Three rare Amur leopards have been born in Primorye Region, an Amur department spokesman for the World Wildlife Fund said on Tuesday.
Andrei Fereferov said that game biologists had spotted a female leopard with a cub near the Amba River head. Later, another female with two cubs was noted not far from a highway near the Far Eastern village of Sukhanovka.
"Such encounters encourage optimism," the spokesman said. "If leopards are breeding, then everything is not so bad and real hope remains to preserve the population in the wild," Fereferov said.
A dead tiger or leopard is found annually in Russia's southeastern region. Game biologists have placed leopard habitats under special control to prevent poaching during the winter period.
Earlier, Russia and China started a joint program on the conservation of Amur leopards and Amur tigers in the Far East which stipulates ways to protect animals' populations and preserve their habitats.
Amur leopards, which are native to the Russian Far East and also the mountainous areas of the Boreal forest, are at extremely high risk of extinction, with only around 40 animals remaining in the world.
VLADIVOSTOK, November 17 (RIA Novosti)
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