Critically Endangered Amur Leopard Sees Its Numbers Rise

The Amur leopard, which was put on the “critically endangered list” in 1996, is coming back from the brink of extinction. In 2007, there were just 14 to 20 adult Amur with up to six cubs found. However, the World Wildlife Fund said, even though its numbers are bouncing back up, the animal is still in danger.

57 of the Amur leopard is roaming in Russia’s Land of the Leopard with another eight to 12 cats in China. This means the cat numbers have doubled in less than 10 years.

The census was obtained by using hidden camera trap, which took 10,000 pictures over a 900,000-acre leopard habitat. Each leopard was identified by their spots’ unique patterns to ensure an accurate population count was complete.

Dr. Barney Long said the rebound in the leopard’s numbers is proof that even critically endangered animals can be restored so long as the habitat is protected and conservation efforts are put forth. Long said there’s still more work to be done to ensure a safe future but the numbers proves that things are going in the right direction.

The Land of the Leopard National Park was established in 2012, measuring 650,000 acres and is home to the Amur tiger (commonly known as the Siberian Tiger, which is also making a resurgence).

WWF Russia Amur Branch head and member to the Supervisory Board of the Amur Leopards Center Yury Darman said the national park is the driving force in protecting and researching leopards.

Before the park was set up and protection measures were enacted, the cat was hastily becoming endangered by similar factors that endanger many species – habitat degradation, poaching, inbreeding, etc.

The various conservation methods that were taken included the setting up of four anti-poaching teams, task force that worked in conjunction with local authorities, monitoring through satellite images and camera traps and more. A general public education campaign was also established – reaching out to schools and conventional media awareness campaigns.

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Posted by on Feb 24 2015. Filed under New, Sci/Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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