The Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr), the rarest of the eight leopard sub-species, is a leopard subspecies native to the Arabian Peninsula and classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN since 1996. The population comprises fewer than 250 mature individuals and is very fragmented. Their population is in continuous decline.
Despite all these conservation measures, the Arabian leopard still has dangerously low numbers and is extremely vulnerable to the threat of extinction. The most important identified need of this unique cat is to urgently safeguard it and its prey species in Oman Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve in Dhofar, Oman, possibly the last viable refuge of the species.
For this to be successful in the long term, conservationists face the challenge of minimizing human damage to the area, reducing human-leopard conflict, and most significantly, making the reserve benefit the local people economically, a powerful incentive to the surrounding communities to protect their rare and unique native fauna.
Some Arabian leopards have been placed in conservation breeding centers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.