Good news! More Amur leopards captured on video
Recent video footage from a survey on a group of critically endangered Amur leopards in the Russian Far East has yielded unexpectedly positive results, giving evidence that some wild groups of the big cat are showing clear signs of a tendency towards population growth, says WWF Russia.
The recordings, which document a total of 12 leopards, reveal two different pairs of the rare spotted animals and one individual in the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve and "Leopardoviy" Federal Wildlife Refuge in Russia's Primorsky Province, located between the Sea of Japan and the Chinese border.
One scene captures a pair of leopards moving languidly through a small forest clearing, while a second shows a female leopard parenting a nearly grown-up cub.
"In the previous 5 years of camera-trapping, we were able to identify between 7 and 9 individual leopards in this monitoring plot every year. But this year, the survey was record-breaking: today 12 different leopards inhabit the territory," says Sergei Aramilev, Species Program Coordinator at WWF Russiaâ€™s Amur Branch. "The results are pointing to a population increase of up to 50 per cent within the target group in Kedrovaya Pad and Leopardoviy," he adds, "and I think we can attribute this to improvements in how our reserves are managed and the long-term efforts that have gone into leopard conservation."
There are fewer than 50 Amur leopards remaining in the wild. To help understand how to better protect this rare animal, WWF Russia and the Institute of Sustainable Use of Natural Resources (ISUNR), a non-profit organization based in Vladivostok, and the Pacific Institute of Geography of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Science have carried out this regular survey for the past 6 years.
Photo shows an Amur leopard cub that's close to fully grown caught on camera in Primorsky Province, Russia. Fewer than 50 Amur leopards now live in the wild. Primorsky Province, Russia.
Credit: WWF Russia / ISUNR
Article continues: http://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?uNewsID=200995