April 16, 2012
New Home For World’s Rarest Wild Cat
Just around 30 Amur leopards are believed to still exist in the wild. Today, the majority of the species has found a haven in the newly established Land of the Leopard National Park in Russia´s Far East.
The national park is part of a major effort to save the world´s rarest cat. Extending nearly 650,000 acres it includes all of the Amur leopard´s breeding areas and about 60 percent of the critically endangered cat´s remaining habitat. The park is also home to 10 endangered Amur tigers.Various zones exist within the park, including protected areas, an economic development zone and a recreational zone that will include forested areas and sites for eco-tourism.
“Amur leopards are literally teetering on the brink of extinction,” said Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf, head of WWF´s species program. “With the establishment of Land of the Leopard National Park, in conjunction with other conservation efforts, we can now start to focus on how to begin bringing them back.”
Due to extensive habitat loss and conflict with humans, Amur leopards are critically endangered. Since 2001, WWF has supported the establishment of the Land of the Leopard National Park in Russia as critical to ensuring the survival of Amur leopards, as well as Amur tigers.
Image Caption: Here a mother Amur leopard is parenting its grown-up offspring. © WWF-Russia/ISUNR
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