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Camera Trap Photos of Amur Leopards

  • Amur leopard

    The Amur leopard sits perilously on the brink of extinction.

  • Amur leopard

    The leopard is best known in its more familiar home in the savannas of Africa, but the Amur leopard, a rare subspecies, lives in the temperate forests and harsh winters of the Russian Far East. Pictured here is Dalnyaya, a female Amur leopard, in Southeast Russia.

  • Amur leopard

    Pictured here is Leopold, an old male Amur leopard that WWF has been tracking for a long time. The last photo taken of Leopold was in 2004.

  • Amur leopard

    The Amur leopard is habitually nocturnal and solitary. Lying down here is Elduga, a lone female Amur leopard in her home range. She competes with several males for food for herself and her kittens.

  • Amur leopard

    Indiscriminate logging, forest fires and land conversion for farming are the main threats to the Amur leopards’ habitats. However, not all is lost. Even now large tracts of forest, which are ideal leopard habitat, exist. If these areas can be protected from unsustainable logging, rampant forest fires and poaching of wildlife, the chance exists to increase the population of the subspecies in the wild.

  • Amur leopard

    The Amur leopard is poached largely for its beautiful, spotted fur. Filipovskii, pictured here, is at high risk of being poached because he lives very close to a known poaching village nearby.

  • Amur leopard

    The Amur leopard is nimble-footed and strong and is able to leap more than 19 feet horizontally and more than 9 feet vertically. The Amur leopard pictured here was first photographed in 2002 when WWF began experimenting with camera traps.

  • Amur leopard

    The prey base in the forests where Amur leopards live is insufficient for survival. Prey populations will recover if the use of the forests by the local people is regulated and if measures are taken to limit the poaching of hoofed species, the prey of the leopard.

  • Amur leopard

    Amur leopards are particularly vulnerable because of their preference for deer, a natural predatory preference, but dangerous in the Russian Far East due to direct human involvement. Farmers in the Russian Far East raise deer for human consumption and to produce antlers for the Asian medicine market.

  • Amur leopard

    The Amur leopard is also threatened by the extremely small wild population size, which makes them vulnerable to disease, inbreeding and the chance for all cubs born for two years to be only male.

  • Amur leopard

    Tikhaya, the female Amur leopard in this photo, was killed by a poacher after this image was captured.

  • Amur leopard

    The situation concerning the Amur leopard is critical. However, the fact that its cousin – the Amur tiger – recovered from a state of less than 40 individuals 60-70 years ago gives conservationists hope. It is believed that the Amur leopard can be saved from extinction if the present conservation initiatives are implemented, enhanced and sustained.

A camera trap in a protected area in Russia has captured photos of eight Amur – one of the world’s most endangered wild cats. While a "camera trap" might sound menacing, it actually does not harm wildlife. The name is derived from the manner in which it "captures" wildlife on film. Camera traps are not the intricate and elaborate devices you might imagine. These innovative conservation tools are in fact nothing more than everyday cameras, armed with infrared sensors that take a picture or video whenever they sense movement in the forest.

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