Recent research by experts from Vorontosov Land of the Leopard shows that the Far Eastern leopard is no longer teetering on the brink of extinction, but is expanding its range. In this regard, the Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation decided to find additional opportunities to protect key areas of the leopard habitat in order to increase the effectiveness of leopard conservation and recovery efforts.
They described this goal in a grant application submitted to the Russian Geographical Society, which received support. The application focused on expanding Land of the Leopard National Park to include new clusters that are key habitat areas for the Far Eastern leopard.
The first step of the national park's expansion will be adding the cluster on the Gamov Peninsula (the Khasan District of the Primorye Territory) located within a former deer park. Far Eastern Leopards has prepared and submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment a package of documents needed to introduce a draft resolution to the Russian Government.
It is noteworthy that the new part of the national park will border the Far East Marine Reserve, which will form the basis of the protected areas. The Gamov Peninsula will serve as a model area for ecotourism, and will also preserve and restore natural landscapes and sites.. It will both create new jobs and give a boost to small and medium-sized businesses related to tourism.
Far Eastern Leopards will then begin devising research-based proposals related to other areas that can be included in the national park, which are also important for the preservation of the Far Eastern leopard and the biological and landscape diversity of the Primorye Territory. In particular, part of the Poltavsky Wildlife Refuge and the Kravtsovsky Waterfalls area can be included. The organisation will also promote measures to expand the protected zone of the national park.
We are very happy that the Russian Geographical Society praised our work and is ready to work together to protect the natural heritage of the Far East.