New Scottish wildcat sanctuary


This video says about itself:

14 October 2010

Two Scottish wildcat kittens have been filmed by a BBC crew.

The notoriously shy animals were filmed at night in the highlands of Scotland.

One of the kittens had an unusual black coat, suggesting that it could have been an incredibly rare dark or “melanistic” genetic form.

From Wildlife Extra:

Scottish wildcat sanctuary created on west coast

A Scottish wildcat sanctuary has been created on the Ardnamurchan and Sunart peninsula on Scotland’s west coast in a bid to save the endangered species, which experts believe could number as few as 35.

The species is threatened from hybridising with domestic cats and to help alleviate this threat all domestic and feral cats in the area have been neutered during the last five years.

This is thought to be the first time feral cats have been managed in such a large mainland area anywhere in the world.

“Cats of any kind are notoriously difficult to survey,” said the project scientific adviser, Dr Paul O’Donoghue, of the University of Chester.

“However over the last six months we’ve really saturated the area with live traps, cameras, vets and ecologists, and had lots of people from the local community out looking as well.”

“The only feral cats seen have already been neutered, which means the population should collapse naturally within the next couple of years.”

This is thought to be the first time feral cats have been managed in such a large mainland area anywhere in the world.

The wildcats of Ardnamurchan, which could number fewer than 10, will be trapped and DNA tested to check they are pure breds. If they are, they will be left to thrive and monitored. However if DNA proves the population turns out to be made up of hybrids pure wildcats could be brought to Ardnamurchan from areas of Scotland.

Dr O’Donoghue said: “Our goal is to establish populations of genetically-pure wildcats. We are determined not to settle for second best or to settle for a bunch of tabbies that bear a resemblance to wildcats.

Protecting anything less than the pure Scottish wildcat will condemn the species to extinction. The behaviour of feral cats and pure wildcats is very different. Scotland’s ecology needs the true wildcat and, outside of a wildlife park enclosure, this is the only place in the UK where they are safe from hybridisation.”

Okavango Delta in Botswana gets World Heritage status


This video about lions is called Okavango Swamp Cats.

From Wildlife Extra:

The Okavango Delta in Botswana has been listed by UNESCO as the 1,000th World Heritage Site.

This inland delta, which is situated in the northwest of the country and fed by the the Okavango River (that originates over 800 miles away in the highlands of Angola), is the largest of its type in the world and is comprised of permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains.

The River Okavango is at its fullest during the dry season, due to rainfall and floodwater from the Angolan Highlands, and overflows into these plains.

This attracts animals from miles around, making it one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife.

It is home to populations of some of the most threatened large mammals in the world, including the cheetah, white and black rhinoceros, elephant, the wild dog and the lion. It harbours 24 species of globally-threatened birds.

“The Okavango Delta has long been considered one of the biggest gaps on the World Heritage list and IUCN is proud to have been able to provide support to this nomination,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General.

“We congratulate Botswana’s authorities on their extraordinary commitment to make this historic listing a reality.”

“The Okavango Delta has been a conservation priority for more than 30 years and we are delighted that it has finally gained the prestigious status it deserves,” says Tim Badman, Director of IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. “Its ecological and biological importance as well as its exceptional natural beauty make it a prime example of what World Heritage stands for.”

UNESCO works to the identify, protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

Read Chris McIntyre travel feature on the Delta HERE.

Amur tiger swims from Russia to China


This video is about Amur tigers.

From Wildlife Extra:

Film shows Amur tiger swimming across Russia’s border to China

An Amur tiger has been filmed swimming across the Ussuri River from Russia to China.

The rare episode took place close to Russia’s Bolshekhekhtsirsky Nature Reserve and China’s wetlands of the Sanjiang Nature Reserve.

Its swim was filmed by two Chinese fishermen on their mobile phones.

“In general, it is a usual thing for a tiger to swim across rivers, but in this case I am amazed at the river width – 300-350 metres – that the tiger covered successfully,” said Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF Russia Amur branch.

“The tiger’s swim across the Ussuri can be regarded as a search for prey, or a mate, or new habitats. It is very important for the Chinese colleagues to monitor the tiger translocation. I hope the rare predator will be safe in China”.

This area is a transboundary corridor used by tigers when crossing the Sino- Russian border.

“It is significant to monitor the Amur tiger and its prey base progress jointly by Russia and China,” saif Shi Quanhua, senior programme manager of the Asian big cats program of WWF China.

“Our task today is to keep track of this tiger movements, to work with local people and governmental agencies in order to safeguard the animal regardless of the place where it stays – in China or back in Russia”.

Watch the film HERE.

First Dutch wildcat’s electronic tagging


This video is called Elusive Scottish wildcats filmed.

From Limburg province in the southern Netherlands, today not only news about ravens.

A wildcat was caught in a box, provided with an electronic tag, and released, to make study of this species possible.

This is the first time ever that a wildcat was tagged electronically in the Netherlands.

This video is about wildcats in Limburg.

British UKIP party censoring cat Twitter account


Ukitty logo

By Luke James in Britain:

UKitty? You can’t: Ukip activists shut down feline-loving Twitter rivals

Wednesday 28th May 2014

A TWITTER account ribbing Ukip was shut down today for the 13th time after being targeted by angry racists.

Left activists created the UKitty account last Saturday and have been posting photos of cute cats that also draw attention to the party’s rambling scaremongering.

But soaring popularity saw it become the latest target of Ukip activists’ attempts to shut down dissent.

They flooded Twitter with complaints in what UKitty founder Mike Dicks explained was a co-ordinated online campaign.

Mr Dicks, who works in social media, told the Star: “There’s a limit to how many complaints one user can make but Ukip supporters seem to know how to mobilise to take down an account.

“There must be some level of organisation for this to happen.”

The humourless barrage came just weeks after the Star revealed that police visited the home of a Green Party activist on the orders of Ukip councillors upset at online campaigning against them.

Mr Dicks said UKitty’s campaign remained a “lighthearted” bid to reach out to people mainstream leaders are failing to engage with.

But he explained: “Every time we got into a conversation with anyone from Ukip, to say something like ‘don’t forget the cats’, we get taken down within seconds.

“Twitter is a dangerous battleground for politics at the moment, it kind of feels quite scary.

“If they see us as a threat, people who are seriously opposed to Ukip need to worry.”

The Ukitty account was restored yesterday afternoon.

Save Indian lions


This video says about itself:

21 May 2014

Lions400 is the Zoological Society of London‘s campaign to secure the future of the majestic Asian lion, which clings to survival in only one isolated Indian forest.

These lions are on the brink, and we can’t let them disappear.

Find out more here.

From Wildlife Extra:

New campaign offers hope for Asian lion

Asian lions may be clinging to survival, with less than 500 left in the wild, but there is hope, say[s] The Zoological Society of London (ZSL). They have launched a campaign called Lions 400 to try and secure the future of the species, whose range is now limited one isolated Indian forest. Here the lions are easy prey for poachers, and just one forest fire or disease epidemic could wipe this ancient species out for ever.

Confined to such a small area, the lions are also at risk of wandering into neighbouring areas where the hazards include being killed by trains, vehicles or frightened villagers.

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Save African lions by building bomas


This video from Africa says about itself:

27 July 2008

A few of the Lion Guardians got together to help mend a boma that a hyena had been repeatedly attacking. Their hard work paid off and they managed to fix the boma so that the attacks stopped, and the community did not feel they had to kill the hyena.

From National Geographic yesterday:

In East Africa, livestock is the livelihood of many communities. When lions and other big cats kill livestock, people often kill the cats in retaliation—and the problem is growing worse. There are just over 30,000 lions left in the wild. The best way to prevent any more of these big cats from being killed is to prevent the conflict. And that’s where you come in.

Our Build a Boma campaign aims to stop these killings by building predator-proof boma fences to protect livestock from big cats. When you donate to Build a Boma, you’re funding the work of Big Cats Initiative grantees who are working with local communities to build these fences. It costs just $500 to build a boma and $25 to maintain one for a whole year. Any donation you can make will go a long way.

Want to learn more about the impacts of bomas? Watch a video that shows the benefits these fences have on communities.

Together we can decrease the killing of lions. Don’t forget to find out more about Build a Boma and how you can help save big cats.

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Sumatran tiger Internet game


This video is called On the Trail of the Tiger. It says about itself:

Award-winning photographer Steve Winter documents the disappearance of Asian Tigers in India, Sumatra, and Thailand.

From Wildlife Extra:

Zoological Society of London creates fun online game to highlight Sumatran tigers

The Zoological Society of London is inviting animal lovers to embrace their inner-beast and take on the persona of a fearsome predator in a brand new online challenge called Tiger Territory: The Game.

To celebrate the huge success of ZSL London Zoo’s flagship Sumatran tiger exhibit, Tiger Territory: The Game was launched to give budding conservationists and game-addicts alike the chance to experience life as a wild tiger deep in the forests of Indonesia.

With two modes to keep gamers on their toes, players get to grips with their surroundings in the Adventure stage, where they have to unlock 12 achievements. Highlighting the tigers’ behaviours and ZSL conservation techniques, including sniffing out prey and being ‘papped’ by a camera-trap, players have to be careful to evade poachers’ snares and palm oil plantations guarded by electric fences.

Once gamers have earned their stripes, they can embrace the Sumatran tigers’ remarkable hunting abilities in Arcade mode. In just 60 seconds their tigers have to hunt and eat as much as they can, from the common wild boar to the incredibly elusive tapir, in an attempt to boost their energy points.

Game-maker Filip Hnizdo said: “Tiger Territory: The Game is a chance for people to take on some of the challenges that wild Sumatran tigers face every day, from avoiding palm oil plantations to hunting for their speedy prey.

“We’ve worked with the conservation teams at ZSL London Zoo to replicate the tigers’ Indonesian home and behaviours as closely as possible – including the prey they hunt, rivers for them to swim in, and trees for them to hide under.

“We hope people will have great fun playing, and that they’ll also take away some awareness of the wild lives of Sumatran tigers and the very real threats that they’re facing – unfortunately for them, it’s not a game.”

With just 300 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild, ZSL London Zoo coordinates the worldwide conservation breeding programme for the species, and is working in Indonesia to create wildlife corridors between fragmented forests, patrol tiger habitats, and carry out vital monitoring of the wild populations.

PLAY TIGER TERRITORY: THE GAME: here.

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Save leopards in Azerbaijan


This video says about itself:

Panthera‘s mission is to ensure the future of wild cats through scientific leadership and global conservation action. We have brought together the world’s leading wild cat experts to direct and implement effective conservation strategies for the world’s largest and most endangered cats: tigers, lions, jaguars and snow leopards. Our approach to wild cat conservation is rooted in science and based upon decades of first hand field experience. We seek a future in which the world’s 37 wild cat species have the necessary and ongoing protection from human and environmental threats to persist and thrive in the wild. Our vision sees endangered wild cat populations rebounded, critical habitats and core populations connected by genetic and biological corridors, and a global commitment to protect these iconic species through near and distant futures.

Learn more about specific Panthera programs designed to protect the world’s endangered wild cats @ http://bit.ly/q3oFsu.

From Wildlife Extra:

Action on Azerbaijan’s few remaining Caucasian leopards

The future of the Caucasian (or Persian) leopard took a step forward last week with the establishment of a conservation agreement between Panthera, the world’s leading wild cat conservation organisation, and the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA) of Azerbaijan.

Panthera joined international wild cat scientists, environmental NGOs, and stakeholders at IDEA’s Caucasus Cat Summit in Baku recently to help plan the long-term preservation of the Caucasian leopard and Azerbaijan’s other unique wildlife.

Through this agreement, Panthera and IDEA have committed to assess the state and range of Azerbaijan’s leopards and, most importantly, work to develop conservation plans for the critically endangered population and train Azerbaijan’s scientists in research and conservation methodologies focused on saving the Caucasian leopard.

IDEA aims to foster conservation action among the country’s citizens, with a particular focus on the youth and next generation of Azerbaijan’s conservationists.

“We welcome Azerbaijan’s initiative in seeking to protect and expand its leopard population,” said Dr Thomas Kaplan, Panthera’s Chairman. “Having just launched the conservation world’s first global programme for leopard conservation, Project Pardus, we look forward to working with IDEA to make our shared ambition of saving this iconic species become a reality.”

Scientists estimate that a small but vital population of 12 or fewer Caucasian leopards remains in Azerbaijan. As the first, urgent step under this new international collaboration, 20 PantheraCams – remote-triggered cameras developed by Panthera – will be deployed to delineate where leopards still occur in Azerbaijan and estimate their remaining numbers.

Sitting at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan is one of just a handful of countries that still supports a population of the Caucasian leopard and is therefore critical to the long-term survival of this wild cat. In conserving the Caucasian leopard, Azerbaijan is not only helping to preserve the species and the country’s diverse ecosystems, but is also conserving the ancient and historic cultural heritage of its country and people.

The leopard is heavily threatened by poachers who target this cat for its exotic skin and body parts, which are sold through the illegal wildlife market. Loss of habitat and fragmentation, particularly in the South Caucasus region, is another major threat along with conflict with local livestock herders and overhunting of the leopard’s prey by local villagers.

To read more about Panthera’s recently launched leopard programme, Project Pardus, please click here.

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