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Conservation of Amur leopard #2

This Artcicle is about:

-Diagrams showing how to help amur leopards


Maheen's insight:

Amur Leopard Conservation  Ivan Seryodkin (WCS) and Melody Roelke 
(National Cancer Institute) collect biomedicalinformation on a Amur leopard.Photo by John Goodrich, WCS. 

A number of Russian and international organizations are engaged in efforts to save the Amur leopard, and conservation plans include increasing the current population as well as development of a captive breeding center in order to establish a second, separate population. Very little is known about Amur leopard ecology, however, making it difficult to move forward effectively with recovery plans, evaluate ongoing conservation activities, and define future priorities. WCS is conducting scientific research to improve our understanding of this sub-species, and is also working to improve wildlife and habitat protection and management in the leopard’s range.

Ecological Research

In 2006, WCS together with the Institute of Biology and Soils (Russian Academy of Sciences) and other partners began a field research project to collect ecological and biomedical information needed to inform conservation and recovery planning for the Amur leopard. Activities include capturing leopards and tigers to collect samples for genetic and medical analysis, and year-round tracking of individuals. This project is helping us to identify:

the primary sources of mortality for leopards, and how to increase survival rates; reproductive success and the risk of inbreeding, which could depress leopard reproduction rates or cause other health problems; food and habitat use by leopards, and the impacts of human disturbances on the population;movement corridors within Russia and between Russia and China, andthe relationship between tigers and leopards, and how to mitigate competition between the two species.

Population Monitoring

Since 2002, WCS has been using camera trapping to survey the leopard population over a significant portion of its range. Before 2002, camera traps had never been used for population monitoring in Russia, but this method has turned out to be very effective. Camera trapping allows us identify individual leopards by their unique spot patterns, and therefore we are able to monitor individual animals over many years, estimate population density and trends over time, and learn about rates of population turnover.

 Since 2002, WCS has camera-trapped between 8 and 15 Amur leopards on a study area at the northern end of the leopard's range.  

Since 1997, WCS has also assisted in implementing snow-track surveys, a method first used by Russian scientists for estimating leopard density and distribution in the 1970s. We attempt to repeat snow track counts every 3 years. Camera-trap results between 2002 and 2007 by our crew, and more recently by WWF in an adjacent site, as well as recent snow-track counts (2000, 2003, 2007, 2013) indicate to a small but stable population of approximately 30 to 35 leopards in Russia.  


Amur leopard tracks (in yellow) from surveysand analysis of fire frequency by WCS, TIGIS andTigris clearly indicate that leopards avoid areasthat frequently burn.

Wildlife and Habitat Protection

WCS is engaged in several activities to improve wildlife and habitat management in leopard range. In 2004 we teamed up with TIGIS and Tigris in a study of the impacts of fires in leopard habitat. In 2009 we started a fire suppression and prevention project with a focus on two model areas in co-operation with Phoenix Fund, the recently established Land of the Leopard National Park and the Slavyanka Municipality. In the 280 km2 model area where we first started our work, the area that burned was reduced by 99% in 2011 and 80% in 2012 compared to what would have burned without our interventions. 

Finally, in co-operation with Phoenix Fund, we introduced the SMART patrol monitoring system in the National Park “Land of the Leopard”, which provides rapid assessments of the activities and impact of anti-poaching brigades working inside the protected area as well as in surrounding areas. We provide support for anti-poaching patrols (fuel for patrol vehicles, spare parts, ranger outfits) and funds for an incentive system that rewards patrol teams that perform well. This has resulted in a  marked increase in patrol efforts. For instance, the distance of foot patrols and the time that teams spent on patrols doubled in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011. The increased  patrol efforts, in turn, resulted in a sharp increase in law enforcement results, such as confiscated fire arms and fines for poaching and other violations.

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Amur Leopard Endangered #2

This article contains:


-surveys that contain the population of amur leopards

Maheen's insight:

The Amur leopard, considered to be one of the world’s most threatened big cats, is showing signs of a population recovery, according to the results of a new survey.

The charismatic Amur leopard is one of the world’s rarest cats

Positive signs

A majestic species, the Amur leopard sports the heaviest coat of any leopard, an attribute which enables this highly threatened cat to survive the long, harsh winters which envelop its pine forest habitat in the Russian Far East.

At its lowest point, it is thought that the Amur leopard population may have fallen to just 25 individuals, sparking grave concern that this incredible big cat could soon become extinct. However, results from a new survey indicate that the population may have risen to as many as 50 individuals, representing about a 50% increase from the last survey conducted in 2007.

“While we cannot help but be gladdened by this fact, it is no reason to let down our guard. 50 is still a critically small number for long term persistence of [the] population,” said WWF-Russia in a news release.

The Amur leopard population may have increased by about 50% in the last six years

Camera traps and conservation

During the latest survey, researchers counted Amur leopard tracks along snowy trails to determine an estimated population size. Tracks from 23 individuals were counted, and this number was then extrapolated to estimate a minimum of 43-45 adult leopards and 4-5 cubs surviving in the wild.

The results of the survey also revealed that, as the population grows, Amur leopards are shifting and expanding their range. While most Amur leopards are known to be found in Russia, recent camera trap photos have shown that a few individuals now occur on the Chinese side of the border, and in addition sightings have been reported from North Korea.

With the promising news comes an urgent need to scale up conservation actions aimed at protecting the charismatic feline. “The Far Eastern leopard, the rarest cat on the Earth, is stepping back from the brink,” said Yury Darman, Director of the Amur branch of WWF-Russia. “We started the recovery programme in 2001 and now can be proud of almost 50 leopards in the wild. The most crucial role is played by the establishment of large unified protected areas with huge state support, which cover 360 thousand hectares of leopard habitat in Russia. It is necessary now to accelerate the creation of a Sino-Russian trans-boundary reserve that would unify six adjacent protected areas encompassing 6,000 square kilometres.”

Siberian tigers may be posing a threat to the Amur leopard

New rising threat

The Amur leopard has long been at risk from a variety of threats, from habitat loss and inbreeding to poaching. Poachers not only target the leopards directly, but also the prey base on which the cats depend, including deer and boar. Yet a new rising threat to the Amur leopard is becoming evident: the Siberian tiger.

The Siberian or Amur tiger is also undergoing a population increase in the region. While the recovery of the populations of both the Amur leopard and the Siberian tiger is welcome news, it has resulted in clashes between the two powerful predators. As the world’s largest cat, weighing up to six times the weight of the Amur leopard, the Siberian tiger is a lethal opponent for the smaller species. In the last few years, WWF-Russia has reported that three Amur leopards have been killed by tigers, and the organisation is calling for more research to be conducted on the relationship between these two big cats.

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Conservation of Amur Leopard

This is about:

-a group helping our these endangered spieces 

Maheen's insight:

Amur Leopard Conservation

To promote the survival of Amur leopards in China and Russia both in situ and ex situ


The Amur Leopard or Far Eastern Leopard, Panthera pardus orientalis, with a total wild population of 30-35 individuals, is one of the most - if not the most - endangered large cat on earth. There is an ex situ insurance population of about 180 individuals in zoos. The European Breeding Programme (EEP) is coordinated by Sarah Christie, London, and Tanya Arzhanova, Moscow.

Significant progress in conserving Amur tigers and leopards has been made over the last decade. A coalition of 13 international and Russian NGOs have pooled resources to help create ALTA. ALTA members have been co-operating for many years in developing, financing and implementing conservation projects in Russia and China. The main anti-poaching team has been operating in the Amur leopard's range since 1998 and was the first conservation project for Amur leopards financed by NGOs. The team has been very successful and poaching has been much reduced.

ALTA has been working to provide equipment to repair the firebreak system around the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve ‘Kedrovaya Pad’. Fires reduce forest habitat, replacing it with grasslands that Amur leopards avoid. ALTA has also implemented a large number of educational projects and has been very successful in increasing conservation awareness among local villagers.

In order to realise plans to conserve and recover leopards in Russia and China, and to successfully establish a second wild leopard population, we need to learn much more about how leopards live in the wild, including how to increase their survival rates, whether in-breeding is a health risk, and how leopards interact with tigers. 

There is great potential to increase the leopard population across the border in Northeast China, where efforts are underway to support the Hunchun Tiger Leopard Reserve, improve anti-poaching, increase local capacity to monitor leopards, and implement education programmes.


 Zoos can contribute to the survival of the Amur leopard by participating in coordinated ex situ breeding programmes, raising awareness, carrying out or enhancing research, and financially contributing to in situ conservation efforts.


WAZA Conservation Project 08015 undertakes regular fundraising activity and raises awareness for the Amur Leopards through its charitable arm ‘Friends of Paradise Wildlife Park' (FoPWP). The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) has recently completed a purpose built breeding facility. Dr John Lewis is taking the lead on the co-operation and monitoring of the situation in the wild; he regularly travels to the Russian Fareast liaising with our counterparts, to provide veterinary expertise, undertake sampling, radio collaring and to monitor prey species. Dr John Lewis also works very closely with The Wildlife Heritage Foundation monitoring blood, hair semen from their Amur leopards.


Peter Sampson, Director and Owner of Paradise Wildlife Park and Chair of Trustees of The wildlife Heritage Foundation takes a personal interest to ensure that both organisations are at the forefront of the Amur Leopard Project. They are providing support and co-ordinating efforts to maintain an Amur leopard population in captivity which will enable the possible re-introduction back into the wild in the future. Safari Beekse Bergen (The Netherlands) also supports this project.

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Amur Leopard Endangered

this arcticle about:

-how many amur leopards left

-where they live

-why their endangered

Maheen's insight:

Endangered Amur Leopard Faces Extinction
The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), also known as the Far East leopard and the Manchurian leopard, is found in the snowy temperate forest of Primorsky Krai, located in eastern Russia. It is the rarest subspecies of Panthera in existence, and it is hanging on by a fine, frayed thread. A census count, using camera monitors, determined that there are fewer than 40 remaining in the wild. 

The Amur leopards once roamed throughout Korea, China, and expansive parts of Russia. However, human expansion, the greed of poachers, and oil pipelines, took its toll on the animal's ability to survive. The continuation of human error is seen as these precious few survivors are captured and caged in zoos, under the guise of species preservation. However, this tactic further degrades the species due to unnatural and prolific inbreeding. This produces inferior offspring that have increased medical complications with a shorter life expectancy. The result is a watered-down version of the Amur leopard that is unlikely to survive in the wild, even if it were able to overcome the shortfalls of being born into captivity and then being set free. Hence, not preserving the species, but expediting their extinction.

Amur's run in excess of 35 miles per hour (56km/h), are able to vertically leap 19 feet (5.8m) and horizontally jump 10 feet (3m). On average, they are 5 feet (152cm) long, weigh about 100 pounds (45kg), and are adaptable to snowy climates because they have the longest legs in thePanthera genus. Their average lifespan in the wild is 15 years and they are territorial. Females keep a range of 35 square miles (90 square meters), and males traditionally keep a broader range of 155 square miles (401 square meters). 

Under normal conditions, Amur leopards and tigers would traditionally overlap in living space. However, leopards keep more to trees and mountain ranges, which allows these two big cats to coexist peacefully with each other and share in nature's bounty. Both big cats are ecologically significant for maintaining a proper natural balance to other animal populations that are prolific breeders, like deer, rabbits, badgers, and rodents. They are better suited to this task than humans are, for these cats know better than to cull their prey out of existence; a lesson humankind has not yet mastered.

The urgent demand for their preservation has inspired conservation efforts to establish poaching patrols. Global Giving has set up a comprehensive online involvement campaign where people can volunteer or donate in an effort to protect the Amur leopard and capture poachers. 

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