Relocated leopards settle on new grounds in Primorye

Relocated leopards settle on new grounds in Primorye

12 July 2023

The wild Far Eastern leopards resettled from Land of the Leopard National Park to the Ussuri Nature Reserve have safely left the release site. Now they are exploring their new grounds under the close supervision of scientists. Before the release, the animals were fitted with special tracking collars that allow the scientists to monitor their movements. The scientists receive data from the collars several times a day.


According to the latest satellite monitoring data, the first leopard released in the reserve, the female Leo 284F, headed east and then examined the entire southern part of the reserve. She is active and moves frequently, covering an average of about 8 km per day.


The male Leo 270M explored the valley of the Anikin stream in the centre of the reserve, and then came back closer to the release site. He covers about 5 km a day. At one point, the male and female leopards strayed as far as 21 km from one another, but now they are moving closer, studying each other’s tracks. The experts do not rule out the possibility of the leopards forming a pair in the future.


The last leopard released in the Ussuri Nature Reserve, the rescued male Leo 260M, has not moved far from the release site and is also actively exploring the surroundings. The scents left by the other two leopards help him to better navigate the new space.


The successive release of the three leopards took place as part of a reintroduction programme, an effort to return animals to places from which they disappeared in the past. The two males and one female are the first leopards to inhabit this area in 50 years. The reintroduction programme is implemented under the scientific supervision of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences by the institute’s staff together with specialists from Land of the Leopard with the support of the Far Eastern Leopards non-profit organisation. The next stage of the reintroduction programme is scheduled for autumn 2023. In total, there are plans to relocate at least six adult leopards from Land of the Leopard National Park to the Ussuri Nature Reserve in order to restore the Far Eastern leopard range. The programme’s long-term goal is to form a new population in the leopard’s historical range in the southern part of Sikhote-Alin.