17 March 2014: A conservation project to protect Caucasian Leopards in Armenia will win a grant of £25,000 - if it wins enough support in an online poll starting today.
The project – Saving Armenia’s Leopard – has been developed by international conservation charity World Land Trust (WLT) and the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), which is based in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. The project is subject to a public vote on the website of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) from now until 31 March 2014.
Save the Caucasian Leopard
Urgent action is required to save the Caucasian Leopard in the wild - and votes could make a real difference to the survival chances of Armenia’s leopards.
This endangered sub species of leopard has a total population of no more than 1,300. The Caucasian Leopard’s stronghold is in Iran, where it is known as the Persian Leopard, but in Armenia there may be as few as 15 leopards remaining.
In 2013, images of a Caucasian Leopard were captured by a camera-trap in FPWC's Caucasus Wildlife Refuge (pictured above). This means that FPWC's site protection efforts are working - but more financial support is needed.
If enough people vote for Saving Armenia’s Leopard, the project will win a grant of €30,000 from National Geographic Germany (approximately £25,000). The grant will be used to support vital conservation measures, offering a chance to save the Caucasian Leopard from local extinction in Armenia.
A grant of £25,000 will make an enormous difference to Caucasian Leopard conservation. FPWC would use the grant to strengthen conservation actions, develop sustainable tourism initiatives with local communities and undertake research and monitoring to build a greater understanding of this little studied predator.
EOCA online poll
Click the Vote Now button on the right to cast your vote on the EOCA website. Scroll down through the list of projects to find Saving Armenia's Leopard - and then vote!
People can register just one vote, so please encourage your friends, family and colleagues to vote as well. Multiple votes from the same IP address (ie most workplaces) may not be counted so please vote from a home computer if possible.
Once you've voted please encourage other people to do the same. The last day of voting is 31 March 2014.
- Watch a short film about the remarkable story of Armenia's leopard on WLT website »
- World Land Trust has been supporting conservation in Armenia since 2010 in partnership with FPWC. More about WLT’s work in the Caucasus, Armenia »
- More about the Caucasian Leopard’s conservation status »
- WLT's project Saving Armenia's Leopards was nominated by Nikwax, EOCA member and WLT corporate supporter. More about the European Outdoor Conservation Association »
WLT has been raising funds for habitat conservation in Armenia in partnership with FPWC since 2010. FPWC owns and manages the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge: 1,084 acre (439 hectares) of rugged, mountainous terrain on the south-western slopes of the Geghama mountains.
WLT supports FPWC rangers in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge with funding from the Keepers of the Wild appeal. The rangers’ job is to monitor wildlife, deter poachers and enlist support for conservation activities among local communities. WLT has also been running a special appeal to Save the Caucasian Leopard since late 2012.
As well as voting for Saving Armenia's Leopards in the EOCA poll, you can support conservation in Armenia by donating to either appeal.
Contact for more information:
17–25 March 2014: Christina Ballinger, WLT Writer / Editor
T: (01986) 874422 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
26 March 2014 onwards: Mary McEvoy, WLT Conservation Programmes Manager
T: (01986) 874422 E: email@example.com