Amur Leopard facing Extinction


"Nice leopard portrait" by Tambako the Jaguar-courtesy of Creative Commons

In 2007, only 19-26 wild leopards were estimated to still be alive.

The Amur Leopard lives in southerneastern Russia and northern China, and it is on the endangered species list. The “WildCats Conversion Alliances” lists different causes including prey tracts, wildlife trade, poaching, inbreeding, forest fires, and more. Human activity has been one of the main reasons as well for the declining population.

The fur pelts of Amur Leopards are also worth a lot of money ranging to around $1000 per pelt, which makes them an even larger target for hunters. Amur Leopards have been said to have spotted beautiful coats of her, meaning that hunters want them more, because they are worth more, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

The Red List of Endangered Species (IUCN) has marked Amur Leopards as highly endangered since 1996. WildCats Conversion Alliances states that there are only around 100 Amur Leopards left. The decreases in the population started in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1996 that they were put on the endangered species list.

‘“With such a limited breeding population, even a small number of deaths from disease can be the difference between the survival of a population or extinction,”’ Martin Gilbert, a Wildlife Health Cornell carnivore specialist, said to the “Cornell Chronicle.”