Monday, September 3, 2012

Amur Leopard

Spring Wildlife: Cubs, Pups and Kittens- 2013 Photo Workshop

I recently had the incredible fortune to see and photograph an Amur Leopard kitten.  While I would love to see these beautiful cats in the wild, it would be very difficult to have this opportunity  given the small number of cats and their location deep in the eastern parts of Russia  (please see the 'In the News' story below).  The images shown here are from a captive Amur Leopard kitten, just 2 months old.

 Amur Leopard - 2 months old
Copyright M. Raeder-Photography 

If you would like to see and photograph this beautiful animal and many other wildlife, please join me for the
 Spring Wildlife 2013 Photo Workshop.  You can find all the details here.

 Amur Leopard - 2 months old
Copyright M. Raeder-Photography 


In the News:  Hope for the World’s Rarest Cat –The Amur Leopard – to Emerge from the Brink of Extinction 

For thousands of year, the Amur leopard has lived in the vast forests and rocky mountain slopes of eastern Russia and northern China. The Amur leopard is one of the rarest of cats with only ~30 animals surviving in the wild.  The many threats for its survival include poaching, habitat loss, inbreeding, local development projects and a lack of understanding and commitment to conservation from villages and the government.

But as reported by the World Wildlife fund (WWF) in April, there is hope for the survival of this beautiful cat.  The victory for these cats was 10 years in the making when the Russian Government announced the establishment of the “Land of the Leopard National Park”.  WWF among a variety of other international NGOs together with the Russian Government have worked tirelessly for 10 years to save the endangered cat.  With only 30 cats in the wild and ~200 in captivity, their survival was precarious.  For this extremely rare wild cat, habitat loss to farming communities together with poaching for its exotic skin and other body parts that are believed to have medicinal value in Chinese traditional medicine, have driven the Amur leopard to the brink of existence.  Since the leopard’s habitat and breeding area is passed down between generations, it is even more important to preserve those places where they live today.

With Russia’s creation of the new “Land of the Leopard National Park”, 650,000 acres of the Amur leopard’s breeding area in Russia have been set aside which constitutes 60% of its remaining habitat.  The remainder of the leopard’s habitat crosses the border into northern China and as of this writing is unprotected land.  The Russian park will offer varying levels of protection for the leopards alongside with economic opportunities for the local region.  There will be habitat areas with strictly limited access, as well as areas for recreational and ecotourism access that will provide the local community with economic opportunities. 

WWF indicates that creating sustainable habitat for endangered species is never easy in light of the pressures from local communities for their agricultural and farming needs. But the creation of the “Land of the Leopards” shows that with patience, the right commitment and partnerships habitat and refuges that protect incredible wild species can still be saved. 

[Reported by]

 Amur Leopard - 2 months old
Copyright M. Raeder-Photography 

Snow Leopard - 2 months old
Copyright M. Raeder-Photography 

Young Grey Wolf
Copyright M. Raeder-Photography 

To see  these rare animals and have the opportunity to photograph them in a natural setting, please join me for an unforgettable Photo Workshop in Montana in June 2013:

                 Amur Leopard
                 ©M. Raeder-Photography
Spring Wildlife: Cubs, Pups and Kittens
An amazing opportunity to photograph wildlife babies:  wolf pups, fox kittens, lynx kittens, Badger pups and more!
Come face-to-face with these wonderful babies!

Date:  June 28-July 1,  2013
Optional Activities June 25-27, 2013

For further details pl click here.

Til next time,

To see more images of the Amur Leopard posted by WWF, please follow this link: