A new leopard has been identified in camera trap footage by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets in Armenia’s Caucasus Wildlife Refuge.
Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife Cultural Assets camera traps captured a male adult leopard which has been compared with the only other male recorded in the area and confirmed as a new individual․ Within the same day, with only about two hours’ interval and about two miles direct airline distance at CWR, Neo (the resident male leopard of this habitat) was been captured by FPWC camera traps as well․
The third individual, Nova, is about seven miles away from the other leopards, again in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge․ The fact that three different leopards use the same area of the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge almost simultaneously is unprecedented.
“The population of leopards around the world has significantly decreased due to several human factors, in particular, due to cross-border tensions, new borders, and barriers in our region,” said FPWC Director Ruben Khachatryan.
“This species is on the verge of extinction. Since 2011, FPWC has been operating in the area, this is the 6th individual leopard that was filmed through our cameras,” said Khachatryan, adding that this is evidence of the fact that the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge is an effective conservation measure.
FPWC made it possible to identify this new leopard using trained rangers with upgraded knowledge on tracking leopard trails and locating the best possible place for camera trapping. It also reveals the urgent need for focused studies on the leopard trails and corridors for understanding the most relevant population estimation as well as threats that leopards can face within these corridors.
FPWC has announced a competition to name a leopard.
The Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets has been operating since 2002. The Foundation is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The key activity of the foundation is the preservation of the unique fauna and flora of Armenia, using the latest technologies and modern models.