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Endangered Species Wednesday: Amur Leopard

Last week's Endangered Species Wednesday was the Przewalski's Horse.  Today, we're talking about the Amur Leopard, a beautiful but heartbreakingly critically endangered big cat native to Korea, China, and Russia.  

Did you know?

You can see a live feed of Amur Leopards from the Tallinn Zoo in Estonia.  

How many of Amur Leopards are left?

Sadly, only about 30-35 Amur Leopards currently exist in the wild.  It is one of the rarest cats in the world.

Reintroduction into the wild:  

Last year, the Minister of Natural Resources of Russia told Vladimir Putin that the ministry is planning to restore the Amur Leopard population by "importing" (reintroducing cubs from captivity) Amur Leopards and create safe habitats for them.   into the area and creating suitable and safe habitat for them. 

In Captivity: 

About 300 live in zoos in Europe, Russia, and North America.  The Amur Leopards in captivity are part of breeding programs to make sure that the leopards don't become too inbred, so the leopards are transfered.  Poaching hasn't ended, either.  Even recently a breeding-age Amur Leopard was shot in the wild.  

Why are Amur Leopards endangered?

Many reasons.  Poachers are a big one.  Their habitat is also diminishing due to logging, forest fires, and farms.  Lastly, many of these leopards are also inbred, which can decrease lifespan.  

How can I help?

Donate to the ALTA Amur Leopard Conservation or Big Cat Rescue.