ArmInfo. For the first time in 50 years, a leopard was discovered in the Tavush region of Armenia. According to WWF-Armenia, cameras in the territory of Yenokavan village videotaped the Red List animal.
Earlier, on November 19, 2019, rumors were circulating that a leopard had attacked one of the residents of Yenokavan - Arman Gabrielyan. Subsequent examination of the traces of the predator disproved this probability (according to preliminary laboratory studies, the probability that the samples belong to the leopard was only 1%), but WWF-Armenia trusted the statement of the victim, continued field research and installed video cameras. Arman Gabrielyan himself and residents of Yenokavan, as well as the Apaga Resort company, greatly supported the research. As a result, the Red List predator was indeed videotaped by video cameras.
Thus, we can state that after a 50-year break, the leopard returned to the Tavush region. The last time an animal was seen on this territory in the 1970s. Tavush became the fourth region in Armenia where the leopard lives. According to the director of WWF-Armenia Karen Manvelyan, this circumstance can be considered a real miracle, and from now on, protection of a completely different level must be carried out in this territory.
The Armenian Highlands is the habitat of the Persian or Caucasian leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana). According to some reports, in the 1970s and 1980s, leopard was quite common in Armenia. But over the years, the hunt for leopards has been so expanded that in 1987 leopard entered the Red List of the Armenian SSR. At present, the king of the Armenian mountains - the Caucasian leopard - is included in the Red List of RA (2010) with <critical> status, as well as in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with the status <under threat>.
To recall, since 2002, WWF, together with the RA Ministry of the Environment, has been implementing a program for the conservation of leopards in Armenia. In the future, a number of other partner structures joined the program.