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We're the comeback cats: endangered Amur leopards making a recovery

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 March 2013

The number of Amur leopards in the wild in the Far East of Russia has dramatically increased, say wildlife experts.

Do you like my gloves? Lucky photographer Valery Maleyev pictures Amur leopard with unusual white 'gloves'. Picture: Valery Maleyev

A new survey has found that the threat of extinction has eased compared with 2007 when no more than 35 animals were known to exist. The latest count suggests they number 48 to 50 in the southwest region of the Primorsky Territory.

'But even 50 are very few. When there are 70-100, then one can say that the species is not endangered', said Sergei Aramilev, programme coordinator for the Amur regional organisation of the World Wildlife Fund.

The count was made by following tracks, using DNA analysis and photo-monitoring in their natural habitat in the taiga. The findings amounted to a 'pleasant surprise' for experts, reported Itar-Tass. 

The leopards are also roaming a wider area than in the 2007 survey. The specialists found a whole family living on the Russian-Chinese border with five new cats added to the population. The territory of the Amur leopard includes areas of China and North Korea. 

Amur leopard 2013

2013 map by WWF Russia shows Amur leopard (yellow) and tiger (red) habitats.  Picture: WWF Russia 

In a hopeful sign for the future, more than half the leopards located in the recent big cat census were inside a vast new national park called Land of Leopard, which occupies 280,000 hectares.

In January, Primorsky region governor Vladimir Miklushevsky signed a decree on a new national park, approved by the Kremlin to protect the endangered cat. Poaching is seen as the biggest threat to the leopard, though climate change and human encroachment are other factors, say experts.

Comments (6)

STUPID HUNTERS THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING , ARE THEY TRYING TO KILL HUMANITY'S WILD LIFE


SAVE THE AMUR LEPARD AND OTHER ENDANGERED SPICIES
dmg, USA
19/02/2016 06:40
0
0
i think they should be at their homes instead of dead or in captivities that can abuse them.
brionna livingstone, syracuse ny
06/01/2015 01:40
3
0
THE AMUR LEOPARD WOULDN'T BE IN DANGER IF IT WERE'NT FOR GOD DANG HUNTERS!!!! I am still glad we are still trying to save them BUT THOSE GOD DANG HUNTERS WANT SOME BEAUTIFUL PELTS!!!! I hate humanity
Some random guy, castle rock
27/02/2014 01:11
4
0
Best news I've heard about the Amur leopard in a long time, Well done to everyone involved to try and save these big cats.
Angela O' Donoghue, Ireland
06/08/2013 01:15
5
0
It made my day. Such a great news. We still need another 100 or so cats so ways to go but if China cooperates then things will get better sooner
Senge Sering, Washington DC, USA
10/04/2013 00:45
4
0
this is where they belong - to the wild, and it is a true joy to see them not behind some silly bars in some silly zoo
Melissa, US
17/03/2013 23:15
8
0
1

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