Where is the black panther cat from?

The term “black panther” normally refers to a black leopard or jaguar and it can also refer to a black mountain lion (puma). So, you can see that the ‘black panther cat’ is actually three different species of wild cat. Therefore, to answer the question in the title you have to ask where the jaguar, leopard and mountain lion live. As it happens, I have maps showing you where these large wild cat species live which will provide you with the answer to the question. It’s about a simple as that. I have also provided a list of countries for each species from the IUCN Red List, the experts in this field of study except their information is always 7 years out-of-date.

Ghost markings of the black panther aka melanistic jaguar
Ghost markings of the black panther aka melanistic jaguar. Photo: The Big Cat Sanctuary, Kent, UK.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The very dark coat which has ghost markings of the black panther is due to a genetic mutation which is different for the leopard compared to the jaguar. It is caused by a recessive allele in the leopard, and by a dominant allele in the jaguar.

And the black variants of these three large cats live in the same place as the normal-coated cats. Although they are much rarer than the normally-coated cats with their bright coats and spots. The word “black” is probably wrong when describing this cat because the dark coat is more like a dark charcoal with faint ghost spots and rosettes. But in the places where you can see the normal version of this cat (if you are lucky) you will also see the black versions if you are incredibly lucky and they are called ‘melanistic cats’. The medium-sized serval is also quite commonly seen in melanistic form.

Black panther cub with mother who has a normal coat
Black panther cub with mother who has a normal coat. Photo: The Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent, UK.

Here is where these three cat species live (i.e. their distribution). Remember: things change. If this page exists in 10 years this information will be slightly out of date because these cats will possibly extinct in some of these countries.

Jaguar distribution

Alternative jaguar distribution from IUCN Red List
Alternative jaguar distribution from IUCN Red List

Countries:

Extant (resident)

Argentina; Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of.

Extinct

El Salvador; Uruguay


Leopard distribution

Leopard range map
Leopard range map

NATIVE

Extant (resident):

Afghanistan; Angola; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Benin; Bhutan; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cambodia; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; China; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d’Ivoire; Djibouti; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Eswatini; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; India; Indonesia (Jawa); Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Malaysia; Mali; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nepal; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Russian Federation; Rwanda; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe

Possibly Extinct:
Gambia; Israel; Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Lesotho; Tajikistan; Viet Nam

Extinct:
Hong Kong; Jordan; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Lebanon; Mauritania; Morocco; Singapore; Syrian Arab Republic; Togo; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan

Presence Uncertain:
Algeria; Georgia


Mountain lion (puma) distribution

Puma range includes Mexico
Puma range includes Mexico

NATIVE
Extant (resident):

Argentina; Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

Presence Uncertain:

Uruguay

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