Russia declares 'Land of the Leopard' National Park

Apr 13, 2012
Camera trap photos show Far Eastern Leopards roaming in their newly declared protected area - Land of the Leopard National Park in Russia. Credit: Wildlife Conservation Society

The Wildlife Conservation Society commends the Russian government for creating a new national park to protect critically endangered Amur (Siberian) tigers and the world's rarest big cat: the Far Eastern leopard.

Called "Land of the Leopard" , the new protected area in the was declared on April 9th. It safeguards 1,011 square miles (262,000 hectares) of leopard and . The park was created through the merger of three existing protected areas: Kedrovya Pad Reserve, Barsovy Federal Wildlife Refuge, and Borisovkoe Plateau Regional Wildlife Refuge. In addition, key previously unprotected lands have been added along the Chinese border and in the northeast portion of the leopard's range.

"The new park is great news for Far Eastern leopards and Amur tigers," said WCS Russia Program Director Dale Miquelle. "We commend the Russian government for their foresight in creating this new protected area, and we are optimistic that it will provide a critical refuge for some of the most endangered big cats on the planet."

The last 30 or so remaining Far Eastern leopards occur in a narrow sliver of Russian forests between the to the east and Jilin Province, China, to the west. While tigers occur over a much broader region to the north, this Southwest region of Primorskii Krai also retains a vital yet small population that regularly move across the border into Hunchun Reserve China, and thus represent a critical source population for recovery of tigers in Northeast China.

"This is tremendous news for big cat conservation," said Peter Zahler, WCS Deputy Director for Asia. "The creation of this park greatly increases the amount of land protecting critical populations of two of the world's , and it will go a long way to securing their future. We look forward to continuing to provide whatever support is requested to help conserve tigers and leopards in the region."

Explore further: Fish tale: New study evaluates antibiotic content in farm-raised fish

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

First Far Eastern Leopard Captured in Southeast Russia

Nov 14, 2006

Just three days after catching a Siberian tiger in the Russian Far East, an international team led by biologists from the Wildlife Conservation Society captured another species last week that carries the dubious distinction ...

Critically endangered Amur leopards captured on video

Jul 13, 2011

Recent video footage from a survey on a group of critically endangered Amur leopards in the Russian Far East has yielded unexpectedly positive results, giving evidence that some wild groups of the big cat ...

Critically endangered Amur leopard captured

Oct 23, 2007

A rare Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), one of only an estimated 30 left in the wild has been captured and health-checked by experts from a consortium of conservation organizations, before being ...

World's rarest big cat gets a check-up

Oct 30, 2008

The world's rarest big cat is alive and well. At least one of them, that is, according to researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) who captured and released a female Far Eastern leopard in Russia last week.

Recommended for you

User comments : 0