Russian Forest Fires Threaten Rare Leopards In Far East

Russian Forest Fires threaten rare Leopards in Far East

22 April 2011

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Russia — Wild fires have been raging throughout Russia’s Far East this year, threatening the rarest Far Eastern leopards on Earth, reported Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

The devastating impact of the fires have destroyed over 10,000 and 690 hectares of forests in the leopard preserve in the south of Primorye region and Kedrovaya Pad reserve, respectively.

“The situation in nature preserves is very alarming,” spokeswoman of the Amur branch of the World Wildlife Fund Yelena Starostina told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“The two territories in the southwest of Primorye region are the habitat of the last 35 Far Eastern leopards,” she said.

Fires are most frequent in the southwest of Primorye and annually destroy forests there.

To cope with the problem, environmentalists will carry out a month-long action in summer to restore forests and plant up to one million cedars in the area, she said.

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