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Rainforest Leopards

Norway Jubatus Offline
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#1
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:50 PM by Ngala )

This is a thread dedicated to the unique Leopards that inhabit the rainforests of Africa. Most of you know that there are some speciments from the Rainforest that looks to be extremely large, probably amongst the biggest in the world. And I wanted to make this thread to share the information i got on these Leopards, and hope that others can contribute with good facts.
So post all information you got regarding Leopards from Gabon, Congo and so on. 

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Norway Jubatus Offline
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#2
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:50 PM by Ngala )

The Congo Basin Leopards (Part.1, Diet)

*This image is copyright of its original author

I`m going to some posts on the Congo Basin Leopards, These Leopards are some of the worlds most extraordinary subspecies of Leopards. Some Congo Basin Leopards looks to be amongst the biggest in the world like the Leopard in the picture above, that`s from Gabon. And there are many stories of them killing both gorillas and chimps!

Diet 
These Leopards have a great diet and can survive on almost everything they can find. In a survey done in Gabon they collected a total of 84 leopard scats in four different areas to pinpoint their diet. From the scats they found remains of 93 different prey species. The Average weight of the prey varied between 19.8-31.6 kgs. Their diet is highly dominated by Ungulates, depending on the area their diet consists of 67.2-90.6 % Ungulates. In areas closer to people Leopards had to hunt smaller prey like rodents and birds far more often then the other areas. Because all the suitable prey like Duikers and Primates are hunted for their meat. In one area Red forest duiker is what the Leopards favourised, followed by Brush-Tailed porcupine. On two other areas Red River Hogs were strongly favourised, and consisted of almost 50 % of the Leopards Diet. 
Here are the prey species list:

*This image is copyright of its original author

Notice that both Gorilla, Mandrill, Forest Bufflo and Chimps are on the List. In site 3 primates were far more hunted than the other sites. 
Here are the estimated mean weights of the prey animals when they were alive:

*This image is copyright of its original author

I was quite impressed to find out that these Leopards could kill such big Buffalos, I think that`s very impressive!
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Norway Jubatus Offline
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#3
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:50 PM by Ngala )

Congo Basin Leopards (Part 2, status in the wild and conflict with humans)

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Its been thougth for sometime now that Leopards in the rainforests thrive, and Martin and Meulenaer (1988) even stated that the Congo Basin withheld 40% of Africas Leopard population. With a staggering 40 ind./per km2. But the Leopard population today is slowly declining, and for that, there`s only humans to blame. 

The latest cencus stated that there is 2.7-12.1 Leopards per/100km2, depending on the area of course. I acctually think that 12.1 Leopards per/100km2 is good, and I think we must work towards populations like this in all of the Congo Basin. 

The Bush meat trade is what is causing the leopards population to decline. Because humans living in these areas are living of the trade. And unfortunatly the main prey species of leopards (Duikers, Red River Hogs, Diffrerent primates etc.) is also what is the most demanded species in the trade. In a census done in Gabon they collected Leopard scats from 4 diffrent areas (as i mentioned in my previous post), all situaded at diffrent locations from humans. Area 1, which was fairly close to humans, withheld no Leopards at all. There were no scats to collect, because that area is a hunting ground for humans, and there is little, to no prey at all for Leopards to hunt. In area 2, which is also kind of close to human settlements, and was also a hunting ground for humans. Leopards had to live of smaller prey, practically no Ungulates or Primates. So they had to live of smaller rodents and birds. Cases like these have also been seen in the Ivory Coast where leopards also had to move away from their usual prey (>40 kg), and move down to much smaller prey items (<20 kg)

Losing leopards from the Congo Basin would have a devistating effect on the eco-system of the forest. Leopards as the sole big Carnivore, and the apex predator, and is what keeps the bigger ungulates from overpopulating the rainforest. Without Leopards, the only carnivores that can be found is African Golden Cats. In some areas where Leopards have been locally extinct the Red River Hog population has gone through the roof, with an 100% increase in their population. This is resulting in loss of rainforest. Plants becomes eaten down, and large areas become plowed for everything thats in the hogs way. A similar case from central Africa where Leopards were locally extinct, the giant forrest hog population also increased massivly after the Leopards dissapearence.
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Norway Jubatus Offline
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#4
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:50 PM by Ngala )

Here are som reports on Leopards predation on Gorillas. Many of you probably don`t belive in these reports, but I`ll post them anyway:

Leopard Predation on Gorillas in Gabon and Uganda

*This image is copyright of its original author

Leopard predation on the western lowland gorilla

*This image is copyright of its original author

Leopard Predation on a Gorilla in Congo

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

A Leopard chasing Two Gorillas /or being chased by two Gorillas

*This image is copyright of its original author

Leopard Predation on Gorillas in Congo

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Norway Jubatus Offline
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#5
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:51 PM by Ngala )

A report on forest Leopards predation:

*This image is copyright of its original author

There are talks of both Bongos, Okapis and Buffalos, Which is extremely impressive, if they are true. But you do need to take these reports with a pinch of salt...
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Norway Jubatus Offline
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#6
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:51 PM by Ngala )

the Congo Basin Leopards (Part 3: Size)

*This image is copyright of its original author

Regarding size of these Leopards we only have our own guesstimations. The only Leopard I know of that have been weighed in the Congo Basin (Gabon) was a small Leopard that weighed 40 something kilos. But I think these Leopards can be amongts the biggest in the world. They look very powerful and heavy, more so than mabye all other Leopards I have seen. The Leopards that get big in the Congo Basin, looks to be huge! Like this male: 
 
*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

This male looks so huge and massive. He has an incredible Physic, His arm looks very muscular. This is One of the most impressive Leopards I have seen! 

This Male from Congo looks very big aswell. 

*This image is copyright of its original author

I think these Leopards can reach incredible weights, and I`m dreaming of a day when these Leopards can be properly weighed so that we can get real information on their weights. 

This male looks big too

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

I`ve also heard that the biggest Leopard skulls ever found was in Iran and From the Rainforest. Does anybody have information on that?
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United States Pckts Offline
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#7

Beautiful specimens, while I think a leopard could defeat a Male Gorila, I doubt it would be up against a silver back in his prime. But if/when they have battled, I'm sure it could go either way but its one of those, Why risk it sort of situations.

Wouldn't happen often and I think the Leopard would have to see some sort of advantage before attacking such a formidable foe. 
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Norway Jubatus Offline
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#8
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:51 PM by Ngala )

Hey again guys ! Long time since I`ve been on here now! But now I can`t wait to start posting again ! 

To start of with, this big looking male Leopard from the bateke plateau in Gabon !

*This image is copyright of its original author
Big cats is the most special and awsome thing out there ! 
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Norway Jubatus Offline
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#9





A beautiful and rare sight indeed of a mother leopard and here young in the Gabon!! Amazing scenes
Big cats is the most special and awsome thing out there ! 
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Norway Jubatus Offline
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#10
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:52 PM by Ngala )

Big looking male From Gabon yet again, he is looking fairly old though, but I imagine he was a great male back in his prime! 

*This image is copyright of its original author
Big cats is the most special and awsome thing out there ! 
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Norway Jubatus Offline
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#11
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:52 PM by Ngala )

Another huge looking male ! This male looks absolutely stunning ! His head is enormous !

*This image is copyright of its original author
Big cats is the most special and awsome thing out there ! 
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Canada Dr Panthera Offline
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#12
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:53 PM by Ngala )

(06-05-2015, 12:14 AM)Jubatus Wrote: the Congo Basin Leopards (Part 3: Size)

*This image is copyright of its original author

Regarding size of these Leopards we only have our own guesstimations. The only Leopard I know of that have been weighed in the Congo Basin (Gabon) was a small Leopard that weighed 40 something kilos. But I think these Leopards can be amongts the biggest in the world. They look very powerful and heavy, more so than mabye all other Leopards I have seen. The Leopards that get big in the Congo Basin, looks to be huge! Like this male: 
 
*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

This male looks so huge and massive. He has an incredible Physic, His arm looks very muscular. This is One of the most impressive Leopards I have seen! 

This Male from Congo looks very big aswell. 

*This image is copyright of its original author

I think these Leopards can reach incredible weights, and I`m dreaming of a day when these Leopards can be properly weighed so that we can get real information on their weights. 

This male looks big too

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

I`ve also heard that the biggest Leopard skulls ever found was in Iran and From the Rainforest. Does anybody have information on that?
 
Indeed the largest leopard skull is for a male from north east Iran, his skull was almost the size of the skull of a female Caspian tiger (M.Farhidinia)
Recent data greatly reduced the estimated number of rain forest African leopards ( Congo-Gabon-Cote D'Ivoire)..DE MEULENAAR estimated 40 leopards per 100 km2 but recent studies by Henschell and others show one tenth such concentrations, tropical forests harbor a small number of large ungulates and therefore will accommodate less predators.
I am sure there are many males in the tropical African forests that exceed 40 kg but the largest leopards are likely to come from ( in that order ) Iran, East Africa, Kruger, India and Sri Lanka due to large prey availability.
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United Kingdom Sully Offline
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#13

"Here is a picture of a big male camera trapped by Dr. Henschel in Gabon. This looks like a very old leopard with a very pronounced dewlap and loose skin who has probably lost condition. Although, not bulging with huge muscles this male still gives the impression of being incredibly imposing, his head looks like it belongs on a male lion! One after another these Gabon males fail to disappoint.


*This image is copyright of its original author


And just for comparison, an adult female also camera trapped in the same region of Gabon. This not a cub or subadult, it was identified as an adult female by Dr. Henschel! The sexual dimorphism in these leopards is very extreme.


*This image is copyright of its original author


Unfortunately, most of central Africa (and West Africa) is composed of very unstable countries which have been devastated by horrific civil wars over the past few decades. With broken infrastructure and continuing chaos photographic safaris like those in relatively stable countries in East and Southern Africa are obviously not high on the list of priorities. Furthermore, a demand for bush meat and the ready supply of guns from these wars makes for a very bad combination and the wildlife populations in these great forests have suffered tremendously. In the rainforests of Nigeria and Cameroon for example, leopards are almost extinct. Luckily, there are some exceptions like Gabon which are fairly stable and have managed to preserve their wildlife. That is why it's primarily from Gabon that we have pictures of these impressive forest leopards."
"When the tiger stalks the jungle like the lowering clouds of a thunderstorm, the leopard moves as silently as mist drifting on a dawn wind." -Indian proverb
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United Kingdom Sully Offline
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#14
( This post was last modified: 09-28-2017, 07:54 PM by Ngala )

More of Gabon males

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author
"When the tiger stalks the jungle like the lowering clouds of a thunderstorm, the leopard moves as silently as mist drifting on a dawn wind." -Indian proverb
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Italy Ngala Offline
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#15

From The Aspinall Foundation:
"We have captured this stunning footage of a leopard in Gabon on our camera traps. You can see he is clearly relaxed by this non-evasive monitoring as he explores our Reserve."



"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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