Endangered leopard images are proof of conservation progress in Caucasus

May 02, 2014
At least one male and two females are believed to have been living in an area of Southern Armenia for the last year, giving hope that one of the females may produce cubs. Credit: WWF-Caucasus

New images of the endangered Caucasian leopard emerged this week proving ten years of conservation efforts are working.

Camera trap images taken over the last eight months in Southern Armenia show that at least one male and two females have been living in the area for the last year with hopes the females will deliver cubs.

Images of more Caucasian leopards from Azerbaijan this month have given conservationists indications that up to seven individuals are living in the Southern Caucuses region.

"Such increasing evidence can be interpreted as positive trends in the leopard population particularly in the southern part of the Caucasus, which must be closely connected with our 10 years of leopard activities here", said Nugzar Zazanshvili, Conservation Director at WWF-Caucasus.

According to the camera trapped photos and field monitoring data the number of prey species for the leopard has also significantly increased.

WWF together with the IUCN/SCC Cat Specialist Group developed a Regional Strategy on Leopard Conservation with involvement from various organizations of the Caucasus Ecoregion.

The strategy was adopted by the governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia as part of National Action Plans.

It included elements such as increased monitoring of the species, combating poaching and increasing the number of protected areas.

Since 2002 four new protected areas were established in southern Armenia, which include leopard habitats, and cover 2.9% of the country.

Caucasian leopard numbers are estimated to be fewer than 1300 individuals, and range from Iran to the North Caucasus region in Russia.

Also known as the Persian leopard, its population was once widespread throughout the mountainous region between the Black and Caspian Seas, but declined drastically throughout the 20th century due to poaching and habitat loss.

Last summer two Caucasian cubs were born in Russia, the first for 50 years.

Explore further: New footage reveals family life of elusive Amur leopard

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Olympic mascot calls attention to snow leopards' plight

Jan 28, 2014

When the 2014 Winter Olympics kick off next month in the Russian city of Sochi, attention will focus on thousands of elite athletes, scores of broadcasters and three cuddly animal mascots, including the appealing - but endangered ...

Rare Amur leopard killed in China

Jan 20, 2014

An extremely rare Amur leopard has been killed in China, state media reported Monday, as police searched for the suspected trapper.

First camera trap photos of rare leopard in China

Apr 25, 2012

The first-known camera trap photos of an Amur leopard in China have recently been taken by protected area staff in Hunchun Amur Tiger National Nature Reserve in Jilin Province according to the Wildlife Conservation ...

Recommended for you

Study finds tropical fish moving into temperate waters

Dec 19, 2014

Tropical herbivorous fish are beginning to expand their range into temperate waters – likely as a result of climate change – and a new international study documents the dramatic impact of the intrusion ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.