Panthera pardus ssp. melas


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Panthera pardus ssp. melas
Species Authority: G. Cuvier, 1809
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Javan Leopard
Taxonomic Notes: Panthera pardus melas was recognized on the basis of molecular markers by Miththapala et al. (1996) and Uphyrkina et al. (2001). The Javan Leopard was highly distinctive from mainland Asian forms which may indicate that it has been separate for hundreds of thousands of years. Meijaard (2004) hypothesized that leopards migrated from South Asia to Java during the Middle Pleistocene along a land bridge that bypassed Sumatra and Borneo.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Ario, A., Sunarto, S. & Sanderson, J.
Reviewer(s): Nowell, K., Breitenmoser-Wursten, C., Breitenmoser, U. (Cat Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Leopard density in Java's Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park was estimated at one individual per 6 km² (Ario 2006) and in Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park at one individual per 6.5 km² (Ario 2007). In Halimun-Salak National Park a similar density was obtained in an earlier study of one individual per 6.7 km² (Harahap and Sakaguchi 2003). The leopard is known to occur in other national parks including Ujung Kulon NP, Gunung Gede Pangrango NP, Gunung Halimun-Salak NP, Ceremai NP, Merbabu NP, Merapi NP, Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, Meru Betiri NP, Baluran NP, and Alas Purwo NP. Altogether, total remaining habitat is estimated at just 2,267.9 – 3,277.3 km², and applying these densities a population range of 363-525 is obtained (A. Ario pers. comm. 2007).

In terms of conserving genetic diversity, population biologists prefer to work with a number that approximates the actual breeding population, the number of animals which raise offspring to reproductive adulthood. This is the concept of effective population size, the size of an ideal population (in which every animal reproduces itself) which maintains the same genetic diversity as the real population, and is equivalent to the number of breeding animals per generation. Based on several felid studies, 50% of the actual population is used to estimate the effective population size (Nowell et al. 2007). Therefore the number of mature breeding Javan leopards is likely fewer than 250, with no subpopulation having an effective population size larger than 50.

Santiapillai and Ramono (1992) estimated the Javan leopard population at 350-700, based on extrapolation of density estimates. The population is believed to be declining due to habitat loss, poaching, and prey base depletion (A. Ario, Sunarto pers. comm. 2007).
1996 Endangered
1994 Indeterminate (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Confined to Java. Camera tapped in (2004) in Gunung Gede National Park. Other onfirmed records from Gunung Halimun, Ujung Kulon, (Western Java) and Meru Betiri (East Java).
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population estimates are not certain, but certainly less than 250 mature individuals (possibly even less than 100)
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Human population growth and loss of habitat due to agricultural expansion.

Bibliography [top]

Ario, A. 2006. Survay for the Javan Leopard (Panthera pardus melas) at Bodogol, Taman Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park West Java. Conservation International Indonesia.

Ario, A. 2007. The Javan Leopard (Panthera pardus melas) Among the Human Pressures: a Preliminary Assessment for their Habitat and Preys in Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park. Conservation International Indonesia.

Harahap S. A. and Sakaguchi, N. 2003. Monitoring Research on the Javan Leopard Panthera pardus melas in Tropical Forest, Gunung Halimun National Park, West Java. Research and Conservation of Biodiversity in Indonesia, Vol. XI.. Bogor.

Meijaard, E. 2004. Biogeographic history of the javan leopard Panthera pardus based on a craniometric analysis. Journal of Mammalogy 85: 302-310.

Miththapala, S., Seidensticker, J. and O'Brien, S. J. 1996. Phylogeographic subspecies recognition in leopards (Panthera pardus): Molecular genetic variation. Conservation Biology 10: 1115-1132.

Nowell, K., Schipper, J. and Hoffmann, M. 2007. Re-evaluation of the Felidae of the 2008 IUCN Red List. Cat News 47: 5.

Santiapillai, C. and Ramono, W. S. 1992. Status of the Leopard (Panthera pardus) in Java, Indonesia. Tiger Paper 19(2): 1.

Uphyrkina, O., Johnson, W.E., Quigley, H.B., Miquelle, D.G., Marker, L., Bush, M.E. and O'Brien, S.J. 2001. Phylogenetics, genome diversity and origin of modern leopard, Panthera pardus. Molecular Ecology 10: 2617.

Citation: Ario, A., Sunarto, S. & Sanderson, J. 2008. Panthera pardus ssp. melas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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