Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Leopard cats are excellent hunters and prey upon small vertebrate pests in rural and agricultural areas. By controlling local rodent populations, they likely help humans in a variety of different ways, including disease control and regulating the abundance of agricultural pests. Their fur and meat are popular in China and Japan, and the sale of leopard cat skins is likely impacting local populations. They are popular in the pet trade industry, as they are often bred with domestic cats to create bengal cats. Restrictions on their capture and trade are being increased.
Positive Impacts: pet trade ; food ; body parts are source of valuable material; controls pest population
- Chan, B. 2010. Carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora) in South China: a status review with notes on the commercial trade. Mammal Review, 40/4: 247-292.
- Sanderson, J., S. Sunarto, A. Wilting, C. Driscoll, R. Lorica, J. Ross, A. Hearn, S. Mujkherjee, J. Khan, B. Habib, L. Grassman. 2008. "IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species" (On-line). Prionailurus bengalensis. Accessed March 09, 2011 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/18146/0.