Based on their review of a petition received in July 2016 and the sources cited in the petition, USFWS found that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that reclassifying the leopard (Panthera pardus) as endangered throughout its range in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, and Uganda, may be warranted.
USFWS published a notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 announcing their decision to review the petition and to provide the public with information regarding the submission of comments on the petition. The public comment period opened on November 30th and closes on January 30, 2017.
Excerpt on background information from USFWS
Species and Range: Leopard (Panthera pardus): Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, and Uganda.
Petition History: On July 26, 2016, we received a petition dated July 25, 2016, from The Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals, requesting that the leopard be reclassified as endangered throughout its range under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at 50 CFR 424.14(a). This finding addresses the petition.
USFWS Findings: Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that reclassifying the leopard (Panthera pardus) as endangered throughout its range may be warranted, based on Factors A, B, D, and E (for a listing of the factors, see (2)under Request for Information for Status Reviews, above). However, during our status review, we will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the species, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this species, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the species falls within the definition of an endangered species under section 3(6) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) and any other factors identified in this finding.
Link to USFWS Federal Register Notice
Additional information regarding the USFWS review of this petition can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0133 under the Supporting Documents section.