Leopards expand its range
Since January 2013 the Feline Research Center in cooperation with Heilongjiang Forestry Department and Heilongjiang Forestry Industry Bureau with support of WWF China carry out activities to find the tracks of Amur tigers and Far Eastern leopards in the area along Sino-Russian border. Camera trap placed by the staff of WWF China on the territory of Dongning forestry bureau, on June 26 2013 recorded a mature male leopard. The territory of Dongning forestry bureau borders Primorsky Province in the East right opposite to Poltavsky Wildlife Refuge, and with Jilin Province in the South. Received data will help Heilongjiang Forestry Department to establish a new nature reserve as well as to extend the existed Niaoqingshan Nature Reserve to provide better protection and management of Amur tiger and leopard habitat in the southeast part of Heilongjiang province.
“Appearance of leopard in China on the territory opposite to Poltavsky Wildlife Refuge proves data gained in the course of winter leopard survey this February. Let’s recall that for the first time for several decades leopard tracks were recorded in refuge, including the tracks of a mature male leopard, - comments Sergey Aramilev, Species Program coordinator at WWF Russia Amur branch. – The recorded animal is more likely is testing a new area located both on the territory of Russia and China. Our colleagues from China have to make a lot of efforts for the leopard to stay on their territory instead of becoming a victim of poaching. Thanks to the previously signed agreements we promptly received the pictures of the leopard in order to compare with the images from our photo base. However, it will not match any of them because camera traps were never set up on Russian side in Poltavsky Refuge. I believe by next spring we will close this gap.