The name of Amur Leopards is rarely heard nowadays. The gradual disappearance of this species has made it one of the Critically Endangered animals from the year 1996.
Fact 1 Origin Of Amur Leopards
The Amur Leopard is also known as Far Eastern Leopard and is one among the 8 sub-species of leopards that were found mostly in Jilin Province of North East China and South eastern regions of Russia in the Primorye area. They are like huge cats and today barely 40 of them wander in the wild.
Fact 2 Description
Amur Leopards are unbelievably beautiful and smart looking. The males have thick fur and weigh nearly 32 to 48 kg and even as much as 75 kg. The females are smaller in size and are usually 25 to 43 kg. These leopards are recognized by their longer fur and bushy tail and the coat looks like an open rosette. The fur grows quite long and can be about 7.5m and to protect them from the cold during winter the fur is very thick. The color of the coat is lighter than other leopards that allows them to hide in the snow.. The tongue is especially constructed and has denticles which are small hooks or rasps. They use these to enjoy their catch. They are carnivores and the sharp tongue aids in enjoying their meals. Amur Leopards can carry heavy weights even more than their own weight especially food to higher parts of a tree to avoid stealing of their food by other larger animals lime tigers etc.
Fact 3 Habitat
During the 1970s there were 3 varieties of Amur Leopards that were gradually becoming extinct. Luckily researchers saw a male Amur Leopard around 2010 in the tiger and leopard Reserve areas in China. It was the first time that an Amur Leopard had been spotted. But further news could not be gathered after this. These leopards move along towards the warmer regions as the winters become chilly.
Fact 4 Breeding System
When the females grow around 3 to 4 years they start breeding. The cubs are born after a gestation period of 12 weeks. Usually a litter of 1 to 4 cubs are born and the babies stay with their mother for about 2 years till they become self-dependant and confident. The cubs are born mostly during the warmer season.
Fact 5 Life Span Of Amur Leopards
Leopards that live in their natural habitat in the wild live for nearly 10 to 15 years but there are instances when they lived for 20years if they were kept in a normal and natural environment.
Fact 6 Breeding Systems
Female Amur Leopards are very possessive and each female has her own territory which amounts to nearly 40 to 100 km2. But the males roam about the regions where these female leopards live and during the latter part of winter months and beginning of spring time which is their mating season they come together. They are only 3 to 4 years at this stage. Usually 4 cubs are born among which only 1 or 2 cubs survive. The young cubs separate from their parents only when they are about 18 to 24 months old.
Fact 7 Why This Species Is About To Become Extinct
There are various reasons that are responsible for the loss of these amazing creatures. The following threats are very important:
- They are losing their natural homes as more and more trees are being cut down for human use and requirement of wood.
- Poaching or Hunting is another important cause of extinction of this beautiful beast.
- Losing their food – Leopards are carnivorous animals and due to hunting most of the Amur Leopard’s favorite animals are becoming. If they do not find enough food they will naturally die of hunger.