Monitoring the Far Eastern leopard population in Primorye in the last ten years shows that the predator population is stable and there is a tendency to increase, said at a press conference in Vladivostok coordinator Amur branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia Sergey biodiversity Aramilev.
South of Primorsky Krai — Russia's only natural habitat of the Amur leopard. According to the last census, now in the Ussuri taiga live about 50 birds leopard. Scientists from many countries and the WWF are concerned about the preservation of endangered species.
"Based on the monitoring project Amur leopards using camera traps in the northern and southern areas of accounting, we say that the population is stable and there is a tendency to increase," — said Aramilev.
According to him, over ten years of research, there was a significant evolution of photographic equipment with which is shooting leopards. In this regard, according to scientists, is growing and the number of shots made camera traps. Thus, if in 2003 the traps detected the appearance of only 16 leopards, in 2011 — already 29.
"Given the fact that this is only half of the range, we assume that all in Primorye live about 40-45 of these animals. But this is only an approximation, since we do not have data from all over the area. Anyway, if only about leopards 50 — it is very small for such a beast, although our task would be to make it 100-150 (individuals), "- said Aramilev.
The expert said that the major threats to the leopard are the lack of available habitat, poaching, and burns, after the passage of which forests become uninhabitable these rare predators. But in spite of these factors, environmentalists plan to increase population.
"If we create a second core population, the secure this subspecies from extinction, we will have two genetic lines, which we will be able to mix with each other. This is rather lengthy, expensive project, as it will go — no one knows," — said Aramilev.