Recently, we were privileged to donate $10,000 to the World Wildlife Fund to join their Amur Leopard Conservation Society, part of the WWF's "extraordinary gifts" program.
A critically endangered species, the Amur leopard has become known as the rarest big cat in the world. Like many of our members, Amur leopards tend to be solitary and nocturnal. They're also remarkable athletes, capable of vertical leaps in excess of nine feet. Sadly, only about 30 of these elegant and extraordinary creatures are left in the wild. While their situation is dire, there is still cause for hope. Scientists and conservationists saved the Amur tiger, whose population also numbered in the thirties several decades ago, from the brink of extinction. Now, the WWF and the ALCS look to do the same for the Amur Leopard.
The ALCS is a highly unique program in that, due to its extremely limited membership, we, as supporters, are kept in direct contact with the WWF. Each ALCS member is paired with an actual Amur Leopard, selected by WWF scientists in Russia.
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Darron Collins of the WWF, who's been kind enough to welcome us to the program and keep us up to date. Last week, he sent us the following update to introduce us to our adopted Amur Leopard:
Borisovskii. You can call him Boris for short. He weighs 45kg, has a body length of 129 cm and a tail length of 82 cm. We know this from camera trap work, but he was also subject to a joint Russian/American wildlife medicine examination back in 2007. He's getting up there in age, but the vets found him to be in top shape for his age - hence his selection for you guys! You'll also find it interesting that despite his age, he has successfully fended off the much younger and energetic male named Nehzinskii and successfully mated with the region's female named El'duga.
the Niketalk staff/site will be adopting a 15 year old male Amur leopard named
Boris, appropriately, lives in the Borisovskoye Plateau Wildlife Refuge in Russia's southwestern Primorskii Krai, just a stone's through from the North Korean border. This wildlife refuge was just last year "consolidated" with a neighboring refuge and a zapovednik, a strict protected area, called Kedrovaya Pad. That's good news for Boris and a handful of other leopards, because now the entire region is managed by one administrative unit:
Though extremely busy, Dr. Collins has created a NikeTalk account (DarronWWF) and may take the time to answer some of your questions about the ALCS and its efforts or the situation facing the Amur Leopard population in general.
While we've supported a great many wondeful organizations in the past, some of which have reached out to provide us with updates, this marks the first time that a representative of a selected cause has actually created a NikeTalk account to communicate directly with you, our fellow members. I hope you appreciate his interest and efforts as much as I do.
It's a privilege and a joy to support such a wonderful program and I thank each of you for your role in making this donation possible.