Late winter-early spring 2008 represented the sixth consecutive year in which WCS and the Institute of Biology and Soils, Russian Academy of Sciences conducted camera trapping surveys to monitor Far Eastern leopards at the northern end of their range in Russia, in some of the best remaining leopard habitat. Eight different leopards, including 3 males, 2 females, one cub, and 2 unidentified individuals, were photographed using camera traps between late February and early May. The population density has fluctuated over the past 6 years, ranging from 8 to 14 individuals.
One leopard who was not photographed last year “reappeared” in our photos this year. At the same time, however, two individuals who were “captured” during the last four years (2004-2007) were not photographed this season. These changes underscore the high rates of population turnover that we have observed since beginning camera trapping surveys in 2002. Additional research is needed to understand the causes for these high turnover rates and how to improve survivorship.
Besides leopards, 4 Amur tigers were also photographed.
WWF Russia supports camera-trapping activities in a study area just south of WCS’s study site, so that collectively we have good information on population status across 25-30% of its entire range.
Read more about the Far Eastern leopard and WCS work to conserve this sub-species.