Russia creates massive park for rare cats


Russia has created a massive national park to protect some of the world’s rarest big cats, the critically endangered Amur tigers and leopards, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Dubbed the “Land of the Leopard” National Park, the reserve covers 1,011 square miles (262,000 hectares) of key habitat for leopards and tigers. The park was created by merging three existing protected areas — Barsovy Federal Wildlife Refuge, and Borisovkoe Plateau Regional Wildlife Refuge — and adding new areas along the Chinese border.

“This is tremendous news for big cat conservation,” said Peter Zahler, WCS Deputy Director for Asia, in a statment. “The creation of this park greatly increases the amount of land protecting critical populations of two of the world’s big cats, and it will go a long way to securing their future. We look forward to continuing to provide whatever support is requested to help conserve tigers and leopards in the region.”

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