Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   11 December

Historic rare glimpse of Caucasian leopard peeking into trapcamera in Armenia’s Khosrov forest reserve

YEREVAN, APRIL 11, ARMENPRESS. For the first time in Khosrov Forest State Reserve’s history, the WWF trapcameras captured amazing images of the Caucasian leopard.

The young male leopard pictured in the footage has never been caught on camera before, the ministry of nature protection told ARMENPRESS.

Minister Artsvik Minasyan commented, saying that the ministry highly values the development of special preservation territories in terms of both nature protection and organizing eco-tourism.

“The images of the trapcameras show that after the last year’s fire the nature is getting restored, and fortunately the wildfire’s consequences weren’t devastating for our fauna. And if the leopard has returned to the reserve, this means it has sufficient amount of kill. This is a true achievement which was possible due to the joint efforts of the ministry of nature protection, Khosrov Forest State Reserve, and our partners the WWF and the CNF”.

WWF Armenia director Karen Manvelyan said back in 2002, when they first began working in Armenia, no leopards were left in Armenia. “One of the first actions was to restore the leopard’s habitat”, he said. A few years later we had the first success – getting images of a leopard from the trapcamera. We were regularly discovering leopard traces in the reserve but we weren’t able to photograph one before. This is wonderful news. Today we can say that the Caucasian leopard is returning to the reserve”, he said.

Geof Giacomini—Executive Director of the CNF (Caucasus Nature Fund) said they are proud to support strengthening of Armenia’s specially preserved territories for 10 years.

“The existence of this young male leopard shows what result patience and selfless devotion to nature protection can have. Today is a true occasion to be proud, both for us, Armenia and the entire region”.

The ministry of nature protection and the WWF Armenia have been carrying out the preservation program of the Caucasian leopard in Armenia since 2002.

7-9 leopards are currently documented in Armenia, with habitats in Ararat, Vayots Dzor and Syunik.

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan

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