Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)

Amur leopard

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Fast facts

Status Critically Endangered

Size Head and body: 90-180cm long. Tail length: 60cm-90cm. Males tend to be bigger than females.

Weight Males: 32-48kg. Females: 25-43kg

Gestation 3-3 ½ months

Young 1-4 cubs

Life span 10-15 years in the wild. Up to 20 years in captivity

What do I eat?

Amur leopards are carnivores and will hunt many different animals including roe deer, sika deer, wild boar, hares, badgers and raccoon dogs.

Amur leopards are mostly active at night (nocturnal); this is the time that these animals will normally hunt.

Where do I live?

These animals are found in far eastern Russia, in mountainous areas and within temperate forests with pine, black fir and broad leafed trees. This habitat is known to have very harsh winters with deep snow and temperatures reaching -40oC; and in contrast it also has very hot summers.

Breeding

Amur leopards are able to mate from 3-4 years old, and can breed throughout the year. Females will give birth to up to 4 cubs within a den, and they are born blind and helpless. The cubs will open their eyes after 10 days and will follow their mother out of the den from 6-8 weeks old; they will continue to feed from their mother until around 3 months old. The cubs are fully independent when they are between 18-24 months old and would have left their mother by this age.

Predators

Amur leopards are one of the top predators within their habitat. However they face competition for food from other Amur leopards and Amur tigers that share the same habitat.

Conservation

The Amur leopard is considered to be one of the most critically endangered big cats in the world, with fewer than 70 individuals remaining in the wild. Habitat loss and hunting (for trophies and use in traditional medicines) are the biggest threats to Amur leopards in the wild.

The Amur leopard has been a protected species in Russia since 1956, but poaching is still a problem. Conservation efforts in the wild for these animals include anti-poaching patrols, customs control, fighting forest fires, environmental education programmes and working closely with local communities.

Did you know?

The fur of the Amur leopard changes in length from 7cm long in the winter to keep them warm to 2.5cm in the summer to keep cool.

The Amur leopard can reach a top running speed of 35mph.

There have been reports of (very) large male Amur leopards weighing up to 75kg!

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