Welcome to the Land of Amur Leopard! Kedrovaya Pad Biosphere Nature Reserve is the oldest Russian nature reserve, created in 1916 and located in the extreme south of the Russian Far East, not far from the borders with China and North Korea. It is home to the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. The Amur leopard is one of the most – if not the most – endangered large cats on earth. There are currently estimated to be around 32-40 individuals left in the wild. According to a camera-trapping survey 2010-2011, about 12 individuals reside in KP. They share the area with the Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and other wildlife (sika deer, roe deer, musk deer, and wild boar).
There is something for everyone in Kedrovaya Pad- low level and hill walking, wildlife watching and filming, and for the more adventurous, tiger and leopard tracking and anti-poaching patrols.
You can take a walk with a guide along a path where you can see tiger tracks, droppings, stripped bark and other tell-tale signs, which indicate that more than one tiger enjoy walking there. Rangers will show you how to detect wildlife by finding their tracks. There are many streams and rivulets running through the path, but there are no serious obstructions to cross them. Halfway up the path, you will stay at a wooden lodge where rangers usually have a rest during an ordinary anti-poaching patrol. You will discover the diversity of plants and trees and take photos of Korean pine, Mongolian oak, maple, linden, birch etc.
If you want to see an Amur leopard or find its tracks, the best place to go is karst caves, natural underground space. They are large enough for a human to enter. The caves were used by Korean immigrants who were living there during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Nowadays, the caves are often chosen by female leopards to reside there with their kittens. Also, there are several observation points where you can see an amazing view of the reserve’s hills, identify some plant species and spot wildlife.
A unique opportunity can be offered for those who are deeply concerned about wildlife conservation. You are welcomed to join an anti-poaching team, find out what problems the inspectors face during routine patrols, and even act as a witness if a violator is arrested.
Additionally, Kedrovaya Pad offers an opportunity to film Amur leopards and other wild animals. Please be aware that Amur leopard is very elusive, and you will have to spend many days on a special construction at a tree, mostly unmoving, before a leopard appear enticed by meat purposely put under the shelter by the reserve’s staff.
We strongly encourage you to visit one of local schools located close to Kedrovaya Pad and have a talk with schoolchildren explaining why it is so important to conserve nature. Such meetings with foreigners are proved to have great impact on children’s awareness and inspire them to protect the environment. And we consider such meetings as your contribution into bringing-up a generation deeply concerned about the environment on our planet. If you want, you can attend one of eco-classes and see how an educator teaches children to care about wildlife and fosters positive attitude towards Amur tigers, Amur leopards, and Asiatic black bears, etc. We need your cooperation!
Kedrovaya Pad Biosphere Nature Reserve offers tours all year round depending on activities and sites you chose. A cost of a five-day tour varies from $2,500 to $5,000 per person, depending on your preferences, the size of your group, and the choice of hotels, transportation, and other details.
You may be interested in our other eco-tours in Primorye: