A big threat to the black panther’s survival is loss, fragmentation, and degradation of habitat because of agricultural and residential development by human beings. The development not only reduces the amount of habitat available to black panthers but also the amount of food available to other wild animals, which, in turn, are essential food sources for black panthers. Environmental contamination, such as mercury and other chemicals, is also a cause of the death of the black panthers.
With the growth of human population, people are moving into areas traditionally inhabited by wild animals. This is especially true in South and Southeast Asia where the black panther has the largest population. Because more and more land is being used for farming and ranching, black panthers and other animals have fewer habitats and less food. Black panthers which feed on large prey are heavier and healthier than those that feed on small prey. When the overall population of animals decreases because of loss and deterioration of habitats, the survival of black panthers is also in trouble.
One of direct side effects of loss, fragmentation, and degradation of habitat is inbreeding – mating between close relatives. Inbreeding itself may have a negative effect on the immune system of the animals, making them more susceptible to diseases.