Caucasian leopard caught on camera - just23/07/2013 19:47:07 A tantalising glimpse of a Caucasian Leopard
July 2013. Leopards are elusive animals at the best of times but in the vicinity of the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge (CWR) it has been eight years since one had been seen. If it hadn't been for traces of hair and a scat found in the CWR and proven to belong to a Caucasian Leopard, we might still be wondering if they really did exist.
As of last week, the World Land Trust came another step nearer to seeing a leopard up close. But the leopards are determined to live up to their elusive reputation and so far have toyed with the watchers by only showing a tail!
Caucasus Wildlife Refuge
Manuk Manukyan, FPWC's Coordinator of Conservation Projects, is one of the few people to have seen a Caucasian Leopard in the wild, being lucky enough to catch sight of one nearly a decade ago. He told WLT: "The leopard is no longer a ghost! We know he (or she) is there and that the habitat is suitable. It is very quiet and there is plenty of prey. We will adjust the cameras and sooner or later we will get pictures of the entire animal."
Signs of leopard
Mary McEvoy, WLT's Conservation Programmes Manager (Asia and Africa Regions) said: "At last, the efforts of FPWC staff have paid off. The whole WLT office was very excited to see the footage so I can only imagine how elated all at FPWC must be feeling. This is a great moment for wildlife conservation in Armenia."
Probably no more than 5 animals
The Caucasian Leopard has only been photographed in the wild in Armenia on two occasions, in 2005 and 2007. Those leopards had entered Armenia from Iran in territory much further south of the CWR.
The leopard's stronghold within Armenia is the rugged and cliffy landscape of Khosrov State Reserve and surrounds. The Caucasus Wildlife Refuge is located on land adjoining the Khosrov State Reserve, south-east of the capital Yerevan on the south-western slopes of the Geghama mountains.
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