From the Amur leopard in eastern Russia to the Sumatran tiger in Sumatra, Indonesia, the WildCats Conservation Alliance aims to preserve wild tiger and leopard populations for future generations through conservation projects and general awareness. The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo financially supports the WildCats Conservation Alliance as they work to protect the big cats of Asia and Europe.
Amur Leopard Conservation
Considered one of the most endangered big cats in the world, the Amur leopard is found only in far eastern Russia and northeastern China. The latest population census in 2017 suggested there were about 100 Amur leopard individuals living in this region. Habitat loss and poaching is the biggest threat to the decreasing population numbers.
For many years now, the WildCats Conservation Alliance has monitored Amur leopard populations using hidden cameras near the eastern China-Russia border and have studied behavior and travel patterns using snow tracking. In 2022, with the help and encouragement of the WildCats Conservation Alliance, China established the Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park to further the ongoing conservation efforts in the area. This national park is the largest tiger and leopard reserve in the world and is nearly twice the size of Yellowstone National Park.
Sumatran Tiger Conservation
The Sumatran tiger, a critically endangered tiger subspecies, is the last remaining island tiger. Tigers once lived on the islands of Bali and Java in Indonesia, however, only the Sumatran tiger remains today. Wild population numbers are estimated to be between 400 and 500 Sumatran tigers, decreasing due to poaching and habitat loss.
WildCats Conservation Alliance’s Indonesian projects focus largely on the illegal hunting of Sumatran tigers. They work with local governments to create policies protecting this big cat species from poachers, as well as educating local communities on the importance of their conservation work. In conjunction with policy and education, the WildCats Conservation Alliance has implemented forest patrols to secure forest areas and monitor local law enforcement activity, or lack thereof, in reaction to the poaching of Sumatran tigers.
By working together and educating one another on the importance of big cats remaining in their natural habitats, we can create a brighter future for both Sumatran tigers and Amur leopards for generations to come.