Employees of the Land of the Leopard National Park have completed the analysis of the data received by photo monitoring during 2017. Results show that there are 84 adult animals and 19 kittens in this protected area.
Far Eastern leopard is the rarest big cat on Earth, the northernmost subspecies. It lives in a very small habitat in Russia, in the Primorsky territory. It is the only subspecies in the world adapted to survive long snowy winters
In the early 2000s, the population of Far Eastern leopards became critically low and numbered just 30 animals. Most scientists were skeptical and didn’t believe that it can be recovered. But in 2015, 70 individuals were estimated to survive.
"Since 2012, when the Land of the Leopard national park was created, the population of the biggest cat on the Planet has increased considerably,” said Sergey Donskoy, the head of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia.
"An increase in the number of leopards recorded can be explained by two main factors: an expansion of the monitoring area on the territory of the national park and growth of the predator population,” said Gleb Sedash, a senior researcher of the Land of the Leopard National Park. “In 2017, the number of cats seen on pre-existing arears increased. And a lot of older leopards got in the frame during the monitoring.”
The Land of the Leopard National Park is located in the Primorsky territory and it occupies the Khasansky, Ussuriysky and Nadezhdinsky districts. Far Eastern leopards, Amur tigers, lynxes, Far Eastern forest cats, musk deer, wild boars and other animals live in the national park. There are 400 automatic photo monitoring cameras installed all over the park, and it is the largest monitoring network in Russia.