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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 11, 2017

Density of leopards (Panthera pardus kotiya) in Horton Plains National Park in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

  • Andrew M. Kittle EMAIL logo and Anjali C. Watson
From the journal Mammalia


Quantitative ecological data needs to inform management of the endangered, endemic Sri Lankan leopard. Estimating habitat-specific leopard density and prey availability provides important baselines and improved understanding of the island-wide population. We used remote cameras in a spatially explicit capture-recapture framework to estimate leopard density (11.7 adult individuals/100 km2) and distance sampling to estimate prey density, within Horton Plains National Park. Sambar density was 178/km2 within the central grasslands, which represent a spatially anchored resource for sambar and in turn, a highly clumped, abundant resource for leopards. This study represents the first robust estimate of leopard density in Sri Lanka’s montane zone.


We thank the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation for providing permission to conduct this study. Mr. Saranga, the warden of Horton Plains National Park during the duration of the study, was very helpful as were all of the staff and field officers. Darshika Pathirathna and Thushani Seneviratne from Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka and Nimalka Sanjeewani were instrumental in conducting the prey abundance line transects. Arran Sivarajah and Chanka Kumara assisted in the remote camera survey. Funding was provided by CERZA Conservation and Le Parc des Felins in France.


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Received: 2016-9-20
Accepted: 2017-3-29
Published Online: 2017-5-11
Published in Print: 2018-2-23

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