By Panthera's MesoAmerica Jaguar Coordinator, Roberto Salom-Pérez
Contrary to what some people may think about the relationship between ranchers and jaguars in Central and South America, some of Panthera’s most trusted partners in conservation are cattle ranchers. This is particularly the case in Costa Rica where Panthera is working to protect the jaguar by partnering with local ranchers to mitigate human-jaguar conflicts. Our team’s recent work with Marito Umaña, a local dairy farmer, to resolve a calf predation case is a prime example of the collaborative conservation work Panthera is carrying out with local communities in Costa Rica.
National Geographic has just released this narrated video featuring the first known video clips of a living, wild African golden cat, taken by Panthera Kaplan scholar Laila Bahaa-el-din in Gabon, and additional camera trap photos of this elusive wild cat. Watch the video to see a young, male African golden cat hunting a bat at night and get a rare, up-close look at the species as the same male cat sits directly in front of Panthera’s camera trap. Also learn about the research being carried out in Gabon by Laila Bahaa-el-din to learn more about this species, and find out what scientists do know about the ecology of the least studied wild cat in the world.
Panthera’s August newsletter has just been released and includes some of the most exciting stories and updates from our wild cat conservation projects around the globe. Watch the first known footage of one of the world’s most elusive and least known wild cats – the African golden cat – captured by a Panthera Kaplan scholar in Gabon, as featured on CNN. Read about a new study, co-authored by Panthera’s Dr. Luke Hunter and Dr. Philipp Henschel, demonstrating how leopards and bushmeat hunters are directly competing for prey species in the Congo Basin rainforest, and learn what this means for the region’s leopards. Also read a story by one of Panthera’s field staff about the role Costa Rica’s cattle ranchers play as conservationists.
A team led by Panthera Kaplan scholar and graduate student, Laila Bahaa-el-din, in Gabon has captured the first known footage of one of the least known and most elusive wild cats on earth – the African golden cat. This exclusive footage was taken with cameras set as part of a research project to understand how African golden cats are affected by different levels of human activity, such as logging and hunting, which are prevalent across forested Africa. The African golden cat is found only in the forests of Central and West Africa, and grows to the size of a bobcat, weighing between 5-16 kilograms. Very few western scientists have observed the living animal in the wild and to Panthera’s knowledge, there are no African golden cats currently in captivity anywhere in the world.
Panthera’s global wild cat conservation initiatives have recently been featured in a variety of top-tier international news outlets. In case you missed it:
In a recent article, ‘Leopards Losing Out to Bushmeat Hunters in Competition for Prey,’ Mongabay reports on a new study, co-authored by Panthera’s Dr. Luke Hunter and Dr. Philipp Henschel, demonstrating that bushmeat hunters in the Congo Basin Rainforest are out-competing leopards for the same prey species. Mongabay reported that while hunters are not directly targeting leopards, they are in fact indirectly depleting leopard numbers by hunting their preferred prey species, including medium-sized herbivores like forest antelopes and bush pigs. Read the full Mongabay article for more information on this fascinating study.
Panthera Press Release: New Study Sheds Light on Threats Facing Leopards in the Congo Basin Rainforest
A new study led by Panthera Lion Program Survey Coordinator and leopard expert, Dr. Philipp Henschel, in cooperation with the Universities of Oxford, Stirling and Göttingen, has identified a new threat to Africa’s dwindling leopard populations: direct competition with human bushmeat hunters for the same food. Henschel’s study of leopards in the Congo Basin rainforest, published in the September issue of the Journal of Zoology, suggests that bushmeat hunting by people may drive declines in leopard numbers by removing their food base - in ecological jargon, exploitative competition for prey.
Panthera has just opened the Fall 2011 intake round for the Save the Tiger Fund-Panthera grant program and is encouraging all appropriate candidates to apply now through September 30th.
Panthera Film ‘My Pantanal’ Selected as Finalist for Best Children’s Program at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival
‘My Pantanal’ – a film written and directed by Panthera’s Vice President, Andrea Heydlauff, about our ongoing jaguar conservation initiatives in the Brazilian Pantanal – has just been selected as a finalist (one of three films) in the Best Children’s Program category at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The Festival is internationally renowned as the largest and most prestigious competition of the nature genre, and this year a record 510 films from over 30 countries were submitted for 22 category awards.
CNN Inside Africa has just released two videos online from its program, ‘Saving South Africa’s Leopards,’ which features Panthera’s Munyawana Leopard Project based in South Africa’s Phinda Game Reserve. Watch the videos and follow Panthera Leopard Program Coordinator Tristan Dickerson as he tracks and re-collars a large, male leopard as part of the Munyawana Project. Also learn about the threats leopards are facing today, what Panthera’s innovative research revealed about the persecution of leopards in and around Phinda, and how Panthera’s efforts directly led to a rebound of the region’s leopard population.