WWF: Russia setting up park to save leopards
An Amur leopard is pictured in the wild in 2007.
April 10th, 2012
01:29 PM ET

WWF: Russia setting up park to save leopards

Russia took a big step Tuesday to try to save the Amur leopard, the world's most endangered cat, with just 40 believed left in the wild.

The country is establishing a new national park in Russia's Far East that encompasses about 60% of the endangered cat's habitat and all of its breeding areas, according to a statement from the World Wildlife Fund announcing the park. The organization has been pushing for establishment of the Land of the Leopard National Park since 2001.

Amur leopards are literally teetering on the brink of extinction,” Sybille Klenzendorf, head of the WWF’s species program, said in a statement. “With the establishment of Land of the Leopard National Park, in conjunction with other conservation efforts, we can now start to focus on how to begin bringing them back.”

The cats are also known as the Far East leopard, the Manchurian leopard or the Korean leopard. They live in the temperate forests in Russia's Far East between Vladivostok and the border with China and endure extreme winters with the help of pelts that triple in length during the cold months, according to the WWF's website on the leopards.

The leopards have a life span of 10 to 15 years in the wild. Large males can weigh up to 165 pounds, with the average male topping out at about 100 pounds. Females are about 95 pounds at their largest, according to the WWF.

The 650,000-acre park will include sites for ecotourism as well as protected areas, according to the WWF statement. The Russian government is spending about $16.6 million for its development.

Ten Amur, or Siberian, tigers, also an endangered species, are also believed to live in the park, according to the WWF. The tiger species also once numbered about 40 individuals in the wild, but the population has recovered to 450 individuals today with preservation efforts, giving hope to the leopard plans, according to the WWF.

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Filed under: Animals • Leopards • Russia
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. TODAY

    BIG KITTY :))

    April 10, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pat

    WHY do "humans" have to wait for the animal to be almost extinct before stopping their stupidity and cruelty and finally helping – the "human race" is truly disgusting. I'm glad something is finally going to be done, but the whole world is very sad.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • alko

      There is no doubt in my mind that the only place you will see big animals like this in the future is in zoo's. Whether it's from over hunting or encroaching on their territory to make room for another billion people, it's only a matter of time before nothing is left in the wild.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      someday chicken will be extinct too....blame it on kfc

      April 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Humanist

      Pat – it’s a double edged sword. Actually, the human race produces some of the most amazing creatures on earth, some of the most advanced technology, and some of the greatest thinkers. Unfortunately, also some of the greatest ignorance.

      Time shall tell which may truly “inherit the earth” and beyond.

      April 11, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • jtucker4

      Oh shut up. What have you done for them? That's what I thought.

      April 11, 2012 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mark

    sad, but these will be gone within a hundred years, like so many before. FOREVER.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lovesmesomekitties

    Leopards are teh coolest!

    April 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hawaii

    I blame anyone who bred past Sustainable Two for this.
    What a bleak and boring place Earth is becoming.
    Kudos to Russia for the effort. Fight the good fight either way, go down swinging.

    April 11, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. TheAlgerian

    he looks sad :(

    April 11, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. n2vjb

    The original terminology for Sustainable Two in the mid to late 1970's was Zero Population Growth or ZPG. There was even a movie on television at that time that was extremely anti-ZPG. Very sad that these beautiful felines have gotten to this precarious tipping point. The same thing is happening to cheetahs and other large cats in Africa and South America, what a great loss we as the custodians of this planet are experiencing. So very disturbing.

    April 11, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Humanist

    We kill, we kill, we kill. Why? We reproduce, we over-reproduce, why? Mother Earth will rid herself of this animal called “humankind” one way or the other. Tornadoes, Tsunamis, Earth Quakes, Plague, whatever… Too many of “us” in one place, too much drilling, extensive raping of the planet’s resources… it will come. Only the few shall realize, the rest shall be the arbitrators of our demise.

    April 11, 2012 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. JMD

    The human race has speed up the extinction of every other race – including our selves.

    April 11, 2012 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jason Rogers

    Wow! What a beautiful creature.

    April 11, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. AndyM

    These saddens me to no end. Save the cats!!!!

    April 11, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bob in CA

    The glorious korean leopard

    driven to extinction by the chinese purveyors of dried tiger wang

    April 11, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. MashaSobaka

    Russia's been taking some fantastic steps lately to protect their big cats. Now if they could just put two and two together and realize that they need to tighten up their industry regulations in order to curb pollution or their other efforts will be in vain. When I went to Russia I began to think that all environmental protection efforts in other nations are a waste of time. Russia and China's industrial pollution alone will kill the planet if they don't do something about it, and soon.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. batik|trusmi|cirebon|batik|pusat|kerajinan|terlengkap|spesial|terlaris|terbaru|kain|hem|kemeja|bahan|ebatiktrusmi|grosir| terlengkap

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    April 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jessica Lent

    i need to find out how to save a leopard........... CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHERE TO GO????

    April 26, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
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