Usually people think that leopards - are representatives of the savanna in Africa, although rare subspecies of leopards can be found in the Far East of the country, as well as in northern China.This subspecies is called the Far Eastern Amur leopard.He is also known as the Amur leopard.
This predator was listed as endangered.It belongs to the subspecies, which is on the verge of extinction.Far Eastern leopard population today is in a critical condition.
In this moment that the Amur tiger - his famous "cousin" - the size of its population increased, and gives hope to preserve this subspecies.It is believed that the Amur leopard, the photo of which are presented in this article can be saved through the implementation of various environmental projects.
This leopard has many distinctive features from the rest of the cat.The summer coat is up to 2.5 centimeters in length, and in the winter gives way to a 7-centimeter.The Amur leopard is cold light coat color with a reddish-yellow shade in the summer is dominated by a rich and vibrant colors.
Far East Amur leopard (animal photos are presented in this article) has long legs, allowing him to walk freely on the snow.The weight of the males reaches 48 kg, although there are also representatives of the larger breeds - 60 kg.Females weigh up to 43 kg.
In the early 20th century, the leopard is found in southern Sikhote-Alin and in the southwestern part of Lake Khanka, although in recent years he's not significantly observed.At the present moment the Amur leopard inhabits the mountain-areas of the south-western part of Primorsky Krai, where a clear preference for black fir, cedar-broadleaf forests.It is less readily inhabits deciduous forests, especially fumed oak forests, the area of which all are increasing due to the annual fires.
This felines selects areas with steep hills, rugged topography, watersheds and rocky outcrops.Its area in the present moment was reduced to critical size and covers only a limited mountain-area of 15 thousand sq. Km (in the Maritime region, from the Gulf to Pos'eta Razdolnaya River and the border with North Korea and China).
Today subspecies distribution was reduced to a small fraction of its original historical range.Initially, the Far Eastern leopard lived across the north-eastern part of Manchuria, in the provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin, including, in addition, on the Korean peninsula.
life cycle and reproduction
Amur leopard have sexual maturity at the age of 3 years.In the wild, the life expectancy is about 15 years, while in captivity - 20 years.In the Amur leopard mating season in the spring.Litter includes 1-4 cubs.At the age of three months is their weaning, and the young gain independence in 1.5 years, leaving his mother to then lead a solitary life.
Amur leopard (pictures with his image are presented in this article) prefers a single nocturnal.But some of the males after mating can stay with their females, as well as to help in the education of the young.It often happens that several males pursue one female at the same time, as well as fighting for the possibility of mating with her.
basis of its diet are roe deer, raccoon dogs, rabbits, small wild boars, badgers, spotted deer.
Far East Amur leopard in the period from 1970 to 1983, lost more than 80% of its territory habitat.The main reason was: fires, forestry and land conversion for agriculture.But not all is lost.At the present moment there are suitable for living animal forests.It is possible to protect the territory from the harmful influence of man, in addition, to increase the size of the population.The lack of production
should be noted that in China there are vast areas that are suitable habitat, while the level of fodder are insufficient to maintain the population at the right level.The production volume may grow due to the settlement of the public use of forests, as well as measures for the protection of hoofed animals.Amur leopard survival need to fill again their original habitat.
illegal trade and poaching
Amur leopard is constantly exposed to illegal hunting because of its spotty and beautiful fur.Investigation group in 1999 under the guise of an experiment: they managed to recreate the skin of male and female Far Eastern leopard, and then sold it for $ 500 and $ 1000.
This experiment demonstrates that there is illegal markets for such products and they are located near the habitat of animals.Villages and agriculture surrounding forests inhabited by these animals.This results in the availability of the forests and poaching is a more serious problem than in regions distant from the people.This fact applies to both leopards and other animals being destroyed for the sake of money and food.
conflict with someone
should be noted that the Amur leopard (Photo admire the beauty of the animal) is particularly vulnerable, as part of its diet are deer.Contribution to the common person reduction in the number of deer-related value of its horns prevents leopard get food in sufficient quantity.
Due to the reduction of the deer population leopards are often in search of food come in deer farms.The owners of the land often kill animals by protecting their investments.
Amur leopard is also under threat of extinction due to the small population, which makes it vulnerable to a variety of disasters, including diseases, forest fires, changes in mortality and fertility, sex ratio, inbreeding depression.It should be noted that the nature of the observed and the relationship, then it can lead to various genetic problems, among them the lowering of the birth rate.
Such matings occur in certain populations of large cats, although small populations do not allow for outbreeding.Studies have shown that the average number of adult female pups decreased significantly.
Unfortunately, at the present moment the situation with Amur leopards can be considered a truly disastrous - because, in the past twenty years, the area of its habitat in the country has decreased by almost half, while the number was reduced to a few dozen times.Due to this, today guarded Amur leopard.
Red Book of the Russian Federation carried the animal to the first category as the rarest, which is on the brink of extinction, with a very restricted range, whose main population is within our country.This leopard was in the First CITES Appendix and in the Red Book Conservation Union.