Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). By Ondrej Chvatal | Shutterstock.com
Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). By Ondrej Chvatal | Shutterstock.com

About Amur leopards.

The main difference between the Amur leopard and other leopard subspecies is the longer hair of its coat, which helps it deal with the extreme conditions of the environment where it lives. It also has light blue-green eyes.


Its summer coat is 2.5 cm long and is a more reddish-yellow-golden color. In winter, it reaches 7 cm and lightens to a pale cream tone.


Its fur has larger and more widely spaced spots (“rosettes”) than the other subspecies.


In order to be able to save this species, there should be at least 100 individuals in the wild. The potential inbreeding that comes with its much lower population makes it a critically endangered species, inevitably doomed to disappear.


There are an estimated of 100-200 individuals currently in captivity; mainly in European and North American zoos, and in breeding and reintroduction programs aiming to save the species.


Amur leopards are a little smaller than the other leopard subspecies.


They are nocturnal animals that hunt during the first half of the night, starting a little before the sunset.


Leopards drink very little water, as they get most of it from the prey they eat.


They are extremely agile animals and can leap 3 m in the air and 6 m horizontally. They run short distances at high speeds or descend from trees head first.


They are very solitary animals, with the only exception being females with their cubs.


It can carry prey three times its body weight up a tree in order to eat it without being bothered by other predators or opportunistic hunters.


The main threats to this species have always been poaching (for its fur, but also for its organs, used in traditional Asian medicine), prey depletion (due to human poaching), the construction of an oil pipeline planned to be built through its habitat and the lack of political engagement regarding its protection.

Amur leopard. By Patrick Rolands | Shutterstock.com
Amur leopard. By Patrick Rolands | Shutterstock.com
COMMON NAMECONSERVATION STATUS
Amur leopardCritically endangered
SCIENTIFIC NAMESIZE
Panthera pardus orientalis107-136 cm (42-54 in) + 82-90 cm (32-35 in) of tail.
FAMILYWEIGHT
Felidae25–48 kg (55–106 lb)
ORDERLIFESPAN
CarnivoraUp to 21 years
CLASSGESTATION PERIOD
Mammalia92-95 days
POPULATIONDIET
Around 35 individuals in the wild. Around 150 in captivity.They are carnivores that feed mainly on hares and roe deers.
HABITATRANGE
They live in the taiga.Korean peninsula, northwestern China and the southeast of Russia. Nearly all individuals in the wild inhabit the Sikhote-Alin mountain range (Siberia, Russia).

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