Another Caucasian leopard spotted by cameras in Armenia
The Caucasus Wildlife Refuge (CWR) has become a safe haven for the Caucasian leopard. The cameras located in the area have spotted the movements of the leopard for the third time in a row in January. This is another proof that the habitat is safe and there is enough food for this large feline which caught the interest of biologists and wildlife advocates. The trap camera footages of the leopard and other wild animals provide important information to analyze and evaluate the conservation work done so far aimed at protecting the area against any negative impact. Starting from 2011, the FPWC foundation with the support of VivaCell-MTS and British World Land Trust is undertaking clear steps towards the protection of nature and preservation of biodiversity in Armenia. The modern trap cameras purchased with the support of VivaCell-MTS provide the necessary monitoring tools for biodiversity. With the help of those cameras it was possible to track a number of rare animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week: bezoar goats, brown bears, bearded vultures, as well as common species such as boars, foxes and wolves were spotted. The recently obtained footage is especially important. The location is not revealed though in order to prevent possible poaching and illegal hunting. Within the last 8 years, the CWR is being protected by FPWC against poaching, logging and negative human impact. From this perspective, the cooperation both with the Ministry of Nature Protection on a state level, with international partners, as well as within local environmental organizations working in the field is of crucial importance. Remote and bordering communities also play a vital role in preserving the leopard. This species is migratory and passes hundreds of kilometers in one day. Communities, which realize the importance and role of this majestic feline, can have a major impact and support for the conservation of the species. The CWR is a safe corridor for a number of different species. For instance a major increase of Bezoar goats was recorded recently by cameras located in the area, which is another crucial factor as the existence of leopards is based on the availability of its prey. According to existing data, was possible to track only 3-5 leopards through trap cameras it in the whole territory of Armenia.