ALTA is a coalition of international Non-Government Organisations (NGO) dedicated to running and supporting conservation projects to save the Amur leopard and tiger from extinction.
With less than 70 individuals left in the wild the Amur Leopard is one of the most endangered big cats in the world, classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. Poached for it’s beautiful fur, the Amur leopard has been pushed to the brink of extinction. By reducing the hunting of the cats for its fur and the poaching of its prey, protecting its habitat from logging and fires and supporting research into its behaviours and the diseases we can secure the future of the Amur leopard.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park in association with Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation and ALTA are part of an international breeding programme, with an aim to reintroduce offspring back into the wild. On the 28th June 2015, Yorkshire Wildlife Park welcomed the birth of two Amur leopard cubs, Anadyr and Teva. These cubs and their parents, Drake and Freya, could be critical in an international plan to reintroduce them back into the native habitat. Conditions have stabilised and the Amur Tiger and Leopard Alliance (ALTA) recently announced plans for a re-introduction in the Lazovsky Nature Reserve in Southern Sikhote Alin, an area where leopards disappeared approximately 30 years ago. Improved conservation efforts in Russia and China combined with an increase in the leopards’ traditional prey of sika deer has provided confidence that a new population numbers could rise over the next 15 years.
An endangered species, it is thought that there are less than 500 Amur tigers left in the wild, however, their numbers have been much lower. Hunting had pushed these animals to the brink of extinction in the 1940’s, with only 40 remaining in the wild. However, the species was saved when Russia granted the Amur tiger full protection, since the 1940’s a significant amount of work has gone into the conservation of these magnificent animals.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation are proud supporters of the Amur Leopard and Tiger Aliance (ALTA), a charity committed to the conservation of both Amur Leopards and Tigers in Eastern Russia. YWPF are funding a rescue and rehabilitation centre at Alekseevka in Russia. This rescue and rehabilitation centre helps injured tiger cubs or those who are struggling to support themselves, get back to strength, releasing them back into the wild when ready.
The Amur tigers of YWP are part of the European Breeding Programme, which is essential for the species. The European Breeding Programme provides an opportunity for scientists and vets to undertake vital research which can be applied in the wild, it helps raise awareness for Amur tigers in the wild and helps generate funds for essential projects in Far East Russia. Not only this, but if the worst happens and the population of Amur tigers suddenly drop in the wild, the European Breeding Programme provides an insurance population, should individuals need to be reintroduced into the wild.
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