From: WWF
Published April 25, 2008 10:20 AM

Rare leopards captured by camera in east Siberia

A camera trap in Kedrovaya Pad reserve has captured rare footage of one of the world’s most endangered cats.
Eight Far Eastern Leopards were photographed in the reserve, located in the Primorsky Krai, during a census being conducted by WWF-Russia and the Institute for Sustainable Use of Nature Resources.

For Pavel Fomenko, coordinator of the biodiversity conservation program at the Armur branch of WWF-Russia, “the confirmed stability of the leopard population living in the territories of Kedrovaya Pad biosphere reserve and Barsovyi wildlife refuge warm our hearts and give hopes.”

“But this is only a small part of the leopard’s habitat in the southwest Primorsky. The remaining 70 per cent of leopard’s habitat are in precarious conditions.”

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“The goal of utmost importance to create a unified federal protected area for the Far Eastern leopard has not yet been achieved in Primorsky”, said Fomenko.

Over the past years, scientists have been monitoring the rare cat’s plight using camera traps to develop effective measures to its conservation.

As tigers and leopards’ coloration is individual, the pictures are a way to compare and identify specimen. “The information we receive from camera traps can be processed through mathematic methods. So, by comparing the different photographs taken at different intervals, we can estimate the real number of leopards living in a certain area”, said Vladimir Aramilev, Head of the Institute for Sustainable Use of Nature Resources.

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