Leopard kills warthog, lion steals it

This video from the Kruger National Park in South Africa says about itself:

23 February 2016

Amazing video of a leopard killing a warthog next to the road when the calls of the dying warthog attracts a nearby lion. Watch what happens next!

South Africa bans leopard hunts due to uncertainty on numbers. Hunters’ association questions government data behind temporary ban on hunting secretive and nocturnal big cats: here.

Leopard trophy hunting ban in South Africa in 2016

This video, recorded in Botswana, says about itself:

14 January 2016

Leopard of Dead Tree Island (National Geographic WILD)

From Wildlife Extra:

South Africa bans leopard trophy hunting for 2016

Cape Town – The Department of Environmental Affairs has set provincial leopard trophy hunting quotas at zero for 2016, effectively banning leopard trophy hunting throughout South Africa for a year.

This follows an alert by SA’s Scientific Authority that the number of leopards in the country was unknown and that trophy hunting posed a high risk to the survival of the species, Conservation Action Trust has said.

Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), South Africa is permitted to allocate 150 leopard trophy export permits a year. Early warning of possible permit curtailment appeared in the Government Gazette late last year indicating that if the guidelines issued earlier in the year were not adhered to, provincial quotas would be set to zero for 2016.

Lion trophy hunting across the world was also restricted in December last year with the US decided to extend their Endangered Species Act protections for two breeds of lions. Though this move did not make it illegal for hunters to hunt lions, hunters now have to go through a lot more work to take the animal trophies back to the United States.

Commenting on the Government Gazette notice on the leopards, Guy Balme of the environmental NGO Panthera says, “It seems prudent that hunting should only continue once the appropriate measures are in place. Only then can we be confident that the practice is sustainable and not putting additional pressure on leopard populations already under a great deal of strain from other threats.”

The DHA listed threats to leopards as excessive legal and illegal shooting of ‘damage-causing animals,’ poorly managed trophy hunting, illegal trade in leopard skins for cultural and religious attire and generally poor monitoring of hunts and permit allocation.

The Research Authority found that leopards:

– Had a low reproductive rate;
– Their distribution was fragmented;
– Their abundance and population trend was uncertain;
– Illegal off-take was uncertain;
– There was little control of harvesting (especially illegal harvesting) which was high;
– Confidence in harvest management and monitoring was low;
– Incentives for conservation in the country were low; and
– Only between 5% and 15% of leopard habitat was strictly protected.

The trophy ban is in place throughout this year. According to the DEA statement, the Scientific Authority will then review the situation. It will also develop norms and standards for the management and monitoring of leopard hunting throughout the country.

Kelly Marnewick, the Environmental Wildlife Trust’s carnivore conservation manager, supported the ban.

“It’s important to ensure that any wildlife trade we do is sustainable,” she said. “If we can’t do that, it’s highly problematic. We need a trade ban until we can get to that.”

“Record keeping on trophy hunting in this country is shocking. We haven’t been recording age, sex or size of trophies. If our hunting fraternity is serious about using wildlife sustainably they will embrace this ban and find ways to work with government until trade is sustainable.”

Helen Turnbull of the Cape Leopard Trust also supported the move. She said the trust was pleased to see that common sense has prevailed and that the government would maintain the ban until provinces have gotten their acts together.

Andrew Muir of the Wilderness Foundation said the ban was good news, but noted that it was an interim measure while norms and standards were being put in place.

“We cannot stress enough the need for high quality research on the population numbers, make-up and distribution of leopards, especially in core conservation areas,” he said. “Leopards are charismatic and an apex species. Until we know population numbers and carrying capacity we should not hunt them.”

South African animal photos: 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.

Dead zebra scares leopard

This video says about itself:

Leopard “Detonates” Zebra Carcass in Kruger National Park

19 November 2015

This leopard bit into a decaying zebra carcass and got sprayed with intestine fluids!

This rare leopard sighting took place at Djuma Bush Camp in the Greater Kruger National Park area.

“Mvula the leopard is the first predator/scavenger to stumble across a dead, decaying zebra… We, along with our ranger, Taxon, and our tracker, Fanot, followed Mvula for a couple of kilometres from the Djuma bush camp water hole until the leopard picked up the scent of the decaying zebra… Folks, watch this to see a VERY startled leopard…” – Videographer, Richard Malcolm.

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.

Zimbabwe restricts lion, leopard, elephant hunting

This 2013 video is called Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

From Wildlife Extra:

Zimbabwe bans hunting of lions, leopards and elephants

Following the illegal killing of Cecil the lion the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has banned the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in areas outside of Hwange National Parks, where it was previously allowed.

From now on all such hunts will only be conducted if confirmed and authorised in writing by the Director-General of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, and only if accompanied by parks staff whose costs will be met by the landowner.

Under previous law hunting was banned in the Hwange National Park and the new measures are meant to prevent instances of illegal killings of wildlife outside the park. Cecil was lured outside the park’s grounds and then killed.

Members of the hunting fraternity are being reminded that it is illegal for quotas to be transferred from one hunting area to another.

Any case of quota transfer is regarded as poaching. The Authority will not hesitate to arrest, prosecute, and ban for life any persons including professional hunters, clients and land owners who are caught on the wrong side of the law.