The Amur leopard comes under the family of leopard. The scientific name of this leopard is Panthera pardus orientalis. This animal is native to the Jilin province in northeast china and primorye region in southeastern Russia. Since 1996 this animal is classified as the critically endangered species. This leopard is very rare to be seen in high elevation or cold environments. This has some distinguishing features. One of the interesting Amur leopard facts is its length of hair. During the summer months it will be 2.5 cm whereas it will be 7 cm during the winter months. Apart from its lengthy winter coat that is light in color during winter and reddish yellow during summer, it is easily distinguished from other species of leopards by its broad spaced rosettes with solid borders. This animal has longer legs and it is an adoption to walk through snow easily. Adult male weighs around 32 to 48 kg whereas females weight around 25 to 43 kg. Exceptionally large males can weigh maximum 75 kg.
Habitat of the Amur leopard
- Generally it is found in the temperate forest which experiences variability in precipitation and temperature. This leopard is known to adjust to any habitat that gives it with sufficient cover and food.
- It is habitually solitary and nocturnal. It is strong and nimble footed, hides and carries unfinished kills to prevent the meat from other predators. They carry the unfinished kills up the trees.
- Some of the reports said that some male leopards stay with female even after mating to help in rearing the young.
- The average life span of this leopard is between 10 and 15 years.
- The breeding season of this animal starts early summer and in spring. The litter size may vary between 1 and 4 cubs and the cubs started to wean when they age 3 months. The cubs leave the mother leopard when they are 18 months to 24 months.
- The major prey species of this animal are sika deer, roe deer, small wild boars, badgers, raccoon dogs and hares.
- One among the interesting Amur leopard facts is that it hunts at night. It requires a larger territory to avoid competition to get prey. The leopards silently watch the prey and trap them using energy reaching speed of maximum 35 miles an hour.
Major threats to Amur leopards
With the least population it is endangered critically. The major cause of the least population is due to human activities. Some of the major threats to this hunting cat are poaching, forest fires, development, inbreeding and lack of political pledge. ALTA is striving hard in order to reduce these major threats by funding conservation projects, informing and educating people about the value of this endangered solitary hunter. Conservation activities for Amur leopards and tigers include population monitoring, fire fighting, anti poaching, compensation of livestock, ecological research, education and outreach. Approximately there are 200 leopards in custody especially in zoos in North America, Europe and countries of Soviet Union.