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Protecting Amur Leopards

Dartmoor Zoological Society is a charity dedicated to conservation and helping to protect endangered species.

Our 33-acre site is home to hundreds of animals, many of which are threatened with extinction in the wild.

As we look to develop the future of Dartmoor Zoo, we have a huge ambition to provide a modern, exciting new facility for Amur leopards to breed and thrive and need your help to raise funds for this amazing project.

Our project is to help bring critically endangered Amur leopards back from the brink of extinction by building a purpose-built facility at Dartmoor Zoo so we can help combat the obstacles this species is facing.

We will be welcoming our first Amur leopard from a zoo in Europe this year! By helping us to build this enclosure, you can be part of our most ambitious and important project to date.

Finding its home in the harsh climate of far east Russia, the Amur leopard is an elusive animal that is sadly critically endangered. With only around 90 of these big cats living in the wild, they remain one of the rarest species on Earth.

Their numbers have rapidly declined because of poaching, habitat loss and deforestation. There are also concerns that the small population results in inbreeding and fewer cubs surviving.

Why are they so important? 

Amur leopards are top predators in their landscape so they are crucial for keeping the right balance of species in their location. Their presence also affects the health of the forests and the wider environment, all of which provides food, water and resources for people and other wildlife in that area.

Why are they so critically endangered?

Sadly, because the Amur leopards are so beautiful, their coats are prized among illegal wildlife traders, they are also hunted for their bones which are used in some traditional Asian medicines.

Climate change is having an impact – their forest habitat is shrinking along with the amount of prey, they are also competing for food with Amur tigers who are found in the same areas. Their limited population size and the lack of diversity in their population mean that Amur leopards are highly unlikely to adapt to any further habitat change in the future.

We will build state of the art accommodation for the world’s most vulnerable big cat species whilst also growing connections with the species recovery project to support.

This exciting facility will help the leopards to thrive and breed and it will also enable us to educate and inform our visitors about the threats to habitats and environments across the world.

The project will see our existing quarry enclosure transformed into new accommodation including a new indoor space and off show facilities. The enclosure itself will be created into a representation of the Amur region, where these leopards originate from, and will be designed to offer visitors a close up experience with one of the world’s most elusive big cats.

Dartmoor Zoo has just been accepted into the special breeding programme to continue the work already underway globally to widen the genetic diversity of this species located in zoos around the world. We will grow our connections with the species recovery project and support conservation work including anti-poaching protection, monitoring, population control and re-introduction.

This is a huge and ambitious project that will continue for many years to come so we can really make a positive contribution to protecting this species for future generations.

We will build state of the art accommodation for the world’s most vulnerable big cat species whilst also growing connections with the species recovery project to support.

It is all down to funding! 

The good news is Dartmoor Zoo has made an initial financial investment and we’ve already started the site preparation works to enable this vital project to go ahead.

But we really need your help to reach our £30,000 target and make the Amur leopard project come to life.


Together we can make a difference.

Join us on our journey and donate today.