Amur leopard -- Panthera pardus orientalis

Amur Leopard - Page 1&2: In The Wild | 3&4: In Captivity | 5&6: Subspecies Description |
7: Weight & Length Figures | 8&9: Conservation

Amur leopard prey and hunting techniques:

As prey species reduce, the Amur leopard searches for other sources of food. Villagers raise the sika deer for their antlers which are used in traditional Chinese medicines.

Tigers and leopards find the deer easy prey and are more than capable of climbing fences into the compounds. Each lost deer means lost income so the farmers try to kill the cats.

The Amur leopard normally hunts at night, using the silent stalk and ambush technique also utilised by the tiger. During the attack phase the leopard may reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, but this is sustainable only for a very short time.

Agility and tree climbing:

Leopard kills are often dragged up into trees before being consumed. The tiger is essentially a terrestrial animal and prefers being on the ground. Despite having incredible muscle power, when climbing, they are very clumsy. On the other paw, the leopard can hang motionless from the bark of a vertical tree trunk, then by using its sheer strength can propel itself aloft.

These are extremely agile cats that can jump vertically up to 10 feet and double this length horizontally. Pound for pound they are 10 times as strong as humans, successfully carrying prey 3 times their own weight into the branches. This protects their food from other predators, including the main subject of this Web site, the tiger. Once a meal is finished the leopard is quite capable of descending a tree head first.

Overall, there are more than 20 subspecies of leopard; they are located in both Asia and Africa. In fact, the leopard is the widest-ranging big cat and extremely adaptable. They live in a variety of habitats, ranging from jungles to deserts, while some can be found located near large cities. Eight subspecies are endangered, four of these critically.

Financial assistance for Amur leopards:

Much work needs done to provide protection for the Amur leopard in its natural state.

Given the best opportunities these cats can live as long as 12 years in the wild, but gaining publicity and finance to assist the Amur leopard has proven difficult.

The answer is a simple one. For many big organisations, a leopard is a leopard and they can recognise no difference between a prolific subspecies and another which is bordering on extinction.

Unlike the tiger, where every subspecies is endangered, and some already extinct, there seem to be plenty of leopards and so help tends to be directed into other areas. Amur leopards must compete directly with Amur tigers for financial help. Fortunately, some of the assistance given to the Amur tiger also proves beneficial for the leopard.

Amur Leopard - Page 1&2: In The Wild | 3&4: In Captivity | 5&6: Subspecies Description |
7: Weight & Length Figures | 8&9: Conservation

Amur | Bali | Bengal | Caspian | Corbetts | Javan | Sumatran | South Chinese | Amur Leopard

Subspecies Index | Home

Photography With Thanks To The Feline Conservation Center (Photo 1, 3)
Hans Stenström (Photo 2)
All Rights Reserved. Displayed here with permission, for educational, non-profit purposes.