Rare “Anatolian leopard” filmed in Turkey

A leopard in a tree.
Note: This is an African leopard, not an Anatolian one. There just aren’t many free photos for animals that were ‘extinct’ for 45 years.Image by Michael Siebert from Pixabay.

A cat-related story is sweeping the internet, and it involves a country that you might not think of as being home to big cats: Turkey. A rare subspecies of leopard that was considered extinct in Turkey for 45 years has just been filmed there.

That subspecies of leopard is called Panthera pardus tulliana, or the Anatolian leopard. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), this subspecies is recognized by some experts as being native to parts of Turkey. Conversations on LinkedIn seem to describe Anatolian and Persian leopards (Panthera pardus saxicolor) as being the same thing, but whatever the case, the sighting of a leopard in Turkey is a big deal.

Anatolian/Persian leopards were thought to have been hunted to extinction in Turkey (when an animal goes extinct in a particular region, we call it “extirpation“), with the last known Anatolian leopard being killed in 1974.

However, in 2019 someone spotted an Anatolian leopard in Turkey: 45 years after they had supposedly been extirpated. Now, researchers have captured one of these rare leopards on film.

This story by Aspen Pflughoeft contains more information and the video, which WordPress won’t let me embed because WordPress hates nice things.

Stories like leopards turning up in Turkey after 45 years – or jaguars showing up in the United States after a long absence – are always encouraging. Hopefully this new video of an Anatolian/Persian leopard will generate support for leopard conservation in Turkey.

6 Thoughts

  1. What a great post, this is such good news. I’ve only read a few articles of an animal that was thought to be extinct being found. While only one to a few are found, it brings such promise. Thank you for sharing this wonderful news.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s always great to hear stories about nature’s resilience. It’s especially great now, since around the world people are starting to push more for ecological restoration/rewilding.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.