On December 3rd, Panthera participated in the second annual #GivingTuesday celebration – one day of the year dedicated to encouraging charitable and meaningful giving during the holiday season.
The show of support from you was nothing short of outstanding.
On this single day, Panthera received over $250,000 in donations, and thanks to a generous group of contributors, every dollar donated on #GivingTuesday was matched.
All in all, over $501,500 will now go directly to the field to support Panthera’s wild cat conservation programs, to protect big cats and their habitats in over 50 countries around the world.
This exceptional contribution will provide Panthera’s scientists with the tools and resources needed to implement effective conservation actions – from monitoring wild cat populations and mitigating their most pressing threats, to outfitting and training park guards to stem poaching, and working one-on-one with heads of state to strategically protect and connect wild cats and their habitats.
We could not carry out this critical conservation work without your contributions. All of us at Panthera are deeply grateful for your tremendous support this holiday season which got us off to an incredible start.
Thank you for helping to ensure that big cats around the world live on, in the wild, for our generation and those to come.
Didn’t give on #GivingTuesday? It’s not too late – big cats need your support all year round. Please consider a gift to support tigers, lions, jaguars and snow leopards today.
Often referred to as the American lion, puma, panther, mountain lion, or puma, the wild cougar maintains the largest geographic range of any terrestrial mammal in the Western hemisphere, spanning 28 countries. Yet despite this beautiful species’ notoriety and extensive home range, the cougar remains to be one of the most elusive wild cats on the planet.
Now, thanks to in-depth ecological research carried out through Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project which includes putting remote cameras in dens and on kills we are thrilled to share that Panthera will soon launch a new ‘Cougar Channel’ website, providing a fascinating window into the secret life of the misunderstood cougar.
Scheduled to launch in the coming weeks, Panthera’s Cougar Channel will feature high-definition videos and photos of some never-before-seen cougar behavior taken with Panthera’s remote camera traps. This incredible footage shows cougar kittens nursing in their dens and playing in the snow; cougar families ‘calling’ and grooming one another, feeding, and curiously inspecting Panthera’s cameras; and Panthera’s scientists tracking, examining and collaring cougars to learn how to better protect the species.
Also featured through these videos and photos are the gorgeous landscapes of the Teton Mountains and a variety of wildlife that share their homes with cougars, including grizzly bears, buffalo, moose, elk, wolves, fox and more.
Watch a preview of what’s in store for Panthera’s Cougar Channel – one of many cougar den videos.
Along with Panthera’s high-tech cameras, our scientists are utilizing cutting-edge GPS collars to track cougar movements, identify cougar dens, and monitor kittens from an early age across the southern Yellowstone ecosystem. Using these research tools, our team has recorded and observed rare and undocumented cougar behavior (including highly social interactions from cats previously perceived as solitary, and the adoption of three orphaned kittens by a female cougar), extended family lineages over time, and gathered a vast amount of data revealing the hidden lives of cougars. Since project inception, our team has collared and monitored 99 individual cougars, documenting their territories, prey selection, and population dynamics.
All of these data are improving our understanding of the social ecology of the species, and allowing Panthera’s scientists to better preserve the ‘American lion.’
Stay tuned for details on the launch of Panthera’s Cougar Channel.
- Read the December 2013 National Geographic Magazine ‘Ghost Cats’ article featuring Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project and cougar photos.
- Read a Huffington Post article by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project Director, Dr. Howard Quigley, on ‘New Insights Into Cougar Behavior.’
- Learn about National Geographic Television’s ‘American Cougar’ documentary featuring Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project.
- Stay tuned for information on an upcoming BBC film on the Teton Cougar Project.
This holiday season, consider one of Panthera’s gift packages for your friends and loved ones. Celebrate the holidays and help to protect the future of wild cats around the world.
Browse Panthera’s holiday gift packages, including:
- Adopt a cat in honor of a family member or friend this holiday season to give a gift that they will remember for years to come.
- Outfit a wild cat ranger for a minimum contribution of $50, which will help provide supplies for the many people who are working on the frontlines to combat poaching and monitor and protect wild cat populations around the globe.
- Sponsor a camera trap to provide Panthera’s scientists with one of the most critical tools used to monitor wild cats and gather ecological data which are used to shape the most effective conservation initiatives for wild cats.
- Send a wild cat e-card to friends and family and let them know you care about them and wild cats. Personalize one of over 20 holiday-themed e-cards featuring stunning photos of big cats.
- Shop Panthera’s e-store for gifts including our Vineyard Vines big cat ties, jaguar paw necklaces and cufflinks, field shirts, hats, t-shirts, water bottles and more.
- Start a DIY fundraising campaign in lieu of presents this year, or to accompany a holiday party, using Panthera’s toolkits and resources to create and manage a personalized campaign for the wild cat(s) of your choice.
In lieu of a gift package, Panthera’s supporters can make an end of year, tax-deductible contribution to protect big cats in the wild. 100% of donations made to Panthera will go directly to the field to support our wild cat conservation initiatives around the globe.
Named after Africa’s fourth longest river, Zambezi is a region in the southern African nation of Namibia that sits at the crossroads of five international borders, serving as the geographic center of the vast, envisioned Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA). Within this expansive landscape lie 36-protected areas that are collectively home to one of the largest lion populations in Africa.
Given the significance of this region for the future of the African lion, and in response to increasing human-lion conflict, Panthera launched a new lion conservation project in Zambezi earlier this year in partnership with the Namibian Ministry of the Environment and the Kwando Carnivore Project. Now embedded across this landscape, Panthera’s work extends from the western region of Zambezi in the 9,000km2 Bwabwata National Park, where lions are slowly recovering, to Zambezi’s east, which is home to three lion prides living within the Mudumu and Nkasa Rupara National Park areas, and two prides on the eastern floodplains of the Chobe River.
A native of South Africa, Panthera’s Lion Program Director, Dr. Paul Funston, is also embedded just north of his home country in Zambezi, where the team oversees the project’s operations and monitors local lion populations, including the three prides of eastern Zambezi. This lion population (somewhat of a motley crew) includes a pride of two lionesses known by locals as ‘Thelma and Louise,’ and the larger Mudumu and Lupala prides, the last of which consists of seven lion cubs.
In recent months as Lupala’s cubs grew older, the need for additional food forced the pride’s lionesses (the primary hunters) to search for prey beyond park boundaries, drifting into conservancies where local villagers’ cattle are seldom herded or corralled at night in lion-proof enclosures. Sadly, the proverbial outcome ensued, with the lionesses preying on local cattle, and herders, defending their livelihoods, retaliating with their guns. The once healthy Lupala pride was quickly whittled down from 12 to 4 individuals.
However, Panthera’s scientists were encouraged to learn that despite the loss of Lupala’s lions, a sole lioness and three subadults still remain. This lioness’ brave efforts to raise these cubs, some of which are not her own, serves as a testament to the tenacity and adaptability of the African lion. Our scientists also confirmed that the pride has moved to a new region within Nkasa Rupara National Park, where the lions may be better protected.
Two of the three lion cubs born to ‘Thelma and Louise.’
Additionally, our field staff and partners at the local Nkasa Lupala Lodge were pleased to recently discover that the once tiny pride, consisting of ‘Thelma and Louise,’ has made a come-back with the birth of three new cubs. Nearby, the Mudumu pride has also welcomed a litter of four cubs, and further growth in the region’s lion population has been seen with the addition of seven sub-adult lions in eastern Zambezi.
In more good news, this project was recently selected to receive one of just three International Conservation Grants awarded by Australia’s Zoos Victoria. Thanks to the generous and significant support from Zoos Victoria, Panthera will continue to work with our regional partners to mitigate human-lion conflict and protect the prides of Zambezi.
Today, our scientists are educating local communities about ways in which they can co-exist with lions, including training local villagers how to properly herd livestock during the day, and build cost-efficient and effective lion-proof enclosures (known as bomas or corrals) in which to corral their livestock at night. Next year our field team will use GPS collars to monitor Zambezi’s lion populations, and train community game scouts to track the lions’ movements, implement an early warning system alerting communities when lions venture nearby, and find lost livestock. Moving forward, our team will also work to survey Zambezi’s western region, where less is known about the number of remaining lions.
These efforts to decrease human-lion conflict will not only benefit Zambezi’s lion populations and the overall future of the African lion, but will also help local communities protect their livelihoods, quell the economic losses of cattle fatalities and promote Zambezi as a desirable eco-tourism destination, potentially bringing in new jobs and business opportunities for these communities.
The Lions of Zambezi
Follow the Kwando Carnivore Project on Facebook for updates on local lion populations.
A hidden camera set by Panthera’s Media Director, Steve Winter, records Hollywood’s most reclusive star—this male cougar first seen in Griffith Park in Los Angeles almost two years ago. This photo and more are featured in National Geographic Magazine’s December edition.
Watch NatGeo’s video of Winter describing how he worked for a year to capture this incredible cougar image.
- Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project and Cougar Photos featured in National Geographic Magazine
- Panthera Media Director Steve Winter Interviewed on CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley about Wild Cougar Photos
- DHL and Panthera Partner to Conserve South Africa’s Leopards
- Panthera-National Geographic ‘Tigers Forever’ Book Published
- Panthera Teton Cougar Project Leader Writes for National Geographic’s Cat Watch Blog
- Panthera Earns Prizes from 2013 BBC Wildlife Camera Trap Photos of the Year Award
- Panthera and WCS Obtain Rare Footage of African Golden Cat with Calvin Klein Cologne
- Panthera President Dr. Luke Hunter Interviewed on ABC News Nightline on Lions in Captivity
- Panthera President Dr. Luke Hunter Interviewed on ABC News on Tiger Attack in Australia Zoo
- Panthera’s Snow Leopard ‘Selfie’ Featured on LiveScience
- Occupancy Estimation of Jaguar Panthera Onca to Assess the Value of East-Central Mexico as a Jaguar Corridor
- Seasonal Foraging Ecology of Non-Migratory Cougars in a System with Migrating Prey
- Explorers Club Lecture by Panthera’s Media Director Steve Winter and Journalist Sharon Guynup– January 6, 2014
- Lions & Tigers & Bears: Through the Lens with National Geographic – July 25, 2013 – February 2, 2014