Friday, Apr 27 2018
All Cities
Choose Your City
'If you emptied Lake Baikal, it would take every river in the world flowing into it a year to fill.'
Mike Carter, The Observer, 2009

Rarest big cats in the world reach key milestone in evading extinction

By The Siberian Times reporter
06 April 2018

Amur leopards now number more than 100 for first time in decades, say experts.

If the species survives it will be a triumph for unified action by volunteers and then state to preserve the animals.The Amur leopard is listed by WWF as the 'most endangered cat anywhere in the planet' with just about 60 left in the wild. Picture: Land of Leopard

The cats remain highly endangered in eastern Russia but the latest population estimates for the species are encouraging. 

Twenty years ago there were a mere 30 Amur leopards living in the wild, and scientists feared they were on the brink of extinction. 

But now there are celebrations in the Land of the Leopard Nature Reserve, as results of the 2017 monitoring showed a significant growth in number of predators. 

It is now believed there are 84 adult Amur leopards in the wild. 

In addition, there are seven adolescent big cats and 12 cubs. 

Amur leopard


Amur leopard


kittens

In addition, there are seven adolescent big cats and 12 cubs. Pictures: Land of Leopard

This takes the total to 103. 

The images from some 400 automatic cameras have been used to garner the details on the species’ climb back from oblivion.

Reserve experts said this was ‘the most important news of the year’.

The Amur Leopard is the world’s rarest big cat. 

In Soviet times it was hunted almost to extinction. 

If the species survives it will be a triumph for unified action by volunteers and the state to preserve the animals. 

Amur leopard


Amur leopard


Amur leopard


Amur leopard


Amur leopard


Amur leopard

Here’s hoping for the next hundreds, but meanwhile please enjoy these great pictures of the comeback cats. Pictures: Land of Leopard

New curbs on poaching and dedicated territory where the animals are actively protected - all backed by new laws - have made a critical difference to hopes for the leopards’ survival. 

When numbers sank to 30 around the turn of the millennium, experts feared the population was too low to breed their way back. 

Today’s news is the most hopeful in many years for the sleek species, and proof that concerted action can work to recover a seemingly lost wild species. 

There are more Amur - or Siberian - leopards in zoos but the loss of the animals in the wild, capable of surviving in their natural surroundings, would be a catastrophe which there are now real hopes to avoid. 

Here’s hoping for the next hundreds, but meanwhile please enjoy these great pictures of the comeback cats. 

Comments (5)

Great news...!!!!
Congratulations to the team of volunteers and to each and everyone of the team involved in this big effort, none of these would’ve happened without You guys !!!

Thanks and Blessings
Mayra, Anchorage
09/04/2018 13:58
3
0
Good news, it is a great job.
. Go Berry and other Amur leopard to have cubs and increase the number of these magnificient big cats.!
Jocelyne, FRANCE
08/04/2018 17:07
4
0
Wonderful!

I hope that if any poachers go after the leopards, the leopards turn them into a meal.
Jenny Agutter fan, Somewhere, United States
07/04/2018 01:27
7
0
Great news indeed! Thank you Benedikt, and Thank you to everyone involved in taking care of and protecting the entire eco-system that enables these magnificent animals to come back from the brink of extinction and to thrive.
Pamela K Tetarenko, League City, USA
06/04/2018 20:08
4
0
great news! only publish never a palce, valley or location where they live. so they may have peace and quite for the crazy poachers as much as there is possible.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
06/04/2018 14:46
13
0
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR76.18USD62.60GBP87.14Other...