Panthera pardus orientalis
The Amur leopard is a rare subspecies of leopard. Its range is within rocky mountain woodlands along the border of southeastern Russia and northeastern China. Part of its territory overlaps with the Amur tiger. It is a carnivore.
The Amur River, for which the leopard is named, is the world's tenth longest river. It forms the border between the Russian Far East and northeastern China. The Amur leopard has many other names linked to its former habitats, including: the Far East leopard, Siberian leopard, Manchurian leopard and Korean leopard.
Amur leopard behavior and facts
- Amur leopards prey on roe deer, wild boar, sika deer, musk deer and hare. They hide food for later consumption.
- Long legs are an adaptation to the snowy conditions of its historic range. It's a good climber, swimmer and jumper. Amur leopards can jump 20 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically.
- It is solitary and nocturnal. It marks its 30-square-mile territory with urine.
- The leopard doesn't growl like other predatory animals, instead it uses a distinctive rasping call as its main vocalization.
- Breeding: January to February
- Gestation: 90 to 105 days
- Between 1 to 4 cubs per litter
- Cubs open their eyes approximately 10 days after birth.
- They are weaned at 3 months and leave their mother at 18 to 24 months.
- Sexual maturity: Approximately 3 years
- Lifespan: 10 to 15 years in the wild; up to 23 years in captivity
- Males: 82 to 198 pounds
- Females: 62 to 132 pounds
- Critically endangered (less than 40 in the wild)
- US Endangered
- CITES App. I - studbook participant - Felid TAG - due to habitat loss (major factor) and encroachment of civilization - poaching is also a concern.
Amur leopards, the Oregon Zoo and you
The Oregon Zoo's Amur leopards, Kia and Borris, live in the Amur cats exhibit. They're on a carnivore diet that includes bones, vitamins, cat food, goats milk, small prey items and enrichment treats.
The wild population has shrunk to fewer than 40 animals due to poaching, inbreeding, forest fires and human encroachment. North American and European zoos are participating in coordinated Amur leopard breeding programs to help preserve this leopard subspecies. Due to age and overrepresentation, Borris and Kia are not recommended for breeding.
You can help Amur leopards by joining a conservation organization, such as ALTA Amur Leopard Conservation, that works to breed and restore them to their historic range. ALTA is an international coalition of organizations working for the conservation of Amur tigers and leopards in the wild.