Economically, ecologically and culturally important Amur leopards and tigers comes under critically endangered and are on the brink of extinction risk.
Amur leopards are among the world’s most endangered species, with only around 70 known to still exist. Around 56 of those are in a national park in Russia, known as Land of the Leopard.
Until recently, Land of the Leopard had a major highway running through it, problematic for the leopards, who probably can’t be expected to look both ways when crossing. Russia has just opened its first roadway improvement designed to protect big cats, on its Siberian border with China. The Narvinskii Pass tunnel runs for about a third of a mile underneath a major migratory route for Amur leopards and tigers.
Now Russian researchers believe about 50 of these leopards live on their side of the border, and their Chinese counterparts report somewhere between 33 and 42 leopards on their side. But the leopards go back and forth across the border, so researchers on both sides have recently agreed to share their data to produce a combined population estimate. For now, the best guess is that the total population is around 80 leopards.
A 1,900-foot tunnel, built underneath the migration routes, according to RT. The tunnel opened in March. Sergey Ivanov, a Kremlin official, told the state-controlled TASS news agency that the rare leopards’ numbers have been growing, with leopards even starting to roam outside of the park’s boundaries.
Amidst the false promises of politicians which they make, Ivanov made things happen, designating Land of the Leopard National Park to protect 1,100 square miles of leopard and tiger habitat in the region in 2011. At the time, the possibility of a tunnel running under the park to separate the big cats from highway traffic was just a topic of discussion. Today it’s an accomplished fact, the price tag (not made public so far) be damned.
In the Western Ghats, prime tiger and leopard habitat where bumper-to-bumper car and truck traffic on winding mountain-pass roads interferes with animal movements around the clock.
The Logical Indian community appreciates this amazing effort and urges Indian government to take this brilliant example to heart.