Friday, May 27, 2011

Why are Amur Leopards endangered?

The reasons why they are endangered are;

There appears to be poaching of leopards as well as their prey species. Poaching is illegal hunting. Poachers include both poor local villagers and newly rich Russians, mainly from the city of Vladivostok, as well as Chinese nationals who illegally cross the border into Russia. Russian hunters kill many more deer than is officially allowed and Amur leopards are sometimes caught in snares as well. If they kill deers it will effect Amur Leopards because they will have less to eat and it will be harder to find a deer. Since 2002, skins or corpses of nine Amur leopards killed by poachers have been found in Russia and at least two leopards have been killed in China.

The forests on which Amur leopards depend have slowly disappeared as a result of frequent fires. Local villagers start fires for various reasons, but mainly to stimulate the growth of ferns that are a very popular ingredient in Russian and Chinese dishes.

Amur Leopard reproduction

The average lifespan of an Amur Leopard in the wild is ten to fifteen years, in captivity up to 23 years.
The cats reach their sexual maturity at three years of age. The breeding season in in the late winter months, usually around January or February. The gestation period for the mother is 90-105 days. So their cubs are usually born April through June.

They have two to four cubs in their litters with an average of two.
The Amur Leopard cubs open their eyes after ten days.
They stay with their mother until they are around eighteen months to two years in age.

What food Amur Leopards depend on

 The Amur Leopards are carnivores and therefore their diet consists mainly of meat.
But they rely mostly on all sorts of deer for food like ; roe deer, wild boar, sika deer, musk deer, badgers and hares. They carry their kill to a high point for safe storage. Just like any other animal they drink water.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Amur Leopard


In this blog I am going to write about the Amur Leopard and how they are endangered . Amur leopards are the rarest big cats in the world and yet is still a relatively unknown species of leopard outside of its homeland in Russia. Also known as the Far Eastern leopard the approximate population is about 40 living  in the wild. These leopards now only exist in the southern most tip of the Russian Far East along the borders with China in the Khasan Region of Primorsky Krai.

File:Amur Leopard distribution.PNG


Amur Leopards have a long winter coat and therefore is well adapted to the cold climate of the Amur- Ussuri region. It's summer coat is about 2.5 cm long and in the winter 7cm long. The differences between Amur leopards and other leopards are Amur leopards have thicker fur and bigger rosettes with thick dark borders. It also has longer legs, probably because it's better to walk through the snow. The male Amur leopards weigh between 32-48 kg and female Amur leopards are smaller so they weigh between 25-43 kg.