Makhar M. Ertuev, Sochi National Park; 54002, Russia, Sochi,, Kurortnyi Ave., 74; e-mail:
Umar A. Semenov, PhD, Head of the Centre of the leopard recovery in the Caucasus, Sochi National Park; 54002, Russia, Sochi,, Kurortnyi Ave., 74; e-mail:

Reference to article

Ertuev M.M., Semenov U.A. 2016. Behaviour features of the Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) during different stages of the estrous cycle. Nature Conservation Research 1(3): 59–69.

Section Research articles

The implementation of the programme for the reintroduction of the Persian leopard in the Caucasus in Russia allowed carrying out a detailed video monitoring of various aspects of this subspecies' life under captive conditions in the «Center of the leopard recovery in the Caucasus». The most important stage of this programme was the formation of couples and the progeny getting of adult individuals caught in their natural environment and placed into a closed aviary. A complex sexual behaviour of leopards, while having different stages of the estrous cycle, could be identified by manifestation of characteristic features in various stages. There is an increase in both the motion behaviour as well as in the marking activity during proestrus; the cozying that helps to maintain the sexual activity of the male and the adopting of the receptive pose of the female during the estrus; avoidance of mating by the female during the proestrus stage; transition of the mating initiative to the male as well as passive behaviour of the female during the metaestrus stage. A large number of matings is caused by the species' biology. The leopard belongs to the animals with an «instigated» ovulation. Therefore the multiple coituses stimulate the maintaining of a high concentration of estrogens in the blood and promote the ovulation of follicles. As a result, we have concluded that the form of female sexual behaviour (with permissible error) can indicate the functional activity of the ovaries and the corpora lutea, as well as it allows determining the beginning and duration of the stages of the estrous cycle.


coitus, estrus, mating, Panthera pardus saxicolor, Persian leopard, sexual behaviour

Artice information

Received: 12.09.2016

The full text of the article

Babichev V.N. 2013. The organization and functioning of the neuroendocrine system. Problems of Endocrinology 59 (1): 62–69. [In Russian]
Etgen A. 2003. Ovarian steroid and growth factor regulation of female reproductive function involves modification of hypothalamus alpha l-adrenoceptor signaling. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1007: 153–161.
Hussain R., Ek-Etr M., Gaci O. 2011. Progesterone and Nestorone facilitate axon remyelination: a role for progesterone receptors. Endocrinology: 152 (10): 3820–3831.
Kelli B.G., Mermelstein P.G. 2011. Progesterone blocks multiple routes of ion flux. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 48 (2): 137–141. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2011.07.002
Khusmatullina Z.P. 2009. The amygdaloid complex of brain in the system of the reproductive functions regulation in the organism. Doctoral thesis abstract. Ufa. 54 p. [In Russian]
Lomteva N.A. 2008. Influence of stages in the estrous cycle on the processes of free radical oxidation in female rats under the influence of stress-inducing factors. Problemy reproduktsii 6: 12–15. [In Russian]
Meerson F.Z., Pshennikova M.G. 1988. Adaptation to the stress situations and physical loads. Moscow: Meditsina. 256 p. [In Russian]
Reznikov A.G. 2007. Endocrinological aspects of the stress. // International Journal of Endocrinology 4: 11–17. [In Russian]
Rozen V.B. 1984. Basics of Endocrinology. Moscow: Vyisshaya shkola. 336 p. [In Russian]
Rozhnov V.V., Lukarevskiy V.S. 2006. The programm of the recovery (reintroduction) of the Persian leopard in the Caucasus. A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution. Moscow: KMK Scientific Press Ltd. 65 p. [In Russian]
Rozhnov V.V., Lukarevskiy V.S., Sorokin P.P. 2007. The reintroduction of leopard (Panthera pardus L., 1758) in the Caucasus: molecular-genetic aspect. In: V.V. Rozhnov, F.A. Tembotova (eds.): Mammals of the mountain areas. Moscow: KMK Scientific Press Ltd. P. 275–278. [In Russian]
Tang Y., Janssen W., Hao J., Roberts J.A., McKay H., Lasley B., Allen P.B., Greengard P., Rapp P.R., Kordower J.H., Hof P.R., Morrison J.H. 2004. Estrogen replacement increases spinophilin – immunoreactive spine number in the prefrontal cortex of female rhesus monkeys. Cerebral Cortex 14 (2): 215–223.
Tetel M. 2009. Nuclear receptor coactivators: essential players for steroid hormone action in the brain and in behavior Journal of Neuroendocrinology 21 (4): 229–237.
Toran-Allerand C. 2005. Estrogen and the brain: beyond ER-alpha, ER-beta, and 17 beta-estradiol. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1052: 136–144.
Ukhtomskiy A.A. 1966. The dominant. Moscow; Leningrad: Nauka. 273 p. [In Russian]
Vunder P.A. 1973. Gender endocrinology and reproduction. Moscow: Meditsina. 216 p. [In Russian]