In today’s meeting of government the Minister of Environmental Protection Eric Grigoryan informed that there are 8-12 Caucasian leopards in Armenia. “There are several in protected areas,” he said. According to the minister, leopards have returned to Arevik National Park and Khosrov Reserve. A leopard returned to Khosrov Reserve a year ago.
In answer to the prime minister’s inquiry whether they came on their own, why a year ago and why there were no leopards at large, the minister said that the explanation is the protection of bezoar goats, mouflons, and other animals on which the leopards feed.
Minister Grigoryan said the former regulations envisaged a 3 million dram fine for hunt on the leopard, and said the ministry suggests raising the fine for hunt on leopards to 100 million drams.
The director of the National Security Service Artur Vanetsyan suggests banning hunt for 5 years to restore the population of animals, as well as import of hunting bullets. Vanetsyan said he used to hunt but stopped a few years ago.
Prime Minister Pashinyan agreed to the proposal of the director of National Security Service. Minister Eric Grigoryan also agreed, saying that animals and birds are destroyed, and they fire at every moving animal.