Amur leopard

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by kciolliko
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Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Animals

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Amur leopard

The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a leopard subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and Jilin Province of northeast China, and is classified as Critically Endangered since 1996 by IUCN.In the Ussuri region the main prey of leopards 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 Eurasian black bears less than two years old.CharacteristicsAmur leopards differ from other subspecies by a thick coat of spot covered fur. They show the strongest and most consistent divergence in pattern. Leopards from the Amur river basin, the mountains of north-eastern China and the Korean peninsula have pale cream-colored coats, particularly in winter. Rosettes on the flanks are 5 cm × 5 cm (2.0 in × 2.0 in) large and widely spaced, up to 2.5 cm (0.98 in), with thick, unbroken rings and darkened centers. Their coat is fairly soft with long and dense hair. The length of hair on the back is 20–25 mm (0.79–0.98 in) in summer and 50 mm (2.0 in) in winter. The winter coat varies from fairly light yellow to dense yellowish-red with a golden tinge or rusty-reddish-yellow. The summer pelage is brighter with more vivid coloration pattern. They are rather small in size and fall within the range of variation in linear measurement of the species. Measurement of six males range from 107 to 136 cm (42 to 54 in) with a tail length of 82 to 90 cm (32 to 35 in) and a shoulder height of 64 to 78 cm (25 to 31 in). In weight males range from 32.2–48 kg (71–110 lb), and females from 25–42.5 kg (55–94 lb).Conservation projects for the Amur leopard include: a) four anti-poaching teams with a total of 15 members in the Amur leopard rangeb) a special task force of local police and anti-poaching teams led by the Khasan prosecutorc) monitoring of the Amur leopard population through snow track counts and camera trap countsd) monitoring and analysis of the impact of fires on Amur leopard habitat and the effectiveness of fire-fightinge) habitat assessment with G.I.S technique : assessment of the role of habitat quality, land ownership, land use, protection status, settlements, deer farms, roads and human settlements with use of monitoring data and satellite imagesf) development of land-use plans that take in account future needs of Amur leopardsg) support for protected areas in the leopard rangeh) compensation of livestock kills by leopards and tigersi) a comprehensive education program for school children and students in the leopard rangej) support for hunting leases and ungulate recovery programk) media campaign to create awareness about the Amur leopard's plightl) support and technical assistance for the new Hunchun reserve in China that borders on the leopard range in Russia.

Amur leopard

(The Amur leopard is also known as the Far Eastern leopard, Korean leopard, and Manchurian leopard)

General information

Amur leopards are threatened by poaching, encroaching civilization, new roads, exploitation of forests and climate change.

Areals

PoachingLeopards are most often killed by local Russians from small villages in and around the leopard habitat. Most of these villagers hunt entirely illegally; they have no licenses for hunting nor for their guns, and they are not members of one of the local hunting leases.Forest degradationHuman induced fires are a main threat to the survival of the Amur leopard. Setting fire to fields is to a large extent simply a habit. Some fires are started for a particular purpose such as improving fertility for grazing, killing ticks and other insects, making scrap metals visible so that they can be easily collected, culling vegetation along train tracks, and stimulating fern growth since young ferns are sold in shops, served in restaurants and also exported to China as a popular dish.Development projectsA number of plans for economic activities in south-west Primorye were developed that posed a serious threat to the leopard's survival.InbreedingAn acute problem is potential inbreeding , and that the remaining population could disappear as a result of genetic degeneration , even without direct human influence.


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