Natal dispersal is a key spatially structuring demographic process for many species but is poorly known for wide-ranging carnivores, especially in cryptic, solitary species such as the leopard (Panthera pardus). We report a failed long-distance natal dispersal of a subadult male leopard (M67) in Maputaland, southern Africa, the longest reported for the species. M67 traversed three countries covering a minimum distance of 352.8 km, with a straight-line distance of 194.5 km between his natal range and the site of his death. His movements reveal potential linkages between leopard populations in southern Mozambique, Swaziland, northern KwaZulu-Natal and the Greater Kruger Ecosystem, which might represent a functioning leopard metapopulation currently regarded as separate conservation units.
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Vol. 43 • No. 1