|With only 30 - 40 remaining in the wild, the Amur leopards are listed in international, federal and regional levels as critically endangered and are in immediate danger of extinction.
|In captivity, the situation is also very serious, as interbreeding with animals of unknown heritage has affected a large percentage of the captive breeding pool. Because of this, of the 150 remaining in captivity only 12 are purebreds.As the Russian Far East struggles to survive in Moscow's shadow, the Amur leopard is disappearing in the shadow of the Siberian (Amur) tiger. Millions of dollars have been raised to save the Siberian tiger by conservationists and wildlife management specialists with good results, when efforts began there were 150 Siberian tigers, today there are an estimated 400. Although the leopard and tiger have overlapping ranges, there has been very little research done to protect the Amur leopard and it has virtually been ignored. There is still hope to save the Amur leopard. We can take similar steps made to save the Siberian tiger; most importantly we need to make people aware of The Amur leopards situation and their extreme danger of extinction.
Renee Colette along with 65 specialists from 8 countries met in Russia for the first time to discuss the conservation of the Amur leopard. The latest results estimated there were 25-40 Amur leopards in the Russian Far East, 4-7 in northeast China (Jilin Province), with reproduction apparently at a very low level, and genetic diversity severely impoverished, they all agreed that this subspecies must be considered one of the worlds most endangered of all the large cats. During this weeklong conference these specialists discussed the future of the Amur leopard and what needed to be done to save it. They reviewed each others notes and research about its available habitat, reintroduction, genetic impoverishment, captive population, International cooperation, management of prey species protection from poaching, hunting and trapping and devised a plan that they believe will save the Amur leopard. Fundraising efforts are now underway to raise funds, which will implement these plans and hopefully save the Amur leopard from extinction.
Many specialists consider the Amur leopard to be the most beautiful of all the leopard species, with its long winter coat the Amur leopard is well adapted to the harsh climate of the Amur-Ussuri region. The hairs of its summer coat are 2.5 cm long, in the winter they grow to 7 cm long. In some ways, it is reminiscent of the Snow leopard. Apart from its long winter coat the Amur leopard is easily told apart from other leopard subspecies by it large rosettes and vibrant color. Its prey animals are mainly hares, roe and sika deer, badgers and raccoon dogs.Major causes of the Amur leopards decline have been due to
- Habitat destruction caused by wildfires which burn unattended and out of control.
- Intensive logging and clear cutting.
- Elimination of its prey, hunting both legal and illegal (poaching) have all played a role in reducing the leopards to a fragment of its former habitat.
- The Amur leopard is also being poached for its beautiful coat and for its bones.
|Renee Colette - Animal People Productions (RCAPP) is currently organizing an extensive marketing campaign to promote the Amur Leopard. This marketing campaign will include:
The release of her film "Saving the Amur Leopard". Once post production is completed, it will be sold and distributed around the world with a translated version in Russian.
This film will be made entirely for the benefit of the Amur leopard designed to educate the world about this magnificent animal and try to save it from extinction in the wild.
Through fundraising efforts she hopes to make the film available to as many schools across America and Russia as possible.
How Renee Colette became involved in trying to save the Amur Leopard -
While flying to Siberia to establish an International law firm, Ms.Colette became interested in saving the Amur leopard after reading an article in the airplane magazine. It was written by a Russian biologist who had worked for many years researching the Amur leopard and was now, trying to save it from extinction. Ms. Colette was so impressed with the passion in which the biologist had written the article that she decided to hire a translator to interview him. By the end of the interview she promised to return to Russia to do a documentary that would enlighten the world about Amur Leopard.
Are YOU available to donate your time to help? We are currently looking for:
Local EDITOR to help edit raw footage
|For more information and to find out how you can help save the Amur Leopard please contact:
Renee Colette at:
Click here for sneak preview