The Amur Leopard Reintroduction Center will appear in the Lazovsky Nature Reserve
On May 24, 2022, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Alexander Kozlov signed an order approving the new Regulation on the Lazovsky State Nature Reserve. The new Regulation contains general information about strictly protected area, its tasks, special protection regime, state control (supervision) over protection and use of strictly protected areas, information about the boundaries, as well as a list of areas where partial economic use is allowed in order to ensure the functioning of the reserve and the livelihoods of local people living on its territory.
These sites mean places for haymaking, picking mushrooms, berries, nuts and deadwood, fishing, placing beehives and apiaries, areas for building tourist infrastructure.
Moreover, the Regulation indicates the areas allocated for the Center for Breeding and Reintroduction of the Amur Leopard.
On June 7, 2022, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia hosted a meeting of experts on the Amur leopard conservation and restoration. During the event, specialists discussed the current state of construction of the breeding complex for the Amur Leopard Reintroduction Center in the Lazovsky Nature Reserve. It will be completed in a year within the boundaries of the protected area.The Amur Leopard Reintroduction Center in the Lazovsky Nature Reserve is being built to increase the number of the subspecies, as well as to solve the problem of reducing the genetic diversity of leopard population. The only group of the Amur leopard in Russia, consisting of 120 cats and living in the Land of the Leopard National Park, descends from 30 animals, and therefore, over time, the process of imbreeding depression may begin, resulting in a decrease in the viability of individuals.
The project to create a reserve population of the Amur leopard in the Lazovsky Reintroduction Center is being implemented by WWF and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation. The preservation of the existing population is carried out by ANO “Far Eastern Leopards” with the support of partners.