Dossier on Leopard. Where the most rare large cats planet live
Where leopards live? "In Africa," you will say and you will be right. But only partly, because leopards live in Russia, only we have them much less and watch them, as in the African safari, will not work. For exploring the habitat of the Far Eastern Leopard, the most rare large cat on the planet, the project # Primorye went to Primorsky Krai.
Still a hundred and a few years ago, leopards loosely lived on the entire Korean Peninsula and in the huge territory of the south of Primorsky Territory. The first migrants who came to Primorye from other regions of the Russian Empire, considered leopards the main enemies of livestock and therefore they were completely ruthlessly destroyed. Later, the industrial development of territories, forest logging and poaching hunt did their job – many believed that the Far Eastern Leopard disappeared irrevocably. In the early 70s of the last century, winter accounting on the "Cedar Pad" reserve showed leopards here. However, an accurate confirmation was received only in 1976, when the photographer animal Yuri Shibnev made the world’s first photo of the Far Eastern Leopard, or rather, Leopardes sitting on a tree.
So the "Cedar Pad" reserve became the only place on the planet, where the Far Eastern Leopard could feel safe. Unfortunately, its territory was enough for a comfortable existence of no more than five animals.
For a comfortable existence, a leopard needs a lot of space, a comfortable "living space" for male is approximately 500 km², the female grabs 120-130 km². In summer, animals are costing a smaller area, and in the winter it increases. Young animals also requires a little less space, and the Hunting female hunting at the time of feeding kittens is compressed to 10 km².
Snapshot with photo station
For the protection of spotted cats in 2012, near the "Cedar Pad" reserve was created by the Land Leopard National Park, which included most of the habitat of the predator.
The males of Far Eastern Leopards, as the real representatives of the Feline family, are not burdened with married loyalty and can "make sure" several leoparditsa immediately. Leopards multiply slowly, to conceive and take offside the female may not more often than once every three years, and one or two kitten is usually born in litter. Already from two months, the kids eat meat brought by mom, and with eight months Mother begins to teach grown kittens to independently extract meal. True, up to a year and even longer they still remain in their native nest, because the Far Eastern Leopards is growing only to two, two and a half years.
We arrived in Primorye in mid-October, put the most beautiful and colorful season – golden autumn.
No matter how surprisingly, our acquaintance with the "Leopard Earth" began with. fishes. The fact is that at this time comes to the spawning of Keta, and we went to the river Narva to see this process with our own eyes.
In fact, Keta spends most of his life in the sea, but on the spawning of nature goes into the river, and, as scientists found out, it comes to where it was born herself. For spawning, the fish chooses shallow places with a stony bottom, the so-called "graters".
Cape’s females strongly tail off small deepening, in which caviar will postpone, and the sophisticated males are fertilized. Next comes the saddest moment. Some time after the fishing of the fish dying. The reason for this scenario of life scientists still did not solve. Some believe that the fish spends too many vital forces on the process of continuing the kind, for a fish running to spawning does not eat anything and lives only due to accumulated fat. Others are confident that the life cycle is designed.
Not all Ikrinki will become fish, some will eat other fish, part will not survive the winter, well, the most weaving in the spring will grow slightly and go to the sea, in order to return here to continue the kind.
Where fish and caviar, there are poachers, and therefore from June to December (different fish spawn at different times) from the protection inspectors of the National Park is hot. Several times a day they circle their "possessions" so that no poacher can remain unpunished.
But back to the leopards. Rather, to care about their nutrition. I think no need to say that leopards – predators. The main diet is deer, but they do not circle and badger, raccoon or disadvantaged. Leopard – a rare beast, and therefore it is very important to follow his health. But how to do that? Found in the National Park. For several years here is periodically monitored by the health of those animals that can get into the paws "example" of these places. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, a group of veterinarians and biologists puts special traps. All animals who hit the trap, take analyzes for all sorts of diseases that can threaten leopards health, well, and at the same time inspect the general condition of animals.
Unlike its African fellow, Far Eastern leopards never attack people
In one day we passed the whole trap route with veterinarians, but unfortunately, this time, "Ulova" was not.
But the next day I got already two badgers. As we were told, for all the time such research there were no diseases and only once in the spring was caught a strongly exhausted badger. All other beasts in good condition, and most importantly, healthy, which is beneficial to them and leopards.
See a leopard in wildlife – one per million chance, but you can see its habitats.
All those who come to the Land Leopard National Park are celebrated in a visit. Here you can buy souvenirs, tickets for excursions, and from here you start two sightseeing routes, one of which we walked.
The Ecological Trail of the Leopard trail is held in Mount Buslenko, and you can go along with the children, since the length of the route is about 2 km and there will be many places for recreation.
The trail itself goes through a coniferous-wide forest in which it is so cool in the fall to rustle foliage!
And to get off from the road you will not be given pointers, showing the direction of movement.
By the way, in addition to the beauty of nature, here you can see the remaining war with Japan and China defensive structures. And this is not a reconstruction, but genuine blockages and trenches!
The territory of the National Park is very large – 336,000 hectares, approximately 15 principalistics of Monaco. It is broken into several sites. Now we invite you to the sea – on the Gamova Peninsula.
The Kharmsky cluster entered the National Park recently, in 2019. While leopards do not live here, but there are beautiful rocks, bays and deer park, about which below.
You can get here either by yourself, after purchasing an entrance ticket through the site of the National Park, or with an excursion from the resort village of Andreyevka.
If it were possible, I would put a tent in this beauty and lived, lived, lived.
I would love for gulls and cormorants and breathed with sea air.
Oleny Kennel on the Gamova Peninsula appeared at the beginning of the last century by the efforts of Yana Yankovsky and Vladimir Shevelev. The farm brought a good income primarily through the sale of the Pantians, however, did not last long. In the 20s of the twentieth century, when Soviet power was reached before Primorye, the entrepreneurs left Russia, emigrating to Korea, and deer went to freedom.
In the time of the USSR, Olenesovkhoz "Gamov" worked here, in which more than 30,000 spot deer lived. Unfortunately, this economy has not registered change and after the decay of the country has declined. For several years, almost all deer were exterminated, in the 90s there were about 50 goals.
Now deer Park is restored, about 500 spotted deer lives in it: some of them directly in the nursery, and part – on a free grazing. They can be visited on excursions.
"And we will go north!"True, we will not go, but we will go, for our way lies in the northern part of the National Park, to its very border with China.
North Cordon, here we will spend the night.
Getting from the central estate here is not so easy. First, we are going for several hours on decent roads, and then we transplant our favorite transportation – UAZ, nicknamed "Baton", and begins a steep off-road.
We have to spend the night on Cordon, and on the way to it we visit the rocks overlooking the valley of the Krunovka River. These rocks are one of the favorite leopard recreation places.
Unlike the central part of the park, there are no bright maples, and only small islands of larchs are brightly burning in a sunset sun. And somewhere there, below, there are big cats between the trees and watch guests
At dawn, we arrange a small march-throw in search of deer. It’s not you "gamps", here is not in the aviary. Now they have the most height of the roar, so they focus on the sound. As it turned out, unlike raisins, spotted deers are not root, and it is funny so sweeters.
See brown deer among brown trunks and brown foliage turned out to be almost as difficult as to catch an antopeh lens in the Dauro Reserve.
However, at some point we smiled at luck and we were able to watch the flock of about 50 goals, which grazed on the opposite bank of the river, practically no attention to us.
Well, what about leopards? To see this rare animal, you need to come to the reserve from November to April, and better even from December to March, reserve one of the photoctions, gain patience and wait. Maybe a day, maybe three, and maybe a week. If we get lucky.
Photo cases in the park eight. Of these, four stationary and four mobile. Each is designed for two people and has everything for life support: electricity, heating, tile, relay. Pleasure is not at all budget, and such shelters are made to work serious animal photographers.
You can get acquainted with the prices and conditions of booking on the website of the National Park.
The main way of observing animals in the national park and the reserve are photochets. Now there are more than 400 in their territory, and it is they who make it possible to observe not only behind the leopards, but also for amur tigers, Himalayan and brown bears and other representatives of the Fauna.
In the territory of the National Park and the Reserve live 97 leopards and 31 Amur Tiger. All animals have their own "accounting" rooms, and some – even their own names. For each leopard, a personal dossier has been created, where there is all information about the animal: age, description, photo and video.
There are leopards in the drawing of spots, for it has individuals from each animal – about the same as the fingerprints of the man.
By the way, unlike its African fellow, Far Eastern leopards never attack people!
Park Hotel Complex
To get to the Land Leopard National Park from Vladivostok, you need to get to the village of Barabash. If you want to come here for a few days, you can stop in the modern hotel complex of the National Park with very comfortable rooms and beautiful surrounding landscape.