Far Eastern leopard “census” completed

Far Eastern leopard “census” completed

3 February 2015

A one-off winter count of rare wild cats has been completed in Land of the Leopard National Park. From 31 January through 2 February, Land of the Leopard employees covered 67 routes totalling around 700 kilometres in a massive effort to measure the tiger and leopard populations in the southern part of Russia’s Primorye Territory. A similar count will begin in northern Primorye and the Khabarovsk Territory on 7 February.


“The count in the national park proceeded as scheduled - 100 per cent of the routes, around 700 kilometres, were covered within three days,” Yevgeny Stoma, Deputy Director for Security at Land of the Leopard, told reporters. “There were no emergencies. The staff did their job responsibly and the equipment didn’t let us down either. Both tiger and leopard tracks and quite a few ‘davlenkas’ (the remains of prey) were found. The latter were recorded too.”


Land of the Leopard inspectors also used the opportunity to check camera traps and install new ones where necessary. Several new cameras were set up in areas where numerous wild cats left tracks in the snow.


“Tiger and leopard tracks were spotted on the majority of the routes,” Yelena Salmanova, Deputy Director for Science and Environmental Education at Land of the Leopard, said in an interview. “In addition, we managed to collect a good amount of excrement samples of the rare felines for genetic testing. But it would be premature to give any figures, as it will take several months to process the count data. The first results will be available in spring.”


The previous counts estimated the populations of the Amur tiger and Far Easter leopard on Land of the Leopard’s territory at approximately 20 and 50 animals respectively.