Just weeks into the start of this year’s snow leopard collaring season, Swedish Ph.D. student Orjan Johansson collared a record four snow leopards in a 20 night period! Two of the cats were females new to the Mongolia-based study (one named ‘Lasya’ or ‘great beauty’ in Mongolian and the other named ‘Anu’ after a famed Mongolian warrior princess); the other two were Aztai and Khavar, whose collars needed to be replaced.
Read Panthera’s June newsletter to learn about how Panthera's Leopard Program Coordinator made the 2011 Mail & Guardian 'Top 200 Young South Africans' List, the record-breaking work being done in Mongolia to uncover the secret lives of snow leopards, Panthera's Father's Day e-cards, the successful bust by Brazilian authorities of an illegal hunting operation in the Pantanal, and how Panthera’s scientists’ are using cougar conservation best practices to protect the leopards of South Africa. Also read up on Panthera’s latest partnerships, events and publications.
Applications Now Being Accepted for Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize for the Next Generation in Wild Cat Conservation
We would like to announce that Panthera is now accepting applications for the 2011 Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize for the Next Generation in Wild Cat Conservation. Each year, Panthera’s Cat Advisory Council awards a prize to a special individual who has made a significant contribution to conserving wild cats, and who represents the next generation of scientists, conservationists, policy makers, politicians and planners who will pave the future of wild cat conservation. The prize winner is someone who has and will continue to work tirelessly to contribute, in a significant way, to the conservation of wild cats.
Panthera has recently named our newest Junior Ambassador – a seven year old from White Plains, New York named Grace, who is dedicating her creative talents to wild cat conservation. According to her mom, Grace’s fascination with the natural world started when she was just 3 or 4 years old when she insisted on saving every bug that fell into their pool. An afternoon of splashing around with her twin brother quickly turned into a massive rescue mission, with Grace trying to airlift every six-legged victim to safety.
Panthera’s field staff understand that while collecting cat scat falls under the less glamorous side of carnivore research, it can provide critical information that may be used to help conserve threatened species, like the lion. All feces contain epithelial cells that are shed from the intestinal lining as it passes through the animal's gut. Panthera has partnered with the Global Felid Genetics Programme (GFGP) at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to extract DNA from scat collected in the field, and to use this material to create a ‘genetic fingerprint’ for individual cats.
Application Period Open – Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice by WildCRU of Oxford University
We are excited to announce that the 2012 application period is now open for the Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice, delivered by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) of the University of Oxford.
WildCRU was founded in 1986 by Professor David MacDonald, and since mid-2007 Panthera and WildCRU have partnered to offer the world’s leading university center designed specifically for research in wild felid conservation.
Last December marked an exciting milestone for Panthera with the distribution of our new and enhanced camera trap model, which consists of a remarkably energy-efficient camera that snaps photos of passing wildlife in just three-tenths of a second. Given that wild tigers are very elusive and increasingly rare, these camera traps serve as a particularly valuable research tool that allow Panthera’s scientists to identify individual tigers using their unique stripe patterns and learn more about the abundance, movements and behaviors of these endangered big cats.
We are proud to announce that DisneyNature has selected Panthera as one of its wild cat conservation partners, and is encouraging DisneyNature fans to support Panthera in order to get involved in the conservation of Africa’s wild cats. DisneyNature kicked off Earth Day this year with the release of its latest nature film, African Cats. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, this film follows the life story of a cheetah and lion family, and the hardships and challenges they face just trying to survive in the wild savannas of Kenya’s Maasai Mara region.
Panthera is proud to share that we have partnered with sculptor David Mayer whose love of wildlife has encouraged him to use animals as the subjects of his artwork. Most recently David launched a bronze lion sculpture, pictured here. Other sculptures portray the jaguar, leopard, elephant, otter, hare and other animal species. In order to help conserve the animals upon which his artwork is based, David has generously volunteered to donate 10% of proceeds earned from the sale of his 'Lion,' ‘Jaguar,’ and ‘Leopard’ sculptures to Panthera, and to a variety of other conservation organizations.
Today is Earth Day – an international day of advocacy and celebration of the magnificence of our Earth, and the equally incredible wildlife it supports. On this day, as the citizens of the world are encouraged to make ‘A Billion Acts of Green,’ Panthera asks that you also pledge to help us make 'A Billion Acts for Big Cats.'
The big cats of this Earth – tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, leopards, cheetahs, and cougars – serve as critical ecosystem guardians for our planet. The presence of these apex predators indicates healthy ecosystems that support thousands of plant and animal species, including people.
When you act for big cats, you act for yourself, and for all animals on the planet.