Thursday, May 7 2020 14:07
Karina Manukyan

For the first time in 50 years, a leopard was discovered in Tavush  region of Armenia

For the first time in 50 years, a leopard was discovered in Tavush  region of Armenia

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.

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