The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), whose habitat is currently confined to the Sikhote-Alin Mountains, is the northernmost subspecies of leopard. It is also known as the Far-East leopard and the Siberian leopard. It is extremely close to extinction, with only about 35 still living in the wild. Habitat destruction and the fur trade have diminished its numbers dramatically. This has resulted in it being the world’s most rare cat on Earth today.
Although their range overlaps with that of the Siberian tiger, their population is not as heavily affected as it is for other leopards and tigers in different regions. Amur leopards tend to avoid living or hunting too close to tiger territory to avoid direct competition for prey.
Like all leopards, they are very skillful and opportunistic hunters. Their usual diet consists of roe and sika deer, hares, badgers and smaller rodents. They are solitary animals with primarily nocturnal habits.
They stand apart from other leopards in their longer fur. This is probably to better cope in the harsh, cold durf of the taiga. They also have larger and more widely spaced rosettes. Their fur lightens to a pale cream during winter, but is more golden orange during summer. During the summer, their fur is usually about .98 in (2.5 cm) long. During winter, their fur is around 2.76 in (7 cm). Males are about fifty percent larger than females, and their weight ranges from 65 to 155 pounds.