Land of the Leopard National Park in the Russian Far East's Primorsky Krai harbours four different species of wild felid. Remarkably, the full whiskery roster recently showed up on two camera traps staked out along the very same length of trail: affirming the park's cat diversity and also providing a one-of-a-kind visual comparison of the membership.

Within a few days of each other, an Amur tiger, Amur leopard, Amur leopard cat and a Eurasian lynx took their own pictures. Aleksandr Rybin of Wildlife Conservation Society Russia then combined the individual images into a fantastic side-by-side composite showing how the four cousins literally stack up against one another.

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The quartet of cats snapped in the Russian Far East. Image: Land of the Leopard National Park/WCS

The Amur tiger veritably towers over its fellows – as you'd expect, given this subspecies of tiger ranks alongside the similarly sized (but svelter) Bengal variety as the biggest cat on earth: a large male may exceed 272 kilograms (600 lbs) and three metres (ten feet) from nose to tail-tip.

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An Amur tiger pads past the camera in the Russian Far East. Image: Land of the Leopard National Park/WCS 

Standing next-tallest at the shoulder is the Amur leopard, namesake of the park and an even scarcer big cat than the tiger: only about 80 individuals of this stunning beast are known in the wild, with the Land of the Leopard's 262,000 hectares protecting most of its remaining range between the Sea of Japan and the Chinese border.

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The Amur leopard is considered one of the most critically endangered big cats in the world. Image: Land of the Leopard National Park/WCS

The Eurasian lynx – third-biggest of the clawed crew here – represents a real coup: this heftiest of the world's lynxes isn't abundant in this region, Land of the Leopard reports, and has been photographed only twice since 2012, when the park was established.

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A glimpse of a lynx in the Russian Far East. Image: Land of the Leopard National Park/WCS

Littlest of the featured felids though it may be, the Amur leopard cat is no less interesting. It's a regional subspecies of a very widespread little wildcat ranging from these temperate forests of the Russian Far East to the steamy tropics of South and Southeast Asia.

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The Amur leopard cat slinks past the camera in Land of the Leopard National Park. Image: LLNP/WCS

In healthy habitat with a good prey base, these four cats can coexist fairly peacefully through niche partitioning, though there's certainly some dietary overlap and it's not unheard of for larger cats to kill smaller ones, whether as prey or potential competitors.

Catching any of these soft-footed hunters on camera is special: to photograph all four of them padding along the very same "wildway" is just plain awesome.



Top header image: Pixabay