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Adopt A Leopard

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Just £3.00 per month will go towards helping WWF to protect leopards in the wild and in return WWF will send you a wonderful leopard adoption pack containing leopard card, a fluffy leopard toy, booklets and regular newsletters.

Adopt: Tolstyi, El’duga and Narva

Species: Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)

About Tolstyi, El’duga and Narva: Tolstyi either battled for or inherited his home range at least 10 years ago. He is one of the most photographed of the 19 Amur leopards that our researchers follow, having made many appearances on hidden cameras set up within his home range El’duga is the only female surviving in the northern zone where the hidden cameras are set up. Four male Amur leopards live around her territory. The males keep constant track of her, waiting for the moment when she is ready to mate. They target the same prey as her, and their presence drives away much of the other potential prey in the area, making the challenge of feeding herself and her young more difficult. Narva’s territory is largely made up of boggy lowland meadows. This is very uncharacteristic habitat for an Amur leopard, although Narva has become very skilled at stalking prey in these conditions and is known to have raised young there.

About leopards:The three adopted Amur leopards live in the province of Primorskii Krai in Russia’s Far East. Their habitat is mainly forested with Korean pine and oak and has many steep, eroding cliffs. There are many caves eaten into these cliffs, which the female leopards use when giving birth to their young.

The situation concerning the Amur leopard is critical. However, the fact that another big cat in the region, the Amur tiger, has recovered from a precarious state of fewer than 40 individuals some 60-70 years ago, to a now stable population of some 500 individuals, gives some hope. WWF’s current ambitious goal for Amur leopard conservation is to increase the population to at least 45 individuals.

Last minute gift?

Adoption packs are usually dispatched within 2-3 working days, but you should allow up to 10 days for delivery.

If you are worried the adoption pack might not arrive in time, you will be able to print or email a gift certificate as soon as you have completed your adoption.

The Leopard

The leopard is among the fastest animals in the cat family, much like the Greyhound in the Dog family.They are known for their gold spotted fur with dark spots.The leopard is closely related to the lion,jaguar and the cheetah,and is a carnivore.Although leopards are not picky eaters,they are known for their agility and they prey on animals that come their path.They can easily adapt to any habitat and can live in rain forests ,deserts,woodlands,grassland savannas and also mountains.This article is going to describe 10 interesting facts about leopards.

The first interesting fact about leopards is their special ability to adapt to any habitat.As long as it can provide food and shelter the leopard can adapt.A breed of the leopard known as the snow leopard is found in the Himalayan mountains.This means they can survive in both warm and cold climates.In their native habitat,they prefer rocky landscapes and forested areas.Secondly,the leopards are amazing tree climbers.A leopard can climb as high as fifty feet up a tree with its latest kill in the mouth .They do that mostly to avoid other predators such as lions and hyenas cannot snatch it.The leopards also use tree climbing as a means of saving their lives.They also have an amazing ability to descend trees fast head first.The other interesting fact about the leopards is that they are solitary animals and prefer to entirely live alone and go out of their to avoid meeting one another.They create territories which one can manage,male leopards have a greater one than the females.They mark the territories using urine or claw marks on trees.This helps them notice when another leopard is close to avoid unexpected meetings that would lead to a fight.

The other interesting factor about the leopard is that it can feed on anything no matter the size.Their vision and hearing makes them the ultimate hunters.When hungry the leopard is known to hunt down any prey including the giraffe.Another amazing fact about the leopard is the ability to communicate with each other.Leopards use ,roaring,hissing ,growling or moaning to recognize the distance between each other.The other fact is that leopards can grow into various sizes depending on their environment.The biggest leopard weighs close to ninety one kilograms with the least at thirty.Snow leopards have huge nostrils that help them breathe in the thin air.In addition leopards are known to live half as long in the while compared to when they are in captivity.They have a prolonged lifespan while living in the wild and therefore capturing them reduces their lifespan.The other fact about the leopard is that it a packs it’s power into a small body.Despite being the smallest in the cat family they can prey on other large animals.They have muscular necks and hind legs that are perfect for speed while hunting,it can take down an animals twelve times its size..Finally,it is interesting to note that leopards only spend their time together to mate.The females are ready to bear cubs after three years and this is the only time they meet the males for mating,otherwise they prefer living and hunting alone.

The leopard is the most interesting animal in the cat family.The 10 interesting facts about leopards listed above absolutely show this.

What do Leopards eat?

Leopards are not very picky when it comes to their food and their diet is composed of over ninety animal species. So what do leopards eat? Well, below are some of the animals that these wild cats have in their menu.

1.Grazing Ungulates

Ungulates are a large group of animals composed of odd-toed and even-toed mammals. Leopards are very opportunistic and they tend to consume nearly every animal which they come across. Some of the ungulates they consume include rhinoceroses, giraffes, deer, hares, hippos, gazelle, impala, antelopes among others. Unlike other cats, Leopards are highly skilled animals and they can easily climb trees hence they also feed on primates such as the chimpanzees, gorilla, baboons etc.

2.Reptiles

The Wildcats prey on reptiles such as alligators, lizards, crocodiles etc. However, crocodiles are very strong and lethal hence leopards have to be keen and tactical when hunting them.

3.Fish and amphibians

While these carnivorous animals prefer to eat ungulates most of the times, amphibians and fish are also part of their diet. From tilapia, tuna, sardines, cod, salmon to amphibians such as salamanders, frogs, newts and toads, a leopard’s diet is obviously very nutritious and rich in proteins.

4.Rodents

This group of animals forms about forty percent of the mammal species. In the savannah grasslands where food sometimes tend to be very scarce, they will prey on rodents such as squirrels, rats, mice, chinchillas etc.

5.Insects

The reason why leopards are able to survive in areas where the cat population has significantly diminished is because of their opportunistic nature. Their flexibility and the ability to survive in different ecological settings means that they can also eat insects when need arises. The cats can prey on large-sized dung beetles, locusts among others.

6.Birds

These animals usually hunt by silently and stealthily attacking the prey, catching them unawares. As a result, they are able to catch and eat game birds such as wild turkey, quails, woodcocks, partridges, ducks, and snipes among others.

Overall, leopards prey on big-sized and small-sized animals. They have an eclectic type of diet which means that when the food gets scarce, they will go and hunt down food which is less desirable to other animals but more abundant. Their menu also greatly depends on the ecological settings in which they are found in. For example, in a rain-forest habitat, they will mostly feed on small primates and antelopes, in a mountainous region they will feed om porcupines, rodents, lizards, birds etc. and ungulates when they are in grasslands.

Leopards

Leopards are one of the five species of the cat family closely related to lions, jaguars and tigers. Scientifically, it is called Panthera Pardus and are known for their golden spotted bodies and hunting techniques. Leopards are fast and can run up to 58km/hr.

Leopard’s habitat

Leopards are very adaptable and are known to live in different habitats such as forests, deserts, grassland savannas, woodlands, mountain habitats, coastal scrubs and swampy areas. They are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa, and Central Asia, there is also a small a small population of leopards found in Northern Africa and Arabia. Leopards have become extinct in Zanzibar and in some regions in Africa; it’s becoming rarer and rarer.

How leopards adapt to their habitats

The leopard’s habitat varies but leopards have developed characteristics to enable them to survive in their habitats. For instance, desert leopards are a shade lighter than grassland to enable them camouflage with their environment. Their paws are also shaped differently to enable them to walk in different terrains and temperatures.

Leopards look for food in wide territories in their habitats depending on the landscape and number of preys in that territory. Male leopards are known to be protective of their territories attacking any other male who invades their territories. The females, on the other hand, are friendlier to each other and often overlap each other territories.

Leopard’s diet in their habitat

Leopards normally prey and hunt mid-sized mammals such as deer and warthogs which are normally ambushed either from dense vegetation or from branches above. Leopards also eat a variety of small prey such as birds, reptiles and rodents. Due to intense food competition from tigers and scavengers, leopards usually drag their prey into the dense vegetation or up into the trees for safety. They are also strong are capable of hunting prey bigger than them such as antelopes which they either drag them into the trees to be eaten immediately or stored for later.

Changes in the leopard habitats

The leopard habitats are constantly being affected by the rise of climate changes brought about by human activities. Human beings are constantly killing vegetation that leopards depend on for survival thus endangering their lives. Population growth, industrialization, habitat fragmentation and deforestation has continued to destroy the natural habitats of these predators raising a need for people and international environment conservation organizations to protect those places so that we save these species for future generations.

Amur Leopard: Solitary hunter

Amur leopard, also called Far western leopard or Siberian leopard, is one of the critically endangered species of cats. They are found over Southwestern Russia and northeast China. The good news is that due to the extensive conservative efforts the number of leopards has increased up to 103 in 2018 from less than 30 in 2000 according to the WWF. They are widely hunted for their beautiful spotted fur. Peculiar than other cats which are generally found in low lands and grasslands like Savannah, these rare species of cats are solitarily ruling on the snowy forest and mountains.

Habitat and characteristics:

Amur leopard live in the temperate region inside the dense forest. They usually hunt after sunset in solitary rather than on packs. Their major preference is deer which happens to be the preference of the people living around the forests hence leading them to a shortage of food contributing over their declining numbers. Amur leopards live for around 10-15 years and weigh 70-105 kg. Male leopards are 5-7 feet in length while female leopards are about 4-5 feet long. To adapt themselves to the harsh cold regions of Russia, they have paler, thick spotted coat of fur which grows up to 7 cm long in winter. Similar to other leopards, they can run about 37 miles per hour. Apparently, they can also jump up to the height of 19 meters horizontally and up to 10 feet vertically. Amur leopard breed in spring and summer months. They can reproduce up to 6 cubs at a time. The pregnancy lasts for 90- 105 days.

Why endangered?
IUCN states the number of leopards is decreasing globally but this particular subspecies of leopards were decreasing at an unusual rate than others due to the man-made actions in their habitat region. Amur Leopard is widely hunted for their beautiful spotted fur. As mentioned above, their preys are the roe deer, sika deer, hare which are also hunted by the local people they are hence leading to the scarcity of prey in their region. The deer and hare are used to the locals to sell in the market. The locals are encroaching over the settlement of leopards destroying their habitats for agriculture and local development. They are also threatened by new roads, inbreeding, forest fires and possible co-existence with other disease carriers. Their habitat has decreased by more than 80% in last 30 years.

Protection efforts
A vast number of efforts have been put by Russia, China, and other western agencies to protect the Amur leopard from extinct. An alliance called “Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance” is initiated by Russia along with other agencies to secure their future existence. In 2012, Russia announced Land of the Leopard national park to protect the habitat of Amur leopards. The anti-poaching team is working in the forest to secure the region from poaching. Various other projects like population monitoring, health checkup are also being done in order to ensure the existence of Amur leopard, the solitary hunters.

A Leopard vs a Greyhound, who would win?

Wildlife and domesticated animal encounters are not unusual. Matter of fact, many times it happens in areas that were once part of any wildlife’s natural habitat that was then developed into human settlements. There is a good chance these two will likely cross paths as well as their pets. We bring with us civilization while we deprive wildlife of their home so we can build our own and so it cannot be avoided that at some point there will be an encounter.

Many of the accounts we see or hear about wildlife encounters involve animals in both fresh and salt waters; alligators, crocodiles, caiman, whales, sharks, and on land; snakes, poisonous insects, hyenas as well as big cats. One of the more popular big cats that everyone knows about is the Leopard.

In genus Panthera, Leopard is one of five species. A full grown adult male can weigh up to 90 kilograms and can measure up to five feet two inches in length and two feet in height. It can go to top speeds up to 58 kilometers per hour. The leopard primarily hunts during the night and relies heavily on highly developed sense of sight and hearing as it is an opportunistic hunter. This big cat have populations in the sub-saharan African regions as well as in parts of Asia.

Attacks on domesticated animals in less urbanized settlements have been witnessed and. It cannot be helped. It is bound to happen for we have overlapped with the leopard territory. Leopards usually avoid human settlements, however, for a promise of easy prey they might frequent these areas for a snack.

Dogs is by far our favorite pet. One of the breeds that we take a liking of is the Greyhound. Adult males could weigh up to 40 kilograms, measures two feet in length and approximately two feet in height. The greyhound has been originally bred for hunting and coursing deer. It is built for speed and agility reaching top speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour. This dog can easily outrun any humans or predators.

In case of an encounter: a Leopard vs a Greyhound, who would win? It is unlikely for a greyhound to survive in a leopard sneak attack. Because a leopard is a sneaky hunter, it will pounce once the prey is within its five meter attack zone. Even if the greyhound can reach top speeds much faster than that of a leopard its chance of escaping is slim especially when the attack happens at night. The leopard has long claws to hold down their prey, if the greyhound by chance escapes, the leopard must have already inflicted severe damage to it resulting to possibly fatal wounds. In this case, the greyhound just doesn’t stand a chance.