The leopard (Panthera pardus) is an Old World mammal of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four big cats of the genus Panthera, which also consists of the tiger, lion and jaguar. Leopards that are melanistic, either completely black or very dark in coloration, are one of the big cats known colloquially as black panthers.
Once distributed across southern Eurasia and Africa, from Korea to South Africa and Spain, it has disappeared from much of its former range and now chiefly occurs in subsaharan Africa. There are fragmented populations in Israel, Indochina, Malaysia, and western China. Despite the loss of range and continued population declines, the cat remains a least-concern species; its numbers are greater than that of the other Panthera species, all of which face more acute conservation concerns.