The effective implementation of Caucasian leopard conservation is interrelated with the monitoring of the leopard and its prey species in the wild. The main goal of the monitoring conducted by WWF-Armenia is to identify the dynamics and distribution of the target species: the Caucasian leopard, Bezoar goat and Armenian mouflon in Southern Armenia. In addition, the monitoring system provides information on other mammals such as bears, lynx, wild boar, etc.
Monitoring is carried out using camera traps that are installed on paths that are regularly used by the target animals. The camera photographs the animal as it moves past the trap. What’s more, the wildlife specialists of the WWF and partner organizations’ implement periodic field visits for monitoring Bezoar goats and Armenian mouflons, recording traces and collecting scats in order to conduct DNA analysis. In the monitoring process, the members of the newly created Leopard Caretakers’ Network, rangers of the protected areas, and others are actively involved.
WWF-Armenia emphasizes the importance of promoting young generations’ love of nature. WWF carried out numerous activities in schools across Yerevan and in many rural areas, such as organization of eco-camps, special classes, presentations and educational expeditions. We aim to involve young generations throughout the Yerevan, Ararat, Syunik and Vayots Dzor regions in the protection of the Caucasian Leopard. Educational events aim to present to the public the importance of the leopard for the wildlife of Armenia, as well as the main factors that cause the species to become endangered. These efforts involve our cooperation and coordination of efforts with educational institutions, private sector corporations and international organizations.
Within the frame of these activities, exhibitions in public areas and various photo contests were organized to raise public awareness.
The conservation of the Caucasian leopard and its habitats is being implemented through the establishment of protected areas and the enhancement of their capacities. In the last decade, with the joint efforts of WWF-Armenia and the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia, new protected areas, such as Arevik National Park, Khustup and Zangezur sanctuaries, as well as the first community-based conservation area in the Caucasus - Gnishik, have been created in Southern Armenia, which encompass leopard habitats or its migration corridors. The total area of the newly created protected territories is more than 73,000 hectares. WWF-Armenia is also seeking to organise various trainings and workshops for the personnel managing the protected areas of the protected areas.