Amur leopard is a very secretive animal. And calculating the population of Amur leopards is not a trivial task.

From the available methods – there is studying traces and waste by-products of the predators. However, it only partially solves the problem because this method doesn’t make it practically possible to ensure complete coverage of the population.

Another method is satellite telemetry. Leopard is sedated and then they put a small collaron it which allows tracing the coordinates of the leopard.

In this case it is possible to map the movement of the animal and recreate its territory.

Leopard guards its territory very jealously and is unlikely to allow other individuals living on it.

In addition, by matching the GPS coordinates received from the collar of the animal and from the observation places with the waste by-products of the leopard allow to make conclusions as to whether it is a known animal, or a new one.

In addition, the routes of leopards (duration, length, direction, territory) provide scientists with valuable information for their research.

Satellite telemetry routes and territories of Amur leopards

Satellite telemetry: routes and territories of Amur leopards / Presentation “Study and Conservation of the big cats in Russia” (2014) / IEE

Another method is the method of photo identification. To use it, in the most popular by leopard places researchers installautomatic photo traps.

After obtaining the pictures, the scientists can make comparisons of appearance (fur) of the animals with those available in the database. This is possible because of the unique pattern of leopard fur, similar in concept to fingerprints that are unique to each person.

Also scientists conductgenetic studies of the Amur leopard (males and females) and make up the genetic profiles of the animals.

In general, the results of monitoring the population of Amur leopards conclude that there are around 47-50 individuals, which is more than 1.5 times the size of the leopard population ten years ago.


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