Lion, African golden cat, lynx news


This January 2014 video is called West African Lions Close to Extinction.

By Jeremy Hance:

Cat update: lion and African golden cat down, Iberian lynx up

June 23, 2015

A new update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized the West African population of lions—which is considered genetically distinct and separate from East and Central African lions—as Critically Endangered. Based largely on a paper in 2014, the researchers estimate that there are only 121-375 mature lions in West Africa today.

“The main drivers of lion declines are large-scale habitat conversion, prey base depletion through unsustainable hunting, and the retaliatory killing of lions due to perceived or real human-lion conflict,” reads the assessment.

Most of the remaining lions (Panthera leo) are found in protected areas, but lack of prey—due to widespread poaching—and the encroachment of cattle on parks has helped decimate lion populations in the region. Burkina Faso and Benin have both held trophy hunts of lions in the last decade as well.

West African lions are found west of the lower Niger River. Today they only survive in parks in Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal.

This video says about itself:

First known footage of elusive African golden cat in daylight

28 January 2015

Extremely elusive African golden cat shown hunting red colobus monkeys.

The Jeremy Hance article continues:

The update to the IUCN Red List also raised the stakes for another African feline. The list has moved the little-known African golden cat (Caracal aurata) from Near Threatened to Vulnerable. The rainforest-loving species has been hard hit by deforestation, poaching and snaring. Indeed, researchers say the cat disappears in forests with a heavy human presence.

“This update shows that we are still seeing devastating losses in species populations. The IUCN Red List is the voice of biodiversity telling us where we need to focus our attention most urgently—this voice is clearly telling us that we must act now to develop stronger policy and on-the-ground conservation programs to protect species and halt their declines,” said Jane Smart, Director, IUCN’s Global Species Programme.

This December 2014 vuideo is called Iberian Lynx Cat (Nat Geo Wild) Full Documentary HD.

Still, it’s not all bad news. After decades of conservation work, the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) has been moved from Critically Endangered to Endangered. Today, 156 mature Iberian lynx roam Spain and Portugal, up from 52 just a decade ago.

Considered the world’s most endangered cat, conservationists brought the Iberian lynx back from the brink by rebuilding the rabbit population, captive breeding and reintroductions, and cracking down on illegal trapping. In addition, conservationists paid landowners to improve habitat for their lynx on private land.

“This IUCN Red List update confirms that effective conservation can yield outstanding results,” said Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General. “Saving the Iberian Lynx from the brink of extinction while securing the livelihoods of local communities is a perfect example.”

Today, conservationists report that cars may be the biggest peril to ongoing recovery of the Iberian lynx.

From Wildlife Extra:

While the Guadalupe Fur Seal (Arctocephalus townsendi), which was twice thought to be Extinct due to hunting in the late 1800s and 1920s, has now improved from the Near Threatened category to Least Concern, thanks to habitat protection and the enforcement of laws such as the USA Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Wildcat back in Dutch province after centuries


This is a video about a parrot crossbill at Stabrechtse heide nature reserve in the Netherlands.

That bird now will have to look out, not only for feral cats

Dutch regional TV Omroep Brabant reports today that a wildcat was recorded by a camera trap at Stabrechtse heide.

This, warden Janneke de Groot says, may be the first time since the Middle Ages that a wildcat has been seen in Noord-Brabant province.

Not so long ago, also after a long absence, wildcats came back to another province, Limburg.

And now the wildcats have apparently gone further west. Maybe using the new wildlife corridors, Ms de Groot says.

Biologist George Schaller gets medal


This video says about itself:

Serengeti Lions and George Schaller

9 December 2008

George Schaller, Ph.D., the world’s preeminent field biologist, is with the Wildlife Conservation Society and has traveled across the globe to work with a variety of species, including two rediscovered species once thought extinct. Here he discusses his work with lions.

From Wildlife Extra:

Panthera’s Vice President Dr. George Schaller receives National Geographic Society’s prestigious Hubbard Medal

The conservation charity Panthera’s Vice President and legendary biologist Dr. George Schaller has been awarded National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal for his lifetime commitment to conserving the world’s wildlife.

Recognised by many as the world’s preeminent field scientist and naturalist, Dr. Schaller has dedicated six decades to protecting and studying some of the planet’s most endangered and iconic animals, including mountain gorillas, snow leopards, lions, Tibetan antelope, wild yak, jaguars, giant pandas and tigers.

Schaller has been instrumental in establishing more than 15 protected areas around the globe on behalf of these wild animals, often single-handedly forging partnerships with heads of state, national governments, NGOs and local communities. In 1956, Schaller joined other biologists on the Murie expedition to Northeastern Alaska, which resulted in the establishment of the world’s largest wildlife preserve – the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Panthera’s CEO Dr. Alan Rabinowitz shared, “George is a conservation legend and a true champion for wild animals and places everywhere. As one of the world’s foremost wildlife biologists, he helped to carve and create the field of wildlife conservation. Armed only with a notepad, George courageously charted untouched territories in search of wildlife, and continues to do so even today.

“Named for the National Geographic Society’s first president, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the Hubbard Medal is the Society’s highest honour, recognizing individuals’ lifetime achievements in exploration, discovery and research. Past recipients include Charles Lindbergh, Jane Goodall, Jacques Piccard and James Cameron.

Good to hear that medal is not named for L Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology cult :)

Good tiger news from Thailand


This video from India says about itself:

Tiger (Panthera tigris) in water pool during hot dry summer

13 February 2013

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.3 metres (11 ft) and weighing up to 306 kg (670 lb). It is the third largest land carnivore (behind only the Polar bear and the Brown bear).

Its most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underside. It has exceptionally stout teeth, and the canines are the longest among living felids with a crown height of as much as 74.5 mm (2.93 in) or even 90 mm (3.5 in).

In zoos, tigers have lived for 20 to 26 years, which also seems to be their longevity in the wild. They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.

After bad tiger news from Thailand, some better news.

From Mongabay.com:

Tigers expanding? Conservationists discover big cats in Thai park

Jeremy Hance

June 04, 2015

For the first time conservationists have confirmed Indochinese tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti) in Thailand’s Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park. In January, camera traps used by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Thailand’s Department of National Parks took a photo of a tigress, confirming what had only been rumors. A couple months later the camera traps photographed a male tiger in the same park.

At 59 square kilometers, Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park is one of the smallest protected areas in the regions. But it is a part of Thailand’s vast and sprawling Western Forest Conservation Complex (WEFCOM), which is covers an area of 18,000 square kilometers—about the size of Fiji. WEFCOM is made up of 11 national parks and six wildlife refuges, and is considered one of the largest forests left in Southeast Asia.

The photos of tigers in Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park may be a sign that the species is expanding its range in the protected area complex.

“It’s great to have real evidence that tigers are found in a greater area of the WEFCOM than previously thought,” said Kittiwara Siripattaranukul, Tiger Project Manager at ZSL, based in Thailand. “Until now, there have only been unconfirmed reports of tigers in the area, but to capture photographs that prove their presence is really encouraging. We hope that the region will become a new territory for tigers.”

The IUCN estimates that there are only 202-352 Indochinese tigers left across possibly five countries: Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Thailand is believed to house the vast majority of these tigers with 185 to 200 individuals. Tigers have long persisted in the northern section of WEFCOM—with a population of 150-plus in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary—but this is one of the first documentations of the top predators in the south. Experts believe WEFCOM could one day house as many as 2,000 tigers.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, WEFCOM is also home to 150 mammals, 490 birds, 90 reptiles, 40 amphibians, and 108 fish species.

Classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, tigers are down to only about 2,500 animals in the wild. Their populations have been relentlessly punished by deforestation, poaching for traditional medicine, human-wildlife conflict, and prey decline. But tigers have also been the recipients of some of the largest conservation funds—and efforts—ever from both wildlife NGOs and governments.

Second snow leopard gets collar in Nepal


This video says about itself:

4 June 2015

A second snow leopard was collared in Kangchenjunga by the government of Nepal, supported by WWF, National Trust for Nature Conservation, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Project, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Management Council and local citizen scientists, on May 21, 2105.

The 5-year-old male was fitted with a collar that has satellite-GPS technology which will help conservationists track their movement patterns, habitat use and preferences to inform strategies like transboundary efforts to save this elusive species. The snow leopard was named “Omikhangri” after a mountain near the collaring location.

Nepal collared the first snow leopard using satellite-GPS technology in November 2013.

From Wildlife Extra:

Second snow leopard successfully collared in Nepal

A snow leopard has been successfully collared in the shadow of Nepal’s Kangchenjunga, the world’s second highest mountain just a month after the country was hit with a devastating earthquake. This is the second snow leopard to be collared in Nepal since 2013.

The snow leopard, which is an adult male approximately five years of age weighing 41 kg, was and fitted with a GPS-satellite collar and released back into the wild. Data received from the satellite collar will enable conservationists to identify critical habitats for the elusive species, including transboundary links across India and China.

“Nepal is proud to be at the forefront of global scientific efforts to get a better understanding of one of nature’s most elusive species,” stated Tika Ram Adhikari, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. “Our ability to repeat the success we had with the first collaring in 2013 during this most difficult period for the country is a testament to the commitment towards conservation of the government as well as the people of Nepal.”

The collaring expedition was led by the Government of Nepal in partnership with WWF, National Trust for Nature Conservation, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Project, Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Management Council and citizen scientists from the local Snow Leopard Conservation Committee. The latter were especially vital in helping identify snow leopard hotspots and managing local logistics.

“As a science-based conservation organization, WWF was delighted to partner with the government of Nepal on applying new technologies to help us gain a better understanding of snow leopards,” said Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF-Nepal. “We continue to be inspired by our grassroots partners in Kangchenjunga—one of the poorest and least accessible places in Nepal—to save snow leopards and other magnificent species that could easily be lost without their stewardship. This project is a powerful example of what we can make possible together.”

The existing snow leopard conservation projects in Kangchenjunga Conservation Area include snow leopard monitoring using camera traps and prey-base monitoring with the partnership of local citizen scientists and Snow Leopard Conservation Committees, a population genetic study using fecal DNA, and a livestock insurance scheme built at reducing human-snow leopard conflict.

There are an estimated 350-590 snow leopards in Nepal according to 2009 population data on the species.

Good Siberian tiger news


This video says about itself:

Siberian tigress Ilona captured on camera a year after release – Part II

28 May 2015

Raw footage taken by a camera trap inside Khingan Nature Reserve in Far East Russia that shows Ilona the Siberian tigress marking her territory. Ilona is one of five orphan tigers that IFAW helped rehabilitate and release back to the wild in May of 2014. A drop-off satellite collar fitted on Ilona provides scientists with critical data to better protect the species. There are less than 400 wild Siberian (aka Amur) tigers left in the wild. To find out more, visit: www.ifaw.org.

From Wildlife Extra:

12 month’s after release ‘Putin’s tigers’ are reported as thriving

One year after five orphaned Siberian tigers were released in the Russian Far East the signs are four out of the five are doing well and have adapted successfully to life in the wild.

Thanks to four camera traps IFAW had donated to the Khingan Nature Reserve, there is now footage of Ilona the tigress looking healthy and marking her territory.

Satellite tracking and camera trap videos show that the rehabilitated orphan tigress continues to thrive in the Russian forests near the Chinese border. By tracking her movements, scientists have learned that she is hunting wolves, deer and wild boar.

“Success stories like Ilona are helping to change the opinion and policy of officials in the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources,” said Maria Vorontsova, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Russia director. “There was a general belief that it was impossible to rehabilitate and return orphan tiger cubs back to the wild. IFAW and our partner groups have now proven that it is indeed possible.”

Nicknamed “Putin’s tigers” after President Vladimir Putin’s participation in the release, all but one of the five tigers have successfully adapted to life in the wild. Kuzya, Ilona, Borya and Svetlaya have been tracked and are establishing territories of their own. Ustin was caught after months of wandering near human settlements along the Chinese-Russian border and was ultimately taken to the Rostov-on-Don zoo due to public safety concerns.

The tigress Zolushka (which means Cinderella in Russian) was released in 2013 and was the first to be successfully rehabilitated and reintroduced to the wild. Scientists report that she is doing well and continues to thrive in the Bastak Nature Reserve. It is believed that she found a mate, Zavetny, and may already have given birth to cubs. If the young survive, they will increase the remaining population of approximately 400 wild Amur tigers.

Khloé Kardashian in Dubai, land of tiger and human rights abuse


This video says about itself:

Always wanted to get up close to a tiger? You need to watch this first!

27 November 2014

Animal entertainment is animal abuse. It’s time to let the world know the truth: here.

United States reality TV personality Kim Kardashian got criticism for participating in a publicity stunt of the human rights violating absolute monarchy Bahrain.

More recently, Kim’s sister and fellow reality TV personality Khloé Kardashian went to a country, not so far from Bahrain, which is also a human rights violating absolute monarchy: Dubai.

In Bahrain, not only human rights, but also the rights of animals, especially of circus lion cubs, are violated.

In Dubai, the situation for animals, especially for big cats, seems to be not really better.

From Wildlife Extra:

Khloe Kardashian causes outrage for selfie with tiger cub in Dubai

Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian has been condemned by wildlife charities  for being the latest celebrity in the disappointing trend of taking wild animal selfies (click here to see the image). Khloe then posted the image on her instagram account.

For the photograph Khloe was cuddling a tiger cub, which, says the conservation charity World Animal Protection, probably would have had its “canine teeth and claws removed – a process which causes them great pain,” so that it was safe for tourists to handle.  “These ‘once in a lifetime’ photos mean a lifetime of misery for the animal involved,” it said in a statement

More tigers live in captivity today than in the wild. It’s estimated that the number of captive tigers in the United States alone is at least 5,000 – far more than the 3,200 left in the wild globally. Many of these captive tigers are kept not by accredited sanctuaries or zoos but by private owners.

Tourists are often unaware of the cruelty tigers suffer for these tourist attractions. That’s why we recently launched the next step in our ‘Before they book’ campaign, to expose the hidden suffering that lies behind posing with tigers for holiday snaps. Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, Programme Manager for Wildlife in the Asia-Pacific region, said:

“We’re disappointed to see yet another celebrity posing with a wild animal. Tigers belong in the wild, where their needs can be fully met – not in captivity for use as entertainment or photo props.

“While interacting with tigers may seem harmless, people posing with wildlife don’t realize that a ‘once in a lifetime’ photo for them means a lifetime of misery for the animal. To be used for entertainment, tigers are forcibly removed from their mothers as cubs, trained to perform, and often suffer for the rest of their lives in captivity.

“Tigers are also highly unpredictable, and tourists around the world have been mauled or attacked when posing or interacting with these animals, underlining that show-business is no career for a wild animal.

“To people like Khloe Kardashian who love animals, our message is simple: see them in the wild.”

Global research shows that 50% of people who pay for a wild animal experience, do so because they love animals. But we know that if these animal lovers were aware of the abuse that takes place at wildlife tourist attractions and parks, they would never take part.

Help us end animal abuse

You can help the charity end the suffering that goes on behind the scenes at animal attractions around the world. Join our Before you Book campaign and share our video.