Why Are Amur Leopards Endangered?

David Hinchliffe/CC-BY-2.0

Several factors contribute to the endangerment of the amur leopard, including habitat destruction, human conflict, poaching, small population size and lack of genetic variation. It is estimated there are approximately 30 to 40 amur leopards remaining.

Between 1970 and 1983, 80 percent of the amur leopard’s habitat was destroyed by forest fires, logging and the conversion of land for agricultural uses. Interaction with humans, such as being poached or killed by farmers, has also led to its decline. Due to the already small existing population, there is a high potential for inbreeding. This lack of genetic diversity yields offspring that are subject to health problems, which can further lead to the decline of the population.