The critically endangered Amur Leopard (or Far Eastern Leopard) is in immediate danger of extinction without serious efforts to protect it. At present there are only 30-40 of these creatures remaining in the wild, and only around 12 purebread examples in captivity. The Amur Leopard is facing an extremely bleak future as a species, or without substantial conservation efforts – no future at all.
While the outlook is indeed bleak for this particular species of leopard, the power of concerted conservation efforts is never more apparent than in the case of the Amur Tiger (Siberian Tiger), which has increased in numbers from around 40 to around 500 thanks entirely to the efforts of several conservation specialists.
While efforts to protect the Amur Tiger have flourished, attempts to save this disappearing species of leopard have been extremely limited by comparison.
This magnificent big cat faces a number of threats – it is the subject of poaching for it’s extraordinarily beautiful coat, and is suffering further due to the destruction of its habitat and the associated reduction in the amount of food available.
Logging operations have also caused a massive reduction in their territory, together with a reduction in the species of animals on which they prey in order to survive. Forest fires burn out of control in the area in which they live, causing devastation and further contraction of an already limited territory and supply of food. Many of the animals that they feed upon, (mainly deer) are killed in large numbers by russian hunters and the use of snares to catch deer sometimes results in the death of Amur Leopards.
At least 11 Amur Leopards are known to have been illegally killed since 2002, which may not sound like many, but for the Amur Leopard that number represents a quarter of their entire population. The WWF aims to raise numbers of these animals and to protect those still alive.
By choosing to sponsor a leopard you will be assisting the WWF in their efforts to protect this dwindling star of the big cat world before it is too late.