WWF Russia gives away some snapshots of leopard's life
© Vasily Solkin / WWF Russia
WWF Russia gives away some snapshots of leopard's life
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© zovtv
WWF camera trap recorded a mating couple of Far Eastern leopards on the territory of future national park. At the same time, the grown up kitten has to learn how to live separately from his mother

WWF Russia turned up at a Far Eastern leopard wedding

Camera traps set by WWF Russia, the Institute of Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and the Pacific Institute of Geography recorded a mating couple of spotted cats on the area of future «Land of Leopard» national park.

The life of the Far Eastern leopard – the rarest cat on the planet, fewer than 50 in number - is shrouded in mystery. Thus every snapshot of the cat’s behavior is a major find for scientists and conservationists. At the present time, specialists from WWF Russia Amur branch, the Institute of Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and the Pacific Institute of Geography continue their analysis of photo and video materials gathered on the so-called “southern” monitoring site. This territory of the site includes “Kedrovaya Pad” nature reserve, the southern part of the federal wildlife refuge “Leopardovy” and covers about 360 square kilometers. In future these protected areas will be merged into the national park “Land of Leopard”. Here is a story told by the camera trap record.

“Far Eastern leopard is a lone roamer, who, like the tiger, does not live in families. For this reason, if you are lucky to see a mature male and female strolling around the taiga together, there can only be one explanation: you’ve turned up at their wedding, - says Sergei Aramilev, Species Program coordinator of WWF Russia Amur branch. – Now we know for sure that the most well-known of our far eastern leopards – Tolstyi, otherwise known as Puzan or Barabashevskii – not only survived through another winter but still strives to do his part to increase the population”.

Thanks to the video data obtained from the camera traps, we know that during the period of mating rituals the female leopard chased away her nearly grown-up cub, and he for the first time had to fend for himself. From the scientific point of view this is a normal situation, for the scattering of the leopard litter happens when the kitten is about two years old. By the way, this young off-spring was captured by other camera traps, separate from the courtship.

After the wedding couple split, and Tolstyi went along to his manly business, the leopardess returned to parenting her cub. But this will not last long. Most likely, by the beginning of August she will repair to her well-concealed den, where she will deliver and bring up a Tolstyi’s new litter. From that moment our young leopard will have to start his own life, full of dangers.

What an old stud that Tolstyi! – admires Vasily Solkin, head of Communications department of WWF Russia Amur branch, who made four documentaries starring Tolstyi – He’s more than 15 years old already! Every monitoring season we worry if the old man survived the winter, if we lost him to old age, if he appeared in front of any of the camera traps. And here he is! And he hasn’t even given up on the ladies! And given how obediently he is followed around by a usually headstrong female, things turned out well for him. It gives us hope that this venerable papa will stick around long enough to roam the territory of “Land of Leopard” national park.

Play video on YouTube

For additional information please contact

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Elena Starostina, Press-officer (WWF Russia Far - Eastern Branch),
tel/fax: +7 (4232) 41-48-68, e-mail

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