At least 57 Amur leopards are living on the territory of Land of the Leopard National Park
The census carried out with camera traps proved that there are at least 57 Amur leopards in the Land of the Leopard National Park. This figure was announced at a meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Amur Leopards Center by Sergey Ivanov, its Chairman and head of the Presidential Administration.
According to Alyona Salmanova, deputy head of the Land of the Leopard National Park, the camera traps covered about 380 000 hectares of the main leopard habitats in the southwestern Primorye. About 10 000 shots were received which enable the scientists to identify almost 60 individual animals judging by the pattern of spots on the skin.
Let's recall that according to the results of the last leopard census conducted in 2007 before the establishment of the Land of the Leopard National Park there were registered about 30 spotted wild cats. In 2013, already 48 leopards were counted, and now we can say that the numbers of the rarest cat on the planet has increased almost twice! These data are being checked in the course of winter survey and on the basis of genetic analysis of collected biological samples.
According to Yury Darman, head of WWF Russia Amur Branch, a member of the Supervisory Board of The Amur Leopards Center, «The National Park became the main organizational force for leopard protection and research, and Sergey Ivanov's Fund provides financial and administrative support for the implementation of the federal program. Young cats are actively settling down, the animals were registered in Poltavsky Wildlife Refuge, at least about 8-12 individuals were counted in the adjacent areas in China. These fact mean that no less than 70 Amur leopards now live on the planet.»
Sergey Ivanov noted that after the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the Land of the Leopard National Park and the neighboring Chinese nature reserves the monitoring of leopard population is carried out jointly with experts from China. The next step is the establishment of Sino-Russian transboundary nature reserve which coincides with the further development of relations between the two countries.
The Program for the Study of Amur Leopards is carried out by the Land of the Leopard National Park jointly with the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with the support of The Amur Leopard Center, and WWF Russia.