Mel Sunquist

Mel Sunquist is a Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation at the University of Florida. He is best known for his pioneering studies of tigers and leopards in Nepal, India, Peninsular Malaysia and Laos. For his long-term involvement in Indian conservation efforts, in 1997 the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of International Conservation, recognized Dr. Sunquist for “Exceptional Collaboration to the Conservation and Management of Natural Resources.” With his graduate students he has also worked on jaguars, pumas and ocelots in South America, forest carnivores in the Central African Republic, cheetahs in Kenya, and other less-known cats, including leopard cats on Borneo and the kodkod in Chile. In Florida his research focuses on black bears, bobcats, foxes and coyotes. His 2002 book Wild Cats of the World (Univ. Chicago Press), co-authored with his wife, Fiona, provided not only a synthesis of the state-of-the-knowledge of the world’s cats but also highlighted how vulnerable these species are, and how tenuous their future. Dr. Sunquist serves on Exxon/Mobil’s Save-The-Tiger Fund Council, the Advisory Board of Brazil’s National Center of Research and Conservation of Natural Predators, as a member of the “Core Group” of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, and nationally as a member of the Florida Panther Recovery Team.