The critically endangered Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis or Panthera pardus amurensis) is one of the rarest felids in the world with estimates of between 25 to 40 known individuals remaining in the wild.
This species was originally distributed throughout the Korean Peninsula, northeastern China, and the Amur River Valley on the Russia-China border and southeastern Russia; the majority of its range overlapping with that of the Siberian Tiger. It also is rarely found in warm areas. Today, it is extremely close to extinction with only 25 to 34 known individuals remaining in the Sikhote-Alin mountains of southern Russia (only six of these are female), while it is estimated that at least 100 are needed if the species is to avoid extinction. A few individuals are thought to remain on the Kaema Plateau and Baekdusan of North Korea, but the status of the species here is unknown. Habitat destruction and the fur trade have diminished its numbers dramatically, and have resulted in the animal becoming the rarest extant member of the feline family on the planet. It has also been suggested that poachers interested in the Leopard’s fur and meat helped bring about the Amur Leopard’s downfall but there is no solid evidence to support this.
Filed under: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED |