Sochi National Park
Sochi National Park (Russian: Сочинский национальный парк, Sochinsky National Park) is a national park in Western Caucasus, near the city of Sochi, in Southern Russia. It is Russia's second oldest national park, established on May 5, 1983.
Sochi National Park covers 1,937.37 square kilometres (478,730 acres) within the Western Caucasus World Heritage Site. The park occupies the Greater Sochi area, from the border with the Tuapsinsky District, between the mouths of Shepsi River and Magri River in the north-west, to the border with Abkhazia along the Psou River in the south-east, and between the Black Sea to the water divide crest of the Greater Caucasus.
From this territory, the park does not include the areas of settlement, such as the city of Sochi and various urban and rural settlements. The area of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve is also distinct.
Persian leopard re-introduction
In 2009, a Persian leopard reintroduction centre was created in Sochi National Park, where two male leopards from Turkmenistan are being kept since September 2009, and two females from Iran since May 2010. Their descendants will be released into the wild in the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve.
In 2012, a pair of Persian leopards were brought to the Sochi National park from Portugal's Lisbon Zoo. In July 2013, the pair had a litter, the first Persian Leopard cubs known to be born in Russia in 50 years. The cubs will be released into the wild after learning survival skills from their parents, according to Natalia Dronova, the WWF-Russia species coordinator.
- Sochinsky National Park
- WWF (2009) Flying Turkmen leopards to bring species back to Caucasus. WWF, 23 September 2009
- Sochi.Live (2010) Sochi welcomes leopards from Iran. Organizing Committee of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi, 4 May 2010
- Druzhinin, A. (2010). Iranian leopards make themselves at home in Russia's Sochi. RIA Novosti, 6 May 2010
- "First Persian leopard cubs in 50 years born in Russian breeding center". United Press International. July 19, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- Ministry of Natural Resources of Russian Federation: Sochi National Park website - detailed park profile
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