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 captive numbers:
The approximate life span of this cat in captivity is 23 years. As of 1999, 208 Amur leopards were listed in the International Leopard Studbook; 109 of these were male and 99 were female.
Most of these are in captive facilities across Europe and North America. The European population is managed by the Europaeisches Erhaltungszucht Programme (EEP) - an organised captive breeding programme.
Issues affecting captive Amur leopards:
There are several issues with the captive population of Amur leopards.
Firstly, they all originate from only 9 wild-born founders which means inbreeding is a high risk factor. To help rectify this, proposals have been put forward to capture further wild leopards in an effort to extend the gene pool.
However, it is not likely that a large number of Amur leopards can be removed from the wild to enlarge the captive genetic base; wild population numbers are too grave to consider this an option. The problem is that every animal removed would reduce the genetic viability of the only remaining wild self-sustainable group.
Secondly, the options for breeding existing cats have been reduced due to compatibility problems. It can be particularly difficult to successfully pair two hand-raised cubs.
But there is another area, which is perhaps of greater concern.
Genetic pollution in the Amur leopard:
over 200 captive Amur leopards should be enough to provide a
genetically stable breeding group, except for one fact; most
of the leopards held by zoos are not purebred cats.
With Thanks To Hans Stenström