Leopard

Leopard

The leopard Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four “big cats” in the genus Panthera, the other three being the tiger, lion, and jaguar. The leopard was once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, but its range of distribution has decreased radically because of hunting and loss of habitat. It is now chiefly found in sub-Saharan Africa; there are also fragmented populations in the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. Because of its declining range and population, it is listed as a “Near Threatened” species on the IUCN Red List.[1]

Jaguar

Jaguar

The jaguar  is a big cat, a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar’s present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Apart from a known and possibly breeding population in Arizona (southeast of Tucson), the cat has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century.

Lion

Lion

The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight,[4] it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia, with an endangered remnant population in Gir Forest National Park in India, having disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru.[5] The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a major population decline of 30–50% over the past two decades in its African range.[2] Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Within Africa, the West African lion population is particularly endangered.

Black Panther

Black Panther

A black panther is typically a melanistic color variant of any of several species of larger cat. In Latin America, wild ‘black panthers’ may be black jaguars (Panthera onca); in Asia and Africa, black leopards (Panthera pardus); in Asia, possibly the very rare black tigers (Panthera tigris); and in North America they may be black jaguars or possibly black cougars (Puma concolor – although this has not been proven to have a black variant), or smaller cats.[1][2]

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

The snow leopard (Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia) is a moderately large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia.[4] The classification of this species has been subject to change and is still classified as Uncia uncia by MSW3 as of 2000[5] and CITES Appendix I.[6] However with more recent genetic studies,[7][8] the snow leopard is now generally considered as Panthera uncia and classified as such by IUCN.[9] Classically, two subspecies have been attributed but genetic differences between the two have not been settled. The snow leopard remains on the endangered species list classified as C1

Cheetah

The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large-sized feline (family Felidae, subfamily Felinae) inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx. The cheetah achieves by far the fastest land speed of any living animal—104 km/h (65 mph)[3][4] in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.[5]

This cat is also notable for modifications in the species’ paws. It is one of the few felids with semi-retractable claws, and with pads that, by their scope, disallow gripping.[6] Thus, cheetahs cannot climb upright trees, although they are generally capable of reaching easily accessible branches by leaping.