Fox against cat, video


This 2 February 2016 video shows a red fox driving away a house cat from a meal in Russia.

See here.

Wildlife conservation victories and problems


This video says about itself:

8 March 2014

The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a leopard subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and Jilin Province of northeast China, and is classified as Critically Endangered since 1996 by IUCN. Only 14–20 adults and 5–6 cubs were counted in a census in 2007, with a total of 19–26 Amur leopards extant in the wild.

Footage from BBC’s “Planet Earth”.

Music by Yo-yo Ma: “Desert Capriccio”.

From the Wildlife Conservation Society in the USA:

WCS has been in the conservation business for over a century – and we’ve found the key to rebuilding animal populations is to preserve what land they have left… and fiercely defend it on their behalf. Our approach works. We’ve helped dramatically rebuild wildlife populations around the world:

  • Tigers once again live freely in India’s Western Ghats Mountains – in large part because of a massive community effort. Villagers voluntarily moved away from tiger habitats, community members became vigilant conservationists, and the government cracked down on poachers. And now there are 300% more wild tigers than 25 years ago. Amazing.
  • Our work to protect elephants in their habitats is our best hope for saving elephants. Despite declining numbers across Africa, elephant populations are actually increasing in Uganda, thanks to crackdowns on poachers in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, and Kidepo Valley National Parks. Improved protection of these lands has created safe havens for elephants to live peacefully.
  • The most endangered big cat in the world has a newly protected home in Russia. WCS helped establish the Land of the Leopard National Park – preserving a critical 60% of the Amur leopard‘s habitat. The program has been so successful that there are plans to reintroduce the Amur leopard in the Far East Lazo region of Russia – where the leopards have been absent for decades.
  • The second most endangered turtle is back on the road to recovery in Myanmar. The Burmese Roofed Terrapin was thought to be extinct until a small population was found in the ponds of a pagoda. In 2007, we started an ambitious program to protect wild nests and hatch eggs in captivity. And earlier this year, we started releasing them back into their old habitat.

These are tremendous victories for animals and for people like you and me who deeply care about their future. But sadly, for every victory we celebrate, dozens of other threats to endangered animals loom.

Balkan lynx in danger


This 2015 video is called Wild Balkan: HD National Geographic Documentary.

From BirdLife:

Balkan Lynx added to the IUCN list as Critically Endangered

By Sanya Khetani-Shah, Tue, 24/11/2015 – 16:40

The IUCN Red List has added the Balkan Lynx to its Red List as a Critically Endangered subspecies of the Eurasian Lynx. This is a very real confirmation that the Balkan Lynx requires urgent and coordinated conservation actions in order to increase its population in the wild.

“In the past 10 years, through the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme, we have collected enough data to assess the status of the lynx according to IUCN standards and we have realized that its status is Critically Endangered,” said Dime Melovski, MES (BirdLife in Macedonia) project manager, at a press conference in Skopje.

“We are saddened to acknowledge just how dire is its current condition. We hope that by being added to the Red List, the Balkan Lynx will become more visible and recognized as a species in need of very concrete conservation measures.”

The Balkan lynx is a subspecies of the Eurasian Lynx and its current population is estimated at 19 to 36 adult individuals. Its only confirmed breeding grounds are located within the Mavrovo National Park in Macedonia. Threats include hunting and illegal killing, decline of prey populations, and loss and fragmentation of habitat.

There are no Balkan Lynx in captivity and thus if its designation is uplisted from Critically Endangered, it will mean complete extinction.

The Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme is implemented by several civil society organizations and volunteers from the Balkan region (MES in Macedonia, CZIP in Montenegro, PPNEA in Albania, ERA and Finch in Kosovo) as well as organizations from Germany (EuroNatur), Switzerland (KORA) and Norway (NINA). The programme is funded by the Swiss Foundation MAVA.

The aim of the Balkan Lynx Recovery Programme is to secure the survival of the population through a series of protected areas and better management of protected areas along the borders of Albania and Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro as well as Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo. The protected areas will be established in areas where there are strongholds of the Balkan Lynx.

The programme was the catalyst for the proclamation of new national parks in Albania and Kosovo and our BirdLife partner in Macedonia is awaiting the proclamation of a new national park in Macedonia as well.

“Until a decade ago the lynx in Macedonia was almost a myth. Nobody knew much about it, but our cooperation with local stakeholders, especially hunters, opened the door to a very detailed study of this secretive animal, its status and its prey,” Melovski added. “Of course, our next step will be to downlist the lynx on the Red List. But that is no easy task, since it means increasing the current population of approximately 30 individuals to over 50.”

Thirsty Indian leopard gets head stuck in pot


This video says about itself:

30 September 2015

A thirsty leopard found itself in a tight spot after he went foraging for water in an Indian mining dump.

The wild animal was found with its head stuck in a metal pot in the Indian village of Sardul Kheda in Rajasthan in the country’s north-west.

The agitated leopard wandered around as it struggled to get rid of the vessel, with onlookers recording and photographing the scene.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Forest officials eventually tranquilised the animal and sawed the pot off.

It was then taken to an enclosure a safe distance from the village.

District forest officer Kapil Chandrawal said: “It has been brought to a safe place.

“We have also called veterinarians to assess its health, which is in good condition. We have also tranquilised the animal.”

Mr Chandrawal said the leopard was around three and a half years old.

Disruption to wild habitats have led to increasing numbers of wild animals straying into inhabited areas in search of food.

According to the BBC, a recent wildlife estimate puts the leopard population of India at between 12,000 and 14,000.

Endangered fishing cat discovery in Cambodia


This video says about itself:

2 September 2015

Pictures of the Endangered fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) – the first in Cambodia for more than a decade – provide welcome evidence that these elusive felines still survive in some parts of the country.

From Wildlife Extra:

Fishing cat found in coastal Cambodia for first time in 12 years

Camera traps have captured footage and images of the endangered fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) in Cambodia for the first time since 2003.

Researchers from the CBC, a partnership between Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the Royal University of Phnom Penh, were thrilled by the findings which have allayed grave fears about the status of these animals in Cambodia.

FFI project leader, Ms Ret Thaung said that the fishing cat’s preference for wetland habitat had led to severe population declines throughout much of its Asian range.

Asian wetland habitats are rapidly disappearing or being modified by human activity, so fishing cat numbers have declined dramatically over the last decade and the remaining population is thought to be small,” she said.

“Fishing cats are believed to be extinct in Vietnam, while there are no confirmed records in Lao PDR and only scarce information about the species in Thailand and Cambodia.

“It is clear that urgent steps are needed to protect these cats from snaring and trapping and to conserve their wetland habitats – but to do this effectively we needed to get a better idea of where they live.”

The team discovered fishing cats at two sites in south-west Cambodia: Peam Krosaop Wildlife Sanctuary (Koh Kong Province) and Ream National Park (Sihanoukville Province).

“This is a remarkable discovery as fishing cats are very vulnerable to human persecution,” Ms Thaung said. “We are especially pleased to see both a male and female cat from Peam Krosaop Wildlife Sanctuary. When working with Endangered species, every animal is important and the excitement of such a discovery is overwhelming.”

As both of these sites are protected areas, the resident fishing cats should be afforded some protection.

Alongside the fishing cats, the cameras also recorded a variety of other threatened species including the Critically Endangered Sunda pangolin, the Endangered hog deer, and the Vulnerable smooth-coated otter, large-spotted civet and sambar deer.

Don’t take wildcats home


This video is called European Wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris).

Translated from the Dutch ARK conservationists:

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Whoever finds a young cat in the forests of the south of Limburg province should not just take that animal home. It could be a wildcat. Just over the border in Belgium, in Opglabbeek, last weekend, at a shelter for sick and injured wild animals, a young wildcat was brought which earlier had been found in the woods.

Wildcat in shelter

The young cat which arrived in the Natuurhulpcentrum in Opglabbeek two weeks ago had been found by people in the east of Liège province, the transition between the Ardennes and the Eifel mountains, in the center of a forest. The young animal was taken home in the belief that it was a dumped or escaped domestic cat. Because it continued to be aggressive and skittish specialists were contacted who are pretty sure it is a wildcat.

Save Scottish wildcats, new website


This 2012 video is called The making of wildlife documentary Last of the Scottish Wildcats.

From Wildlife Extra:

Scottish Wildcat Action website launched

A new Scottish Wildcat Action website has been launched as part of the first national conservation plan to bring back viable populations of Scottish wildcats

Scottish Wildcat Action, supported by the Scottish Government and Heritage Lottery Fund, and its new website has easy-to-use features which encourage people in the Scottish Highlands to report sightings, volunteer with fieldwork, and register their interest to help.

Labour MSP and wildcat champion Rhoda Grant said: “The Scottish Wildcat is part of our heritage that we are desperately seeking to protect. We have a limited time to stop wildcats from disappearing but we also need to reduce the risks from hybridisation and disease from feral cats in the meantime. The launch of the website today will not only help to identify where our remaining wildcats are but it will also help to glean invaluable information on hybrids and feral cat sightings which will allow for the required action to be taken to reduce the hybrids and combat the transmission of disease.

“The website will offer members of the public the opportunity to be involved in this fantastic project to save this most beautiful of species and will, I am sure, prove to be an invaluable resource in ensuring the wildcat’s survival.”

Dr Roo Campbell, Scottish Wildcat Action Project Manager for the work in wildcat priority areas, said: “Local sightings of all wild-living cats are key in our efforts to save Scottish wildcats and the new website will allow our local communities to report sightings.

“As part of our national work, our team of staff and volunteers will set up more than 400 trail cameras in wildcat priority areas to build up a picture of what’s out there, but public sightings will add valuable intelligence to this standardised monitoring.”

Trail cameras are motion-sensitive field cameras used for monitoring shy species that live in remote places.

The website gives users further tips on how to identify a Scottish wildcat, but the general advice is if it looks like a large tabby cat with a thick ringed tail with a black blunt tip, it could be one of few remaining wildcats.

Hybrid and feral cat sightings are also important to the project, which aims to reduce risks of hybridisation and disease transmission through a co-ordinated Trap-Neuter (vaccinate) and Release (TNR) programme in the priority areas.

Numbers of Scottish wildcat are now so low that it is difficult for them to find and mate with other wildcats, so inevitably they have hybrid kittens with unneutered domestic cats.

This inter-breeding is contributing to the attrition of Scottish wildcats as a distinctive native species. The presence of unvaccinated feral cats, often in poor condition, can also lead to diseases, such as feline leukaemia virus (FeLV), being passed on to wildcats.

Wildcat priority areas identified by Scottish Wildcat Action are Strathpeffer, Strathbogie, Northern Strathspey, the Angus Glens, Strathavon and Morvern. Sightings and volunteers within these areas are particularly important to the conservation of the species but sightings from across Scotland are also welcomed.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “By working together as organisations and individuals we have a better chance of saving this rare native creature. It is thanks to players of the National Lottery that volunteers will be trained and cameras installed to track the elusive Scottish wildcat. However, it is down to us all to keep our eyes peeled, report any sightings, and give this species a brighter future.”

Behind the scenes at Aigas wildcat breeding centre. Louise Hughes of Aigas Field Centre reveals how she cares for her three wildcat pairs and encourages them to breed: here.