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Arabian Leopard Day Lights Up the UK & US to Build Support for Saving a Critically Endangered Species

As part of Arabian Leopard Day 2023 (Friday 10th February) major cities London and New York will feature large scale projections of the incredible Arabian Leopard, in the hope of raising awareness of these Critically Endangered animals. Billboards will light up the skies, showing images of the magnificent cat across various locations in the English capital, including Piccadilly, Canary Wharf, High Street Kensington and Westfield Stratford City, as well as the NASDAQ stock exchange in “The Big Apple”.

It’s hoped the campaign by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) will help save the species as well as go a long way to protect vast areas of north-west Arabia, a leading global destination for cultural and natural heritage.

To prepare for the eventual return of Arabian Leopards to the wild, RCU has released native species of prey animals into vast nature reserves, in increased efforts to track and protect wild leopards, and regenerated natural areas and delicate ecosystems.

And there have been successes along the way: RCU’s Arabian Leopard Breeding Programme has welcomed the births of four healthy cubs since April 2021, a major milestone, and a welcome contribution to the goal of boosting the population in captivity. The naming of a cub born in 2022 as Amal – ‘hope’ in Arabic – symbolises the rising hopes to protect the future of this incredible species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ranks the Arabian Leopard as Critically Endangered in the wild, a level of risk more severe than Vulnerable or Endangered. If the population continues to decline, the next stages on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species are Extinct in the Wild and, lastly, Extinct.

Dr Stephen Browne, Wildlife & Natural Hertiage Executive Director at RCU is available to talk about the initiative, the hope of breeding more cubs and how raising more awareness across London and New York will hopefully go along way to seeing even more Arabian Leopards back in the wild.

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