Help Save The Amur Leopard From Extinction

1545 words - 7 pages

The Amur leopard is native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and Jilin Province of northeast China, and is classified as Critically Endangered since 1996. Only 14–20 adults and 5–6 cubs were counted in a census in 2007, with a total of 19–26 Amur leopards in the wild. The Amur leopard is also known as the Far Eastern leopard.
Characteristics
Amur leopards have a thick coat of spot covered fur. Leopards from the Amur River basin, the mountains of north-eastern China and the Korean peninsula have pale cream-colored coats, particularly in winter. Their coat is fairly soft with long and dense hair. The winter coat varies from light yellow to dense yellowish-red with a golden tinge. In the summer it is brighter with more vivid pattern.
Habitat
Hermann Schlegel first described an Amur leopard in 1857 on the basis of a skin from Korea. The Amur leopard is the only leopard subspecies adapted to a cold snowy climate. Amur leopards used to be found in north East Asia, probably in the south to Peking, and the Korean Peninsula. In the mid-20th century, their distribution in Russia was limited to the far south of the Ussuri region. In the 1950s, leopards were observed 50 km north of Vladivostok and in Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve. The association of Amur leopards with mountains is fairly definite. They are confined more to places where wild sika deer live. In winter they keep to snow-free rocky slopes facing south. Leopards cross between Russia, China and North Korea across the Tumen River despite a high and long wire fence marking the boundary.
In China, Amur leopards were photographed by camera traps in Wangqing and Hunchun, east Jilin Province, China.
Behavior
Amur leopards are extremely conservative in their choice of territory. Their territory is usually located in a river basin and extends to the natural topographical borders of the area. The territory of two may sometimes overlap. Depending on sex, age, and family size, the size of their territory. They may use the same hunting trails, routes of constant migration, and even places for rest over the course of many years. At places where wild animals are abundant they avoiding snow. Their main prey are roe and sika deer, Manchurian wapiti, musk deer, moose, and wild pig. More rarely they catch hare, badger, fowl and mice. In Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve roe deer is their main prey year-round, but they also prey on young black bears less than two years old. During a study of radio-collared Amur leopards in the early 1990s, a territorial dispute between two males at a deer farm, suggesting that deer farms are good habitats. Female leopards with cubs are often found in the near of deer farms. The large number of domestic deer is a good food source when food is scares.
Reproduction
Sexual maturity sets in at the age of 2–3 years and ability to reproduce continues up to 10–15 years of age. Estrus lasts 12–18 days, and sometimes up to 25 days. The weight of a newborn cub is 500–700 g (1.1–1.5...

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