small leopard population with geographic, and therefore potential genetic, connectivity to the Omani leopard population. While we work in other governorates including Ibb, Amran, and Mahwit, it is our intention with the current grant application to extend the work at Hawf from the Yemen/Oman border to Wadi Masilah, Hadhramawt. This work will benefit other imperilled mammals including Arabian Wolf, Arabian Caracal, Striped Hyena, Honey Badger, and Gordon’s Wildcat. It is probable that the project will result in further unanticipated benefits, as has the Hawf Leopard Survey. We are likely to accumulate data about previously unknown populations of wildlife within the study area.
Project 11252088 location - Yemen, Asia