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. Superman

    Nice kitty,,kitty

    April 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right vs. Wrong"

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

    April 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • YOur AnIdiot

      Your an idiot

      April 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Ah thanks Jeff I didn't get that from the headline.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rand

    Leopards are so beautiful.........

    April 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. social network

    Thank you Russia!

    April 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    JIF's friend Sheryl is going to be upset....

    I think this is a good thing Russia is doing.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anomic Office Drone

    I fear we won't truly comprehend what we're losing by damaging our environment until it's too late.

    April 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smart Human

      It's already too late. The rethuglicans have destroyed the earth with their greed.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Muggsy3

    thank you Russia, I hope it s not too late. These are beautiful animals.

    April 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wyciwyg

    thank you Russia, i just hope it is not too late,. These are beautiful animals.

    April 10, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. FU

    Only 40 left? I can see why: they are delicious!!

    April 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rfa1231

    That is fantastic they are doing this but it's a shame it took the brink of extinction to do so.

    April 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. minks

    Good for Russia, and the leopard, but this article is horrible – did the author not have any time to get any sources besides the WWF? It reads like a 5th grade paper on the Amur leopard – might as well just wikipedia it. Lazy.

    April 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nobody

    they will save cats, but won't help save humans in Syria
    WTG Russia

    April 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ola

    Extinction is a part of evolution and natural selection. Let them die.

    April 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      There's nothing natural about mankind pushing nature to the brink. We now have the role of choosing which species survive and which species go extinct.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • rfa1231

      Yes, that is an ignorant and careless comment, like so many other species they were hunted to the brink of extinction. It wasn't due to "natural selection" or "evolution". When we cause a species to become so rare that it's almost extinct it is our responsibility to fix it.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lame Folks

      And therein lies the reason Darwinism and evolution are completely flawed theories and should be outlawed as intelligent thought.... The most desensitizing teaching in the world.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David the Great

    I WANT ONE!!

    April 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. NODAT1

    Some men hunt for sport,
    Others hunt for food,
    The only thing I'm hunting for,
    Is an outfit that looks good...

    See my vest, see my vest,
    Made from real gorilla chest,
    Feel this sweater, there's no better,
    Than authentic Irish setter.

    See this hat, 'twas my cat,
    My evening wear – vampire bat,
    These white slippers are albino
    African endangered rhino.

    Grizzly bear underwear,
    Turtles' necks, I've got my share,
    Beret of poodle, on my noodle
    It shall rest,

    Try my red robin suit,
    It comes one breast or two,
    See my vest, see my vest,
    See my vest.

    Like my loafers? Former gophers –
    It was that or skin my chauffeurs,
    But a greyhound fur tuxedo
    Would be best,

    So let's prepare these dogs,

    Kill two for matching clogs,

    See my vest, see my vest,
    Oh please, won't you see my vest.

    April 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Ah, a nod to the The Simpsons.
      Shouldn't you u/n be Mr. Burns?

      April 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
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