The Amur Leopard
Also known as Panthera pardus orientalis
- Native to: North Korea, China, Russia and African Savannas.
- Scientific Name: Panthera pardus orientalis
- Physical Apperance: Can weight up to 200 pounds
- Lifespan: 21 years (in captivity)
- Current Status: Critically endangered, only handful exhist in the wild.
- Population: About 7-12 in China and 20-25 in Russia
- Habitat: Mountinous Woodlands
- Niche: Opportunistic hunters
- Trophic Level: Consumers
- Place in Food Web: First Level Consumer
- CARNIVORE (obviously)
- Very lone animal. Unless seeking food stays to itself.
~Wide, powerful paws are excellent weapons for felling prey
~Amur leopards can leap 20 feet into the air.
Factors of Endangerment
They have become endangered through extensive habitat loss, prey scarcity, habitat fragmentation, poaching and illegal trade, vulnerable popluation as well as conflict from humans their living situation is now critical. Estimated that between 1970-1983, the Amur leopard lost 80% of its former habitat. Logging, forest fires and land conversion for farming are the main causes.
- The conservation of their close cousin -Amur Tiger- gives conservationalists hope in ways to put these initiavtives into effect.
- If areas can be protected from logging, forest fires, and poaching population growth could steadily rise.
- Amur leopard to survive for the long term, it needs to repopulate its former range but the chance for it to recover needs to happen as well
- Agriculture needs to move farther away from the habitat because it makes it easier for poachers to get to these animals.
- "In 1998, the Russian government adopted a strategy for the conservation of the Amur leopard. WWF is supporting anti-poaching activities in the Barsovy wildlife refuge, as well within the whole leopard habitat in the Russian Far East. WWF implements programmes to stop the traffic in Amur leopard parts and to increase the population of prey ungulate (hoofed) species in the leopard's habitat. WWF staff continue to monitor the Amur leopard population and its habitat. In 2007, WWF and other conservationists successfully lobbied the Russian government to reroute a planned oil pipeline that would have endangered the leopard's habitat." ~http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/amur_leopard2/
Humans can help by:
- Adopt an Amur leopard from WWF-US or WWF-UK and support their work to secure its habitat, establish anti-poaching teams and develop environmental education programs that showcase the animal’s importance to the region.
- Spreading the word
- Donating to WWF