The Indochinese Leopard is rapidly approaching extinction in Cambodia, where only 35 of the endangered wild cats have been found over the span of a decade, and not a single one has been spotted since 2021.
Panthera, a wild cat conservation organisation
Panthera, a wild cat conservation organisation, reports that numbers of leopards spotted have been steadily declining, leading scientists to ascertain that the species can no longer reproduce for the next generation. This leopard which in the past inhabited many countries of Southeast Asia, is now confined to only a few territories since humans have taken hold.
In Cambodia, hunting of the leopard is prevalent because of their thick coat and wild meat that is considered a delicacy among the country’s elite. Deforestation also affects the habitat of the Indochinese leopard, with Cambodia losing 557,000 hectares of forest from 2001 to 2018.
In other parts of the world, such as the Thailand-Myanmar border, numbers of the leopard subspecies are dwindling as well, falling down to below 900 in the wild. Susana Rostro-Garcia, Panthera conservation scientist, says:
“Without the global community’s injection of expeditious resources to prevent the Indochinese leopard from disappearing in the last two remaining strongholds, we will lose this unique subspecies from the planet forever.”
Gareth Mann, director of the leopard program at Panthers, says:
“Just as Indochina now servers as ground zero for tiger poaching and conservation, it is also where the global and conservation community must fully invest our efforts to save the leopard, hand in hand with the governments of Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar.”