Southern Africa is considered the last 'stronghold' of the leopard as wild populations in West, Central, East Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and China dwindle to isolated pockets.
However, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and now South Africa have questioned or banned trophy hunting at various points in the last 5 years to consider current leopard status and the sustainability of trophy hunting on their populations.
CLAWS founder and president Dr. Andrew Stein has been leading an international team of scientist to assess and determine the status of leopards globally for the World Conservation Union. These results will directly impact leopard management and conservation in all countries throughout the leopard's range.
As we consider the costs (financial and ecological) and benefits (promised vs. actual) of trophy hunting, I hope that this species can persist in the face of tremendous pressure from human persecution.
Have a look at this article from the Guardian about the newly implemented ban on leopard hunting!