By Laman Ismayilova
New images of the two Caucasian leopards have been captured at Zangazur National Park in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan region.
The photos were taken in November-December 2019, thanks to cameras installed at the park as part of a joint project of the Ecology Ministry, IDEA and WWF nature (WWF).
Over the past years photographs of six cubs of the Caucasian leopard have been taken in Zangazur National Park.
It is encouraging that as a result of the measures taken to protect, the number of leopards is growing, which are one of the rare representatives of the fauna in Azerbaijan.
As a result of monitoring conducted from 2012 to the present, 13 leopards were found in Zangazur National Park, and nine leopards in Hirakan National Park.
These photographs indicate the results of increased measures aimed at wildlife protection as well as educational work and safe environment necessary for various animal species.
Azerbaijan, one of the world’s lesser-known biodiversity hotspots, is home to the Caucasian Leopard.
The Caucasian, Persian or West Asian leopard, as it’s also known, used to be widespread throughout the Caucasus. Numbers fell dramatically in the 20th century, largely because of hunting, persecution, trapping and poisoning. Since the 20th century, the leopard is listed in the Red Book.
Until the early 2000s, very little information was available about leopards living in the territory of Azerbaijan. But thanks to the studies of past 15 years, Azerbaijani zoologists discovered their traces in Hirkan forest, Nakhchivan and Mingachevir water reservoir.
Considered symbol of the Caucasus and the region’s main living beauty, leopards, today are protected under the Caucasus Big Five and Protection of Leopards projects by IDEA Public Association, which holds various events aimed at public education, including summer camps, scientific seminars and workshops for students.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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