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|Common Name:||Amur Leopard||Family:||Felidae|
|Latin Name:||Panthera pardus orientalis||Diet:||Carnivore|
|Native To:||Asia||Social Unit:||Individual|
|IUCN Red List Status:||Critically endangered|
Amur leopards at Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo has two Amur leopards. Our male came to us from Berlin Tierpark Zoo in June 2007. His name is Skodje, and he was born in October 2005. In January 2009, we received a female from Helsinki Zoo. Her name is Zane and she was born in April 2007. Our leopards are staying at Edinburgh Zoo until a specially designed enclosure is built for them at the Highland Wildlife Park.
Amur leopard photo by
Where it can be found at Edinburgh Zoo
The Amur leopards are housed in the big cat dens.
Amur leopards in the wild
Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) are one of the most endangered cats in the world. They are one of the sub-species of leopards, and show more divergence of coat pattern than any other leopard sub-species. Due to the harsh environment in which they live, Amur leopards have a thick, dense coat to keep out the cold. In the summer their coat is darker and thinner, growing lighter and longer for the winter.
Leopards live and hunt alone, and are mostly active at night. They hunt by stalking, waiting until they are a few meters away before attacking their prey. Their diet consists of badgers, hares, musk deer, rodents, roe deer and sika deer. Once they have caught a meal they will not eat it all at once but will store it up in a tree for later.
After a gestation period of approximately three and a half months the adult females gives birth to between one to six cubs. Once the cubs are two weeks old, their eyes are open. At three months they begin to eat solids and at two years old they leave their mother to find their own territory. The lifespan of the Amur leopard is approximately twenty years.
The range of this species used to cover areas of China, Russia, and the Korean peninsula. However, their numbers have shrunk dramatically, and this cat is no longer found in China or Korea. In Russia as few as 14-20 adults were estimated to survive in 2007.
This dramatic decline is mainly due to poaching of both leopards and their prey animals, habitat destruction due to human activity, and inbreeding. As the population of these big cats dwindles, genetic diversity also dwindles, weakening the species. The Amur leopard was found to have the lowest levels of genetic variation of any leopard subspecies.
Amur leopards have been listed by the IUCN as critically endangered, meaning that the species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
Breeding programme category: EEP
IUCN Red List category: Critically endangered
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