16.04.08 – WWF Russia:
Eight Far Eastern leopards have left their portraits during camera-trap census this year done by WWF-Russia and Institute for Sustainable Use of Nature Resources near Kedrovaya Pad` nature reserve.
The Far Eastern leopard is the rarest wild cat on the Earth, regarded as “gold reserves” of Russia.
To develop effective measures on its conservation, put them into practice and evaluate gained results we need continuous monitoring over the leopard status. Over the past years scientists have been monitoring the rare cat’s plight using camera traps.
«Tigers and leopards’ coloration is individual. So, having their pictures one can compare and identify specimen, – comments Vladimir Aramilev, head of Institute for Sustainable Use of Nature Resources. – Information we receive from camera traps could be processed with mathematic methods. Thus, comparing specimen ratios shot by cameras for the first time and repeatedly we can estimate the real number of leopards inhabiting a concrete area».
«Confirmed stability of the leopard population living in the territories of federal PAs – Kedrovaya Pad biosphere reserve and Barsovyi wildlife refuge warm our hearts and give hopes, – says Pavel Fomenko, coordinator of the biodiversity conservation program at WWF-Russia, Amur branch. – But at the same time we should understand that this is only a small part of the leopard’s habitat in the southwest Primorye. Good protection and federal status of these PAs with strict regime of nature use allows maintain stability of the predators’ grouping. The rest 70% of leopard’s habitat are in precarious conditions. These are either hunting estates territories with maximum allowable pressure on game species or Borisovskoye Plato wildlife refuge of provincial level with insufficiently strict nature and forest use. The goal of utmost importance put also by the first vice- premier Sergei Ivanov as to create a unified federal PA for the Far Eastern leopard has not yet been achieved in Primorye»