Amur Leopard

Tiger day

Charity:

Whitley Fund for Nature (UK) and Phoenix Fund (Russia)

Project:

Let's save Russia's tigers and leopards

Where in the World?

Russia

Grant:

£60,000

Amur leopard:

  • One of the rarest cats in the world, with an estimated 30 to 35 individuals remaining in the wild.
  • The amur leopard is considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, with a 2007 census counting only 14-20 adults and 5-6 cubs in the south-western Primorye region of Russia.
  • The Amur leopard is already extinct in China and the Korean Peninsula.

BBC Nature: watch rare video footage of the Amur leopard.

Amur tiger:

  • The number of Amur Tigers in China is estimated at 18-22 (2007), and it is not known if any still survive in North Korea.
  • The Amur Tiger now occurs primarily in Russia, where it has made a spectacular comeback since the 1930s, when the population fell as low as 20-30 animals.
  • According to a comprehensive 2005 population census, there are 331-393 adult-subadult Amur tigers in the Russian Far East.

BBC Nature: find out more about the tiger.

Project goal:

Phoenix Fund is a grassroots NGO fighting to protect far eastern Russia's last big cats through anti-poaching efforts and a strong education programme. The project aims to further strengthen Amur tiger/ leopard habitat protection through anti-poaching efforts and environmental education, but also to bolster local capacity for fire-fighting, as incidents of non-natural fires are increasing and are a major threat to the habitat of Amur tigers and leopard.

The three programme aspects are closely interrelated, with education an essential component of the project to engage local people and directly relate attitudes and behaviour, especially amongst villagers living within or close to key tiger/ leopard habitat.

The work supported has been successful in strengthening local fire-fighting networks and ensuring that fires have been reduced in number and where they happen have been effectively controlled.† Numbers of leopards and tigers have stabilised, though populations of both are still severely threatened.

The funding from the BBC Wildlife Fund will undoubtedly make a difference in helping to save the rare and endangered Amur tiger and Amur leopard and their historical habitat in Russia. These two big cats desperately need our help to survive. At present, they are facing numerous threats to their survival, such as poaching and habitat loss, and it is our duty to prevent them from going extinct. The project supported by the BBC Wildlife Fund will help to protect these big cats' natural habitat from poachers and forest fires and to educate and engage local communities to participate in the protection of their wildlife. We would like to express our deep appreciation to the BBC Wildlife Fund for their generous support that is enabling us to strengthen our anti-poaching and fire-fighting efforts in the protected area, which is a 'source site' for leopards and tigers (key habitat for breeding females).

Sergei Bereznuk, Project leader and Director, Phoenix Fund, Russia

See a full breakdown of the grants we awarded to organisations around the world

Download Grant spreadsheet [38Kb]

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