Although these solitary and secretive cats have a huge habitat range, according to the IUCN Red List, leopard is Near Threatened. South Africa’s TOPS list puts leopard in the Vulnerable category and CITES placed them in Appendix I, meaning that commercial trade, among others, is prohibited.
South Africa exported 74 live leopards during the period 2010-2020, of which nearly one quarter were animals from the wild rather than captive-bred. This is the highest proportion of wild live felids exported from South Africa during that time period.
Some of the threats that put pressure on wild leopard populations across Africa include habitat loss, legal and illegal trade in leopard parts, trophy hunting, and human-wildlife conflict.