Spatial organization of leopards Panthera pardus in Taï National Park, Ivory Coast: is rainforest habitat a ‘tropical haven’?
Article first published online: 14 MAY 2009
1996 The Zoological Society of London
Journal of Zoology
Volume 240, Issue 3, pages 427–440, November 1996
How to Cite
Jenny, D. (1996), Spatial organization of leopards Panthera pardus in Taï National Park, Ivory Coast: is rainforest habitat a ‘tropical haven’?. Journal of Zoology, 240: 427–440. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1996.tb05296.x
- Issue published online: 14 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 14 MAY 2009
- Accepted 2 August 1995
Between June 1992 and July 1994, two female leopards and one male were radio-tracked. Regular locations of the leopards, the use of a phototrap, and spoor data, provided the first detailed ecological data about this elusive felid in tropical rainforest habitat. The home range of the male was 86 km2, those of the two females were 29 km2 and 22 km2, respectively. One female's home range was fully included within that of the male. Home ranges of neighbouring residents were not exclusive. Population density is estimated at one leopard per 9-14 km2. Intraspecific interactions were rare and predominantly involved mating. The large size of the home ranges and a relatively high population density imply large overlap between adjacent resident leopards' ranges. Differences in the leopard's land tenure system between the rainforest and the savanna are discussed. Doubt is cast on the validity of the often-quoted estimate of one leopard per 1 km2 in tropical rainforest habitat.