The Amur leopard used to roam the southeastern parts of Russia and northeastern China in a large number, in the past. But in 2007 reports showed that there were only 30 specimens of the rare feline in the world.
However, a new survey conducted by the researchers at the Land of the Leopard National Park in Russia, which is a conservation association that tries to protect the habitat of the leopards, has revealed that the number of Amur leopards has gone up to 57.
Also, the survey shows that 12 more leopards have been spotted in some parts of China, which means that the Amur leopard population has more than doubled in the last 10 years.
Barney Long, director of species protection and Asian species conservation at the World Wildlife Fund, said that the Amur leopard was saved from extinction thanks to the efforts of conservation associations.
Long explained that it was not an easy job to secure the future of the endangered feline but statistics show that the conservationists have done a great job in protecting the leopards’ natural habitat, which is one of the main causes that lead to the disappearance of a species.
Long said that in order to track and count the leopards was quite a challenge. The researchers had to use a network of camera traps, which they set up across the entire national park, meaning more than 1,400 square miles.
The people who helped set up the cameras included park rangers and scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Far Eastern Branch.
The teams were able to capture more than 10,000 photos of the Amur leopard. The experts then used the images to identify more approximately 60 different leopard specimens.
World Wildlife Fund researchers said they were able to identify the animals because of their highly distinctive patterns of spots on their bodies. Each leopard has its own unique design on its fur.
Image Source: angelfire