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Camera Traps Help Environmentalists Monitor Endangered Far Eastern Leopards

Amur Leopard in the Colchester Zoo Keven Law

Environmentalists in the Primorye region have set up dozens of camera traps to monitor the population of endangered far eastern leopards in a national park near the border with China.

Cyclones that hit the region in July delayed the Zemlya Leopard national park's staff, but now that water levels have dropped the scientists have got back to work, Interfax reported Thursday.

"In ten days we have planted 18 pairs of camera traps in the remote and inaccessible areas of the park," park employee Dina Matyukhina said.

Cameras will be installed throughout the park by September.

The 262-hectare-park is located on the Nadezhdinsky and Khasansky districts and was created for the conservation of far eastern leopards and Amur tigers.

Southwest Primorye is the only place in the world where the wild far eastern leopards are being protected in their natural habitat, the report said.

Hunting and loss of habitat are the primary reasons for the far eastern leopard's decline, but in the last year their population has grown from 35 to about 50.

The predator is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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