The world's 33 species of small wild cats and the conservation initiatives carried out on their behalf received a tremendous boost with the addition of philanthropist Jon Ayers and The Ayers Wild Cat Conservation Trust (The Conservation Trust) to Panthera's Global Alliance for Wild Cats in March of 2021.
Pledging a spectacular $20 million over ten years to wild cat conservation, with a focus on small cats, Ayers seeks to change the trajectory of small cat conservation - and the future of 33 species - with the largest ever commitment to small cat conservation at Panthera and worldwide.
Supremely elusive, very little is known about the 33 species of small cats, many of which are marching towards extinction. Ayers’ funding of Panthera's Small Cats Program - which he helped launch in 2018 - will support initiatives for 14 small cat species across 13 sites, with plans to grow these numbers as the Program matures. With many serving as the first of their kind enacted on behalf of the species, the initiatives will develop action plans guided by new scientific data that will fill extensive knowledge gaps on basic small cat biology – including their population sizes, threats, home ranges, behaviors, dynamics with other species and epidemiology.
Before turning his attention to cats in the wild, Ayers served as Chairman, President and CEO of IDEXX, the veterinary diagnostics and software leader dedicated to advancing the health and well-being of domestic cats, other pets and livestock.
Wild cat conservation is a very tangible cause on which I know I can have an impact. One of the things that drew me to Panthera is its focus on wild cats – and focus leads to impact. Panthera’s suite of talented scientists, my fellow Global Alliance members and I all share a deep-rooted dedication to unearthing the science that will help conserve wild cats, reversing species’ declines, elevating their unsung plight with our voices and making their preservation a global priority for all.
Small Cat Coverage
"OK, Now What?" How a Former CEO Decided to Give Millions for Big Cats
Source: Inside Philanthropy
Ayers Wild Cat Conservation Trust pledges $20 million for small cats
Source: Philanthropy News Digest
Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy
Millionaire Turned Quadriplegic Jon Ayers is Giving it All to Save Wild Cats, After Finding a New Purpose
Source: Good News Network
Philanthropist Jonathan Ayers Commits $20 Million to Wild Cat Conservation
Source: Barron's Penta
Ayers Foundation Gives $20 Million To Protect Wild Cats
Source: Today's Veterinary Business
Former IDEXX Chair Jonathan Ayers donates $20M to wild cat conservation
World's Small Wild Cats Get A Major Conservation Boost
Source: World Atlas
The Ayers Wild Cat Conservation Trust Commits $20 Million As Newest Member Of Panthera's Global Alliance For Wild Cats
With Panthera, Jon got the investment thesis right away: namely, that saving wild cats – the charismatic umbrella species within their landscapes – provides the most leveraged opportunity to preserve the beauty of our natural world for future generations.