The Leopard is the "Species of the Year 2016"

This fascinating big cat is endangered almost everywhere in its natural habitat. To help this big cat the leopard was selected for the “Species of the Year” campaign.

The “Zoo Animal of the Year” campaign contributes specifically to the conservation of these animals! The active protection and funding of conservation projects on site enables the leopards to survive. In addition, zoos promote these rare animals and ensure the continued existence of their species through conservation breeding.

The species conservation project "Species of the year 2016 - the leopard"


underlines the harmony of zoological efforts of ex-situ and in-situ conservation around the world. The “Species of the Year” is not only intended to draw attention to an endangered species but also to implement something specifically for this species. Talking alone is not enough for the project partners! Which is why the leopard is the first "Species of the year" to be supported by two specific conservation projects:

The "Iran Protection Project" for the Persian Leopard

60% of the total population of the endangered Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) lives in Iran. The main threat is illegal hunting. So far there are no demographic and genetic studies on the Persian leopard in the project area.

The knowledge about leopards and their way of life is very limited. Through the “Species of the Year” donations camera traps are installed. Individual leopards are equipped with GPS collar transmitters to track their movement patterns via satellite telemetry.

Farm animals and domestic dogs are examined to detect possible disease transmission to the leopard. There are training workshops for conservationists, veterinarians, hunters and pet owners.

The "Sri Lanka conservation Project" for the Sri Lanka Leopard

The habitats of the highly endangered Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) are dwindling. The forests are increasingly fragmented by roads, villages or large tea plantations. Conflicts between humans and leopards often occur at the edge of conservation areas.

The donations for the “Species of the year” will be used to find out where leopards still live in Sri Lanka using DNA analysis of their droppings. Based on this suitable conservation measures can be developed e.g. planting forest corridors. The donations have already enabled the purchase of a project vehicle and camera traps. With the help of these camera traps we would like to learn more about the behavior of animals in the vicinity of humans. Together with the population leopard guard posts can be set up, leopard-proof stables can be built for pets, or other suitable conservation measures can be developed.

More information is available on the Species of the Year homepage

Species of the year 2016 - interview

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