Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Land of Leopard Park a Huge Success

Some good news for lovers of wild felines from Russia.  Camera traps installed in Land of the Leopard National Park show a dramatic increase in the world's rarest and most endangered cats, the Amur leopard, Panthera pardus orientalis.  Four hundred cameras have harmlessly captured 84 adults and 19 cubs living in the Park, up substantially from the 2000 census estimate of just 30 leopards, and a 2015 survey of just 70.  Land of the Leopard was only established in 2012 and is the core area for leopard habitat in Russia's far east. {19.04.12; Russia Makes Room for Leopards} Already the leopards are responding to human protection by increasing their numbers. Scientists observe individual spot patterns to distinguish photographed cats.  Experts believe that more leopards live outside the Park boundaries, and are working to collect  photographic evidence from nearby China.  Environment Minister Sergey Donskoy said, "our forecasts were optimistic", but he must be pleased with the increase in leopards living on land set aside for them with plenty of prey and protection from poachers. The Park is also home for Amur tigers.  Green Kudos to Russia