LE FELIN SAUVAGE LE PLUS RARE DE LA PLANETE : historique depuis 1916 et prospective (source: Phoenix Fund, ce jour)
Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve Celebrates 95th Anniversary
Sergei Bereznuk, Director of the Phoenix Fund,
On October 7th 2011, Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve (NR) turned 95 years old. It is one of the oldest protected areas in Russia. Since its creation, the size of the protected area has significantly increased, from 4,500 ha (in 1916) to 18,000 ha (1956). In 2009, the Russian Government created Leopardovy Widlife Refuge in the southwest of Primorye, merging two regional refuges into one federal and affixing it under supervision of the Kedrovaya Pad NR.
Kedrovaya Pad, with the highest density of wild Amur leopards, plays a key role in conservation of this critically endangered species. With an estimated wild population of around 35 animals, the Amur leopard is probably the rarest big cat on Earth. According to data from geneticists, in 2006-2007, two male Amur tigers and three tigresses and two female Amur leopards and one male leopard lived in Kedrovaya Pad (Materials of International Conference “The Amur Tiger in Northeast Asia: Planning for the 21st Century”, Vladivostok, Russia, March 16-18, 2010). In March 2008, a family of four leopards was photographed in the protected area; in winter 2010-2011 at least six adult leopards, two of which had cubs, were registered close to the Reserve’s headquarters.
Nowadays, the Russian Government is working hard to create “Land of Leopard” National Park on the basis of Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve that will allow both to restore the Amur leopard population and to guarantee sustainable nature use. But Kedrovaya Pad NR will not disappear; it will serve as the core of wilderness and strictly protected area. Additionally, in the nearest future a Russia-China Transboundary Nature Reserve will be created with the aim to give the Amur leopard population better chance of survival.
Our wish is that Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve retains its wild character over the next hundred years. Thanks to the adequate science and law enforcement staff and ordinary people concerned about wildlife and habitat loss, the Kedrovaya Pad’s resources have been protected very well. We would like the Kedrovaya Pad have more people who treat it tenderly and want to do what is necessary to preserve and protect it every day.
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