What would you like to search for?

Our News

A Leopard found its way into Tavush Region of Armenia

Camera traps of WWF Armenia captured a Leopard in Yenokavan village of Tavush region.

Earlier, on November 19, 2019, news spread that a villager was attacked by a Leopard in Yenokavan. A laboratory examination of the animal's hair, taken as a sample from the clothes of a villager injured in the attack, confirmed with 99% accuracy that the animal was a lynx, not a Leopard.

But as Arman Gabrielyan, the injured villager, was still claiming and insisting that the animal which attacked him was a Leopard, WWF Armenia specialists continued field research. As a result, the geography of camera placement has expanded. Arman Gabrielyan himself, the residents of Yenokavan, as well as Apaga Resort Complex provided great support to the research.

The research has shown positive results. The cameras captured photos and videos of the leopard.
We can state that after a 50-year break, the leopard returned to the Tavush region. The last leopards in this area were sighted in the 1970’s. Tavush became the fourth region in Armenia which is a habitat for the leopard.
Karen Manvelyan, Director of WWF Armenia, notes; "This is truly a unique and happy sight because according to the previous laboratory analysis there was only 1% chance that the samples belonged to a leopard. We will continue the field research, and it is obvious that from now on we need higher level of protection in this area. "

Starting from 2002, WWF in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, is implementing the leopard conservation project in Armenia. Later, a number of other partner organizations joined the project.

The Armenian Highland is a habitat of the endangered species of the Persian or the Caucasian Leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana). According to some sources, the Caucasian Leopard had been quite commonly spread over Armenia in the 1970-80-s. However, over years, hunting this animal had become so extensive that the Leopard was registered in the Red Data Book of the Armenian SSR in 1987.

Presently, the king of Armenian mountains, the Caucasian Leopard, is included in the Red Data Book of Armenia (2010) and on the IUCN Red List with the status of the «critically endangered» and «endangered» species, respectively. In Armenia, the number of these animals ranges up to 10 individuals.

Leopard in Tavush Region