Threats Against the Amur Leopard

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Threats against the Amur Leopard Clarissa Babcock Composition and Communication II/ COM156 Lisa (Anne) Prince February 13, 2014 Amur leopards are majestic animals that are critically endangered. With less than 50 left in the wild and not many more than a 100 in captivity their numbers are small. These leopards in captivity are both sexed as well as unsexed. The unsexed captives have not been used for breeding purposes (Wikipedia, 2014). Many things are hindering this species ability to survive. Amur leopards are endangered due to conflict with humans, habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching/illegal trade, inbreeding and vulnerable population size, and a scarcity of prey. Territory loss is one of the main reasons that the Amur leopard is critically endangered. The Amur leopard’s habitat is mostly temperate broadleaf forests and the mountains. Human induced fires are a main threat. They set fires to fields in order to improve fertility for livestock grazing, killing ticks and other insects, making scrap metals visible to collect, and stimulating fern growth. According to the World Wildlife Foundation (2014), “indiscriminate logging, forest fires, and land conversion for farming are the main causes”. Leopards are quite solitude creatures, so not having forests to take cover in is taxing on their existence. An area of about 5,000 km^2 is the last viable habitat in Russia for the Amur leopards (World Wildlife Foundation, 2014). Each leopard has an area of land that they occupy and they barely stray into another’s territory, unless it’s mating season. The amount of land occupied by males and females differ. Female Amur leopards have home ranges that range in size from 15-38 mi^2, whereas male Amur leopards can have as big as 155 mi^2 home ranges (“Wildlife Conservation Services Amur Leopard”, 2014). Less land for the entire population to occupy and hung on means

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