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: Stanford researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

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

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Apr 18, 2014

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Apr 18, 2014

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.