Leopard reintroduction centre to be established in Primorye Territory

Leopard reintroduction centre to be established in Primorye Territory

5 June 2015

A Far Eastern leopard reintroduction centre will be established in the Primorye Territory as part of a conservation programme in the south Sikhote-Alin Mountains in Russia's Far East. An order to this effect has been signed by Sergei Donskoi, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.


The centre will have large open-air enclosures where the young will be trained for life in the wild. "The predators living in semi-free conditions or an artificial environment will be closely monitored to determine which of them can be used as progenitors for a strong and healthy population," Mr Donskoi said.


Experts believe that the best area where leopards can be released in the wild is in the Lazovsky Nature Reserve along the Sea of Japan, which has the best protection services in the region and reintroduction infrastructure. In addition, there are many hooved animals and other animals for the leopards to hunt in the area. The programme also provides for measures to preserve the leopards' habitat, including by protecting them and hooved animals from poachers.


The programme is designed for at least 12 years, and the first cubs are expected to be born in three or four years. "Depending on the survival and birth rates, we hope to be able to create a new population of 50 leopards by the end of the programme," Sergei Donskoi said.