• ecology;
  • leopard cat;
  • Prionailurus bengalensis;
  • radio-telemetry;
  • spatial organization;
  • territoriality;
  • Thailand


The leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis is a relatively common, small felid ranging throughout Asia. During the past 15 years the natural history of leopard cats has been the topic of five studies; however, the mean sample size of study animals has been low (x = 6.8, range 4–10). We report on the most comprehensive study of leopard cats to date. Between June 1999 and February 2003, 20 leopard cats (14 males and six females) were radio-collared and tracked from 3 to 20 months in Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand. Spatial organization of the leopard cats was characterized as weakly territorial with similar intrasexual range sizes and minimal seasonal variation. Mean (±sd) annual home-range (95% minimum convex polygon) size for males was 12.4 km2 (n= 1211 locations, ± 7.1, range 2.2–28.9), whereas females exhibited a mean home-range size of 14 km2 (n= 470, ± 12.2, range 4.4–37.1). Core area (50% minimum convex polygon) averaged 2.0 km2, and the mean 1-day movement was 1298 m (± 981, range 35–8653). Habitat use was generally in proportion to occurrence, and the mean activity (52%) was arrhythmic with crepuscular and nocturnal peaks. Analysis of scats indicated that murids dominated leopard cat diet.