Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is one the critically endangered species that is found in the southwestern region of Russia. A survey conducted in 2007 reveals that only 30 – 40 adults and 5 – 6 cubs have been left. These leopards are also known as Manchurian Leopards, Korean Leopards, and Far Eastern Leopards. We have gathered Amur Leopard Facts to let you know all about this endangered animal.
Amur Leopard Facts
- Being one of the strongest, amu leopards can be easily recognized because of the beautiful patterns that are embedded on its thick skin. These animals can survive even in extreme cool temperatures. They are also found in the Korean Peninsula and China.
- Badges on the flanks are 5 × 5 cm (2.0 × 2.0 in) large; whereas the width is about 2.5 cm (0.98 in).
- The males are 107 – 136 cm (42 – 54 inches) long together with a tail which is 82 – 90 cm (32 – 35 inches) long. The shoulder height of these types of wild animals is about 64 – 78 cm (25 – 31 inches).
- The weight of the males is around 32 – 48 kg (71 – 110 lb); while females weigh about 25 – 43 kg (55 – 94 lb).
- The hair is 20 – 25 mm (0.79 – 0.98 inches) long in summer while in winter they are replaced by 50 mm (2.0 inches) long hair.
- The coat exhibits different shades such as white-yellow or reddish yellow in winter.
These amur leopards are highly adaptable to the cold weathers.
Amur Leopard Habitat
Most people aren’t actually aware of where do amur leopards live! Amur leopards reside in North Korea, Russia, China and Japan. Amur Leopard facts about its habitat show that these animals are found in the sea coast of Japan and northern Suchan Basin. Hermann Schlegel was the first explorer to discover these animals back in 1857. They cover wide area of about 3,000 sq. km (1,200 sq. miles) encompassing the borders of China and North Korea.
The traditional nature of amur leopards does not allow them to sit and wait while their competitors cross their territories. Although, two individuals may at times overlie slightly yet this happens rarely. Like snowy leopards, these animals also make use of the left-over trails of other leopards to locate the migration routes. Nevertheless, amur leopards are the permanent residents and they travel upwards or downwards to eschew from the heavy snow.
What Do Amur Leopards Eat?
These kinds of animals predominantly eat hare, deer, mountain goats, moose, musk deer, wild pig, mice, fowl, Manchurian wapiti, black bears, and badgers.
Amur Leopard Facts about its Reproduction
- They turn out to be fully mature after 2 – 3 years.
- The normal gestation period lasts for 92 – 95 days. However, it can range from 90 – 105 days.
- The reproduction ability lasts for 10 – 15 days.
- The cubs weigh around 500 – 700 grams (1.1 – 1.5 lb). Cubs are completely blind just after their birth however; they begin to see after 7 – 9 days. These young leopards start moving around in 12 – 15 days. They will eat their first meat after 35 – 45 days. Lactation (milk production) lasts for 5 – 6 months. These juveniles stay with their mothers in the first 2 – 3 years.
- The female gives birth to 2 – 3 cubs.
- Amur leopard facts regarding its reproduction lead us to believe that they have a lifespan of about 10 – 15 years in the wild; whereas under captivity they are known to live up to 20 years.
Threats to Amur Leopards
One of the greatest threats to these wild animals is the increasing global warming. Since they are more adaptable to the cooler environments, poaching may hurt them adversely. These are the most significant amur leopard facts about its threats. Other threats include deforestation, constructing new roads, and keeping livestock animals for domestic purposes. Humans begin to exploit amur leopard preys by keeping livestock for domestic uses consequently leaving these leopards in a state of starvation. Apart from humans, tigers are also responsible for the reduction in leopards’ prey especially in winter season. However, in summer when the prey is abundant the competition between the two wild species narrows down.
Why is the Amur Leopard Endangered?
The study of amur leopard facts about its dying out demonstrate the following insights.
Killing is another major cause of amur leopard’s extinction. Back in 2002 – 03 more than six skins were found in Russia and China. The nearby villagers are mainly responsible for this much illegal hunting. These people use the amur leopard skins for commercial purposes.
Humans setting fire to forests for their own purposes such as grazing or killing unnecessary insects leaving amur leopard endangered. Some of the leopards are also known to be exported.