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.