Habitat degradation, development and the loss of prey animals have been problematic for the subspecies as well. But an aggressive conservation program and the creation of a protected national park over 650,000 acres of the leopard's habitat have been credited with bringing it back from the brink.
"Such a strong rebound in Amur leopard numbers is further proof that even the most critically endangered big cats can recover if we protect their habitat and work together on conservation efforts," Dr. Barney Long, who leads Asian species conservation for World Wildlife Fund, said in a release. "There's still a lot of work to be done in order to secure a safe future for the Amur leopard, but these numbers demonstrate that things are moving in the right direction."
BBC did a fantastic "Planet Earth" segment on the iconic cat: