Far Eastern leopard population increases in Russia

Far Eastern leopard population increases in Russia

5 April 2023

According to the latest data, there are already as many as 125 Far Eastern leopards living in the protected areas managed by the Land of the Leopard administration in the Primorye Territory. Researchers from Land of the Leopard obtained these data from over 500 camera traps, which make up Russia’s largest photo monitoring network. Land of the Leopard National Park has retained its status as the core area for the leopard population. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the number of leopards caught on camera more than tripled around the world from just about 35 animals in the early 2000s.


Specialists examined over a million images from camera traps, and used AI technology for this purpose for the first time. They identified more than 11,000 photos with leopards appearing in the frame, which enabled researchers to establish the size of the leopard population at 125 adult animals. In addition, at least 13 cubs were born over the past year, the study showed.


This research demonstrated that the leopard population remains stable. As it grows, leopards expand their habitat beyond the protected territories by returning to areas where they were exterminated in the 20th century.


“The fact that the Far Eastern leopard population has been stable is good news for nature and the people who care about preserving biodiversity across the world. Created 11 years ago, the national park and its staff had to put in a lot of hard work to achieve this result. And yet, leopards remain vulnerable to extinction. In order to ensure that this species survives in the long run, we need to continue working hard to preserve its natural habitat, as well as fight wildfires and poaching,” said Viktor Bardyuk, director of Land of the Leopard.