Vorontsov Land of the Leopard National Park is going to send proposals on cooperation in the study and conservation of rare cats to environmental organisations in North Korea. Every year, researchers detect animals crossing the border with the DPRK in the national park's southern areas, but they do not have any data about the leopard population living in that country. The Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation is going to provide assistance in establishing relations.
A visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Russia in April 2019 and his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a boost to the new international agreement. During their meeting in Vladivostok, the presidents discussed international relations and prospects for bilateral cooperation.
In the near future, as agreed with the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Land of the Leopard will submit a proposal on cooperation in the study and conservation of the Far Eastern leopard and Amur tiger to the North Korean environmental government agencies.
"The Far Eastern leopard population in Russia is currently growing together with its habitat. Leopards are expanding their territory from the southwest Primorye Territory to China and possibly to North Korea. In this regard, we would like to establish contacts with our foreign colleagues to provide a favourable environment for Far Eastern leopards in North Korea," said Land of the Leopard Director Viktor Bardyuk.
In 2018, camera traps captured images of four adult Far Eastern leopards on the border with North Korea. According to experts, this is another proof of the possible residence of the leopards in the DPRK.
The North Korean Rason Migratory Birds Sanctuary is located on the border with Land of the Leopard. However, North Korea does not have protected natural areas engaged in the restoration of the population of rare wild cats.