Adopt: Tolstyi, El’duga and Narva
Species: Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)
About Tolstyi, El’duga and Narva: Tolstyi either battled for or inherited his home range at least 10 years ago. He is one of the most photographed of the 19 Amur leopards that the WWF researchers follow, having made many appearances on hidden cameras set up within his home range. El’duga is the only female surviving in the northern zone where the hidden cameras are set up. Four male Amur leopards live around her territory. The males keep constant track of her, waiting for the moment when she is ready to mate. They target the same prey as her, and their presence drives away much of the other potential prey in the area, making the challenge of feeding herself and her young more difficult. Narva’s territory is largely made up of boggy lowland meadows. This is very uncharacteristic habitat for an Amur leopard, although Narva has become very skilled at stalking prey in these conditions and is known to have raised young there.
About leopards: The three adopted Amur leopards live in the province of Primorskii Krai in Russia’s Far East. Their habitat is mainly forested with Korean pine and oak and has many steep, eroding cliffs. There are many caves eaten into these cliffs, which the female leopards use when giving birth to their young.
The situation concerning the Amur leopard is critical. However, the fact that another big cat in the region, the Amur tiger, has recovered from a precarious state of fewer than 40 individuals some 60-70 years ago, to a now stable population of some 500 individuals, gives some hope. WWF’s current ambitious goal for Amur leopard conservation is to increase the population to at least 45 individuals.
Just £3.00 per month will go towards helping WWF to protect leopards in the wild.