Amur leopard

Panthera pardus orientalis

The Amur leopard is a leopard subspecies native to the southwestern Primorye region of Russia, and is, as of 15 February 2012, classed as Critically Endangered.

The Amur leopard is also known as the ''Far Eastern leopard'', ''Korean leopard'', and ''Manchurian leopard''.
Amur leopard As close as you'll ever want to get Amur leopard,Panthera pardus orientalis

Appearance

Amur leopards differ from other subspecies by a thick coat. 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 × 5 cm large and widely spaced, up to 2.5 cm , 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 in summer and 50 mm 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 with a tail length of 82 to 90 cm and a shoulder height of 64 to 78 cm . In weight males range from 32.2–48 kg , and females from 25–42.5 kg .
Screwed either way? Being born as an Amur Leopard means you either live a caged life or you join the fading wild population of less than 40 individuals.

Hopeless? Not yet. Its' cousin the Amur Tiger bounced back from 40 to over 500 wild individuals and growing. It is clear what needs to be done, it just needs to get done.

Make the irreversible reversible and consider donating, no matter how small the amount. We're not affiliated with any particular charity, yet WWF is strongly organized regarding this species' conservation:

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/amur_leopard2/ Amur leopard,Antwerpen,Panthera pardus orientalis

Distribution

The specimen first described by Hermann Schlegel in 1857 originated in Korea.

Amur leopards used to be found in northeastern China, 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. The northern boundary commenced on the coast of the Sea of Japan at 44°N and ran south at a distance of 15–30 km from the coast to 43°10’N. There it turned steeply westward, north of the Suchan basin, then north to encompass the source of Ussuri River and two right bank tributaries in the upper reaches of the Ussuri. There the boundary turned westward toward the bank of Khanka Lake. 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 or where deer husbandry is practised. In winter they keep to snowfree rocky slopes facing south.

In the 1970s, the Russian population had fragmented into 3 separate, small populations. After the turn of the century, the only remaining population is that of southwest Primorye, where the population inhabits an area of approximately 3,000 km2 along the borders with China and North Korea.

The only official North Korean government site, Naenara, reported in 2009 that in Myohyangsan Nature Reserve located in Hyangsan County, there were some leopards. It is likely the southernmost living group of Amur's Leopard.
Playful Leopard Caught this leopard doing a little gymnastics...backbend anyone? Amur leopard,Big Cats,Cats,Geotagged,Mammals,PPG,Panthera pardus orientalis,Pittsburgh,Spring,United States,zoo

Status

''Panthera pardus'' is listed in CITES Appendix I.

The ''Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance'' is an initiative of Russian and western conservation organisations to conserve the Amur leopard and Amur tiger, and secure a future for both species in the Russian Far East and Northeast China. ALTA operates across Northeast Asia under the guiding principle that only co-operative, co-ordinated conservation actions from all interested parties can save these endangered species from extinction. ALTA works in close co-operation with local, regional, and federal governmental and non-governmental organisations to protect the region's biological wealth through conservation, sustainable development and local community involvement. The Phoenix Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society provide a local framework for implementing ALTA projects, working closely with many Russian and Chinese agencies. In regards to conservation of Amur leopards ALTA aims at retaining a leopard population of 35 adult females in south-west Primorye and the Jilin-Heilongjiang border region; and creating a second population of 20 adult females in the former range of the Amur leopards. Conservation projects for the Amur leopard include:
⤷ four anti-poaching teams with a total of 15 members in the Amur leopard range
⤷ a special task force of local police and anti-poaching teams led by the Khasan prosecutor
⤷ a 5 member fire-fighting team operating exclusively in the Amur leopard range
⤷ monitoring of the Amur leopard population through snow track counts and camera trap counts
⤷ monitoring and analysis of the impact of fires on Amur leopard habitat and the effectiveness of fire-fighting
⤷ 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 images
⤷ development of land-use plans that take in account future needs of Amur leopards
⤷ support for protected areas in the leopard range
⤷ compensation of livestock kills by leopards and tigers
⤷ a comprehensive education program for school children and students in the leopard range
⤷ support for hunting leases and ungulate recovery program
⤷ support for protected areas in the leopard range
⤷ media campaign to create awareness about the Amur leopard's plight
⤷ support and technical assistance for the new Hunchun reserve in China that borders on the leopard range in Russia
Amur Leopard at Antwerp zoo One of the most beautiful and most endangered cats on the planet, with only 40 wild individuals left. There is hope though, please check the comment below in case you want to help out. Amur leopard,Antwerpen,Panthera pardus orientalis

Behavior

Amur leopards are extremely conservative in their choice of territory. An individual's territory is usually located in a river basin and generally extends to the natural topographical borders of the area. The territory of two individuals may sometimes overlap, but only slightly. Depending on sex, age, and family size, the size of an individual's territory can vary from 5,000–30,000 ha . They may use the same hunting trails, routes of constant migration, and even places for extended rest constantly over the course of many years.
At places where wild animals are abundant, leopards live permanently or perform only vertical migrations, trailing herds of ungulates and avoiding snow. 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.

When density of ungulates is low, leopards have large home ranges that can be up to 100 km2 .
photo-20  Amur leopard,Panthera pardus orientalis

Habitat

The specimen first described by Hermann Schlegel in 1857 originated in Korea.

Amur leopards used to be found in northeastern China, 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. The northern boundary commenced on the coast of the Sea of Japan at 44°N and ran south at a distance of 15–30 km from the coast to 43°10’N. There it turned steeply westward, north of the Suchan basin, then north to encompass the source of Ussuri River and two right bank tributaries in the upper reaches of the Ussuri. There the boundary turned westward toward the bank of Khanka Lake. 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 or where deer husbandry is practised. In winter they keep to snowfree rocky slopes facing south.

In the 1970s, the Russian population had fragmented into 3 separate, small populations. After the turn of the century, the only remaining population is that of southwest Primorye, where the population inhabits an area of approximately 3,000 km2 along the borders with China and North Korea.

The only official North Korean government site, Naenara, reported in 2009 that in Myohyangsan Nature Reserve located in Hyangsan County, there were some leopards. It is likely the southernmost living group of Amur's Leopard.Amur leopards are extremely conservative in their choice of territory. An individual's territory is usually located in a river basin and generally extends to the natural topographical borders of the area. The territory of two individuals may sometimes overlap, but only slightly. Depending on sex, age, and family size, the size of an individual's territory can vary from 5,000–30,000 ha . They may use the same hunting trails, routes of constant migration, and even places for extended rest constantly over the course of many years.
At places where wild animals are abundant, leopards live permanently or perform only vertical migrations, trailing herds of ungulates and avoiding snow. 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.

When density of ungulates is low, leopards have large home ranges that can be up to 100 km2 .

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 in exceptional cases up to 25 days. Gestation requires 90–105 days, but usually 92–95 days. The weight of a newborn cub is 500–700 g . The young open their eyes on the 7th–9th day and begin to crawl on the 12th–15th day. By the second month they emerge from their dens and also begin to eat meat. Lactation continues for five or six months. Juveniles sometimes stay with their mother until she comes into estrus again. Until the 1970s, cubs used to be seen in Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve, Primorsky Krai and in northeastern China most often at the end of March to April and in April and May; litters comprised two to three cubs. In captivity some individuals have lived for 21 years.

Radio tracking has confirmed that young may stay with their mother for two years. In Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve situations are known, in which the young of two different litters stayed with the mother at the same time.An acute problem is potential inbreeding, and that the remaining population could disappear as a result of genetic degeneration, even without direct human influence. The levels of diversity are remarkably low, indicative of a history of inbreeding in the population for several generations. Such levels of genetic reduction have been associated with severe reproductive and congenital abnormalities that impede the health, survival and reproduction of some but not all genetically diminished small populations. Cub survival has been declining from 1.9 cubs per one female in 1973 to 1.7 in 1984 and 1.0 in 1991. Besides a decline in natural replacement, there is a high probability of mortality for all age groups as a result of certain diseases or direct human impact.

Predators

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

Tigers can eliminate leopards if densities of large and medium-sized prey species are low. Competition between both predators supposedly decreases in summer, when small prey species are more available. In winter conditions are less favorable for leopards, and the extent of trophic niche overlap with that of Amur tigers probably reaches its peak.

References:

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Status: Critically endangered | Trend: Down
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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
FamilyFelidae
GenusPanthera
SpeciesPanthera pardus