Do Not Allow Rare Amur Leopards to Go Extinct

Target: Sergey Donskoy, Russian Minister of National Resources and Environmental Protection

Goal: Establish more protected habitat for Amur leopards and devote more resources to conservation efforts.

Fewer than 100 endangered Amur leopards remain in the Russian wild. Scientists studying wild Amur leopards living in Russia and China have concluded that only 84 of the rare cats remain in their natural habitat. The survival of these critically endangered felines hinges on there being enough wild space for them to hunt and roam.

Conducting research on these elusive big cats is notoriously difficult, which is why scientists did not have a clear picture of just how many Amur leopards remained in the wild until now. The new detailed surveys combine data based on discovered tracks in the snow and photographs taken by motion detection cameras in both Russia and China. Many of the cats were shown to frequently cross the border on either side, but there were overall more Amur leopards living in Chinese territory.

While it is vitally important that both nations work to protect this critically endangered species, this study highlights the need for Russia in particular to focus on saving the remaining cats within its borders. With so few Amur leopards left in the wild, the survival of each individual is needed to ensure sufficient genetic diversity. Sign this petition to urge Russian officials to increase available habitat for these big cats and to devote more efforts to their conservation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Donskoy,

Recent scientific studies have given us a better picture of how many critically endangered Amur leopards remain in the wild, and the news is not good for those cats living in Russia. While many of the leopards have been shown to cross regularly between China and Russia, those living exclusively in Russia have less available habitat to roam in, and therefore are in greater danger of extinction. We ask that you conserve more land for these leopards, and work with Chinese officials to ensure their long-term survival.

With only 84 wild leopards counted in the recent study, each individual remaining represents a necessary link for ensuring genetic diversity for this subspecies. The survival of these cats depends upon having adequate wild space in which to hunt and thrive. That is why we, the undersigned, are urging you to save this crucial habitat and to devote more resources to leopard conservation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Michael Winters

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