The Amur leopard is critically endangered existing in one tiny isolated population in the Russian Far East and NE China. The main threats to the Amur leopard are habitat loss and poaching. This population has been small for several decades which could make it particularly vulnerable to disease outbreaks and the problems associated with inbreeding.
The captive population provides an opportunity for research and training for field vets and scientists, raises awareness of their wild cousins and helps generates funds for in situ work. A reintroduction plan for the Amur leopard has also been proposed which would create a second, insurance population in their former range in the Russian Far East. The reintroduced animals would come from the managed breeding programmes. There are three regional zoo associations participating in the GSMP: Europe/Russia, America and Japan and by working together the global captive population can be maintained as effectively as possible. There are currently 213 Amur leopards managed within the GSMP.
Key achievements and goals
Continue managing the GSMP and maintain a demographically and genetically healthy captive population. Participating regions can collaborate on husbandry / veterinary research as well as combine forces to increase fundraising potential for in situ conservation activities.