Amur leopard snarling. Captive animal.
Amur leopard, only 33 are left in the wild, more precious than its weight in 24 karat gold!
The AMUR leopard is rarely found in cold or high-elevation environments and is best known in its more familiar home in the savannas of Africa, where populations are relatively stable. However, in the northernmost part of its range, a rare subspecies of this cat lives in the temperate forests and harsh winters of the Russian Far East. This is the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), also known as the Far East leopard, the Manchurian leopard or the Korean leopard. IUCN’s 2000 Red List of Threatened Species classifies the subspecies as Critically Endangered, and the CITES has listed it on Appendix I.
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. The organization is also implementing 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 are also monitoring the leopard population and its habitat.
The Amur leopard has some very distinguishing features. The hairs of its summer pelt are 2.5 cm long but in winter they are replaced by 7 cm long ones. Apart from its long winter coat, the Amur leopard is easily told apart from other leopard subspecies by its widely spaced rosettes with thick borders. It also has longer legs, probably an adaptation for walking through snow. The Amur leopard is habitually nocturnal and solitary. Nimble-footed and strong, it carries and hides unfinished kills so that they are not taken by other predators. Adult males: 32-48 kg, exceptionally large males weigh up to 75 kg. Females: 25-43 kg. Light colour in the winter, more reddish-yellow in the summer.
Major habitat type: Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Range States: Russia, China, probably North Korea
Geographical Location: South of the Far East-Primorskii region (Russian Far East), Tzilin, Heilundzyan Provinces (Northern China).
Ecological Region: Russian Far East Temperate Forests
Interesting Fact: The Amur leopard has been reported to leap more than 6 m horizontally and more than 3 m vertically.
Fewer than 40 left in the wild
Taken w/Nikon D2Xs, Nikkor 300/4 AFS-I