The leopard has been upgraded to VULNERABLE by the IUCN Red List. Dr. Andrew Stein, founder of CLAWS Conservancy, led an international team of scientists to evaluate the global status of leopards. The effort included input from scientists across more than 60 countries from sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, southeast Asia, China and the Russian Far-East. It was determined through habitat destruction, prey depletion through the bushmeat trade and illegal harvesting of skins, that leopards are significantly under threat and require increased protection. Previously listed as Near Threatened, leopards were not thought to be under threat because of their adaptable behavior and secretive nature, however, improved field techniques and widespread surveys helped determine that leopards are not as well off as previously thought.
As a Vulnerable species, leopards are one step closer to Endangered, requiring special protection and management considerations. It will likely impact trophy hunting regulations and problem animal control responses.
Have a look at the official document HERE!