The easternmost leopard on the planet, Leo 270M

29 September 2023

Russian scientists have tracked the movement of a relocated Far Eastern leopard in the Ussuri Nature Reserve in Primorye. It appears that the Leo 270M leopard named Veter has travelled the farthest east among all leopards on the planet, now prowling the eastern boundary of the reserve and its environs. Thanks to the satellite tracking collar, zoologists found that Veter had wandered towards the eastern part of the Ussuri Reserve about 100 kilometres away from the main leopard population at Land of the Leopard National Park.


“Over the entire observation period, the male Veter walked hundreds of kilometres with an average daily traverse of about 8 kilometres. He walked a maximum of 34.5 kilometres a day and a minimum of 145 metres, but that was when he was near his prey. Over the entire period, he caught 13 animals, including deer and smaller predators,” said José Antonio Hernandez-Blanco, senior researcher at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution under the Russian Academy of Sciences.


In the last century, leopards populated the entire south of Russia’s Primorye Territory. Over time, the numbers have decreased significantly; they were exterminated in certain areas, and by the beginning of the 21st century, only 35 individuals remained. Zoologists succeeded in saving the leopards only near Vladivostok. Land of the Leopard National Park was established there. This year, Russia launched the first ever project for the reintroduction of the Far Eastern leopard to expand the animals’ habitats. The Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution under the Russian Academy of Sciences (IEE RAS) supervises the project. It is supported by the Far Eastern Leopards ANO and the Directorate of Land of the Leopard National Park. IEE staff relocated the first three leopards from the national park to the Ussuri Nature Reserve in May 2023.