Russian reserve created for Amur leopard and tiger

The Amur leopard is on the brink of extinction. Currently there are as few as 30 leopards left in the wild. There is also no way to know how many are still reproducing and their future is very dire. The Amur tiger is a little better off with about 500 of them still in the wild.But now there just may be a glimmer of hope for them.

The Russian government has just announced a 1,000 square mile protected reserve to safeguard habitat for rare Amur leopards and Amur tigers. Currently 30 Amur leopards occupy a narrow sliver of forest between the Sea of Japan to the east and Jilin Province, China, to the west.The natural park which is dubbed as "the land of the leopard" is located in the far east of Russia's territory. It combines existing wildlife refuges and previously unprotected land along the Chinese border. Dale Miquelle, WCS Russia's program director, said he was "optimistic" that it would "provide a critical refuge for some of the most endangered big cats on the planet".

Others however are not convinced that this is just "too little, too late. Joerns Fickel, from the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany, who has studied both the Amur leopard and Amur tiger said it was a "significant step in the right direction" but pointed out that safeguarding such a large area from poachers would be difficult. "Regarding the tigers, he explained that prey density and cover were the "two main components to secure their survival".

Only time will tell of course and there is hope for the best. Below is a video of the beautiful Amur Leopard. Also please take a minute to sign the petition to save them.

VIDEO Amur leopards caught on camera trap

PETITION Save the critically endangered Amur Leopard from Extinction!

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