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Amur Leopard

Scientific Name: Panthera pardus orientalis

One of a number of leopard species, this leopard is considered to be the most endangered of all big cats with only between 30 and 35 left in the wild. Their coats are a creamy gold with large, widely spaced rosettes. Their coat grows up to 7cm in length during winter making them well adapted to the harsh, cold, environment they inhabit.

Leopards are mainly solitary and active at night, communicating through a distinctive rasping bark rather than a growl. Males have hunting territories that never overlap with another male’s. However, there is sometimes overlap between males and females. They are skilful hunters able to stalk within metres of their prey before pouncing.

The only interaction between sexes is during breeding season when the female lets the male know she’s ready to mate by scent marking. They will then spend three to five days together, mating up to 30 times a day. Females will first breed at three to four years old with average litters of two cubs. These remain with the mother for up to 18 months.

Diet consists of primarily hare, roe deer and sika deer but will also include smaller species.

They suffer directly and indirectly from the traps used to snare the deer that are their main food source. Human started fires, deforestation and development are all eroding away at the small areas of their habitat. The very small population of the Amur leopard also makes them increasingly vulnerable to disease because of inbreeding.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
  • Distribution: China, South Eastern Russia
  • Habitat: Coniferous & Broadleaf Forests, Mountains
  • Diet: Animals, Insects, Omnivorous, Small Mammals
  • Height: 1.5 metres
  • Weight: 43 – 48 kg
  • Gestation: 12 weeks
  • No. of young: 1 – 4
  • Life Span: 15 – 20 years

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