From Wildlife Extra:
Young female leopard spotted in Azerbaijan
Leopard photographed in Azerbaijan just weeks after being confirmed in Armenia
March 2013. Leopards are one of the rarest species in the Caucasus; one has been recently spotted by WWF‘s camera traps in the Zangezur National Park in Azerbaijan. This sighting comes just a few weeks after leopards were confirmed in Armenia for the first time in a decade.
Leopards have not been seen in the area for many years, making this recent sighting a local sensation. The young female that was photographed seems to be resident in this region, leaving strong hopes that, with a bit of luck, the population of the Leopard will gradually re-populate Caucasus and once again become the apex predator, as it was many years ago.
Over the past 10 years WWF, in partnership with IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, together with National Governments, NGOs and experts from the region, has undertaken considerable efforts to assess the status of the Caucasian (Persian) Leopard and develop approaches for its conservation.
During initial phase of the project implementation important positive results on the ground were achieved. Recently, National Action Plans for Leopard conservation were adopted by local governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia based on Regional Strategy developed earlier, elevating leopard protection to the national priority level.
Leopard is the flagship species of the Caucasus Ecoregion and at the same time globally priority species for WWF
Monitoring of this species is part of the National Action Plan for Leopard Conservation, implemented by WWF in cooperation with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan. WWF monitoring process (especially camera-trapping of the leopard and hundreds of its prey and competitive species) was made possible through the support and active involvement of scientists from the Institute of Bioresources of Nakhchyvan Branch of National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan under the supervision of Professor Tariel Talibov.
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