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#IFAKEIT For Leopards. Show Your Spots to Save Theirs

Annie in Leopard jacket

Annie supporting Leopards in her Sturdi Walking Vest. #IFAKEIT

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Victory For The Jaguar. Protection Awarded for the Wild Cat.

Jaguar - Panthera onca

New Jaguar Conservation Agreement Provides Protection for the Big Cat.

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Good News For The World’s Wild Cats and Their Ecosystems

Lion close up Heart of Africa

New Global Alliance with Panthera

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3 Cat Conservation Projects That Help Humans Too

Conservation programs that take into consideration the well-being and interests of the people that live with the big cats have the most chance of succeeding.  In the past, there has been a  conservation versus them approach and people were even removed from their homes as protected areas were off limits to local people.  Projects that work with  local people and  give them an incentive to save the big cats have a much better chance of success.  Here are three big cat conservation projects that help humans too.

1) Jaguar Corridor Lights Up Eastern Colombia

Jaguar - Panthera onca

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Cat Corridors are Important for Big and Small Cats

Annie looking into Agility tunnel

Annie checks to see if her path is clear through her agility tunnel.

Now that we are a multi-cat household, it is important to make sure each cat has their own space and pathways around the house.  Annie, Eddie and Mercy all get along but they still need alone time.  The creation of routes or corridors for your cats will help them feel more at ease in the home.  If your cats are spatting  you might check to see if you can create a more cat-friendly home to ease the tension.

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Can You Spot These 3 Cats?

can you spot these 3 cats

I was recently having a chat with some friends about how we sometimes see big cats in the movies, or a magazine and at times they get the cats all wrong. For example, a person might say they love their cheetah print sweater but it is really a leopard print. I know this might not seem like a big deal but for big cat advocates, it makes us wince when we see or hear the cats thought of as interchangeable.

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Cat Selfies Wild Cats Caught on Camera Traps

Eddie Selfie

Eddie in an almost selfie

The Oxford University Press chose the word “selfies” as a 2013 Word of the Year!  I am sure not one of us has escaped being exposed to the  seemingly endless stream of  self portraits captured on mobile devices. While most folks try to pose showing off their best side, many of the selfies come out, well a bit out of focus, off center, and sometimes even only showing a part of the person’s face.   What CNN described as perhaps the most embarrassing phenomenon of the digital age,  has now been recognized  by  the guardian of the English language.

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Good News For Leopards One Of the Most Persecuted Big Cats.

Young leopard charging. Photo taken at Rhino a...

Young leopard charging. Photo taken at Rhino and Lion Park, Gauteng, South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Panthera’s Leopard Program Is Saving Lives

Two years ago we wrote about a new idea to help save the wild leopard, one of the world’s most persecuted big cats. The beautiful fur of the leopard is highly sought after and to make matters worse, today the  demand for leopard skin is increasing among members of South Africa’s Shembe Baptist Church, which has adopted the Zulu practice of wearing spotted cat fur, mostly leopard, during religious celebrations. Even though trade in leopard skins is illegal in South Africa, the Shembe’s estimated 5 million members were spreading the practice.

Tristan Dickerson, Panthera’s Leopard Program Coordinator visited several Shembe gatherings to research the amount of leopard skins being used at these events. It was estimated that nearly 1,000 leopard skins were either worn or being sold at just one of the gatherings that he attended.

Tristan spent a  year working with designers and clothing companies to create high quality and affordable fake leopard skins, which he presented at  Shembe gatherings.   At one  event, there was a large number of fake leopard skins being worn by children and elders, and this was a sign of hope for Africa’s leopard populations.

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Amur Tigers Need You! Please Sign To Ban Tiger Trade Now

A Moment of Silence for the Amur Tiger

I have something super serious to tell you. Eight Amur tiger skins have been seized from a citizen in the town of

Amur Tiger with Gracey

A Moment of Silence for the Amur Tiger.

Arseniev in the Russian Far East. Wildlife experts think the poachers killed the entire tiger family including two cubs estimated to be 1-2 months old.

The deaths of these tigers is a crushing blow to wild tiger conservation. There are only an estimated 8-10 adult Amur tigers living in the Lazovsky Nature Reserve, one of the largest nature reserves in the Primorye, the far south-eastern edge of Russia.

Amur Tiger Conservation Efforts

The Amur tiger is in a battle against extinction. Scientists are worried that even though there are around 500 Amur tigers  surviving in the wild, low genetic diversity is making the subspecies vulnerable to disease. In fact the effective population was estimated at just 14 individuals remaining.  The troublesome low effective population size dims the hope for the recovery of the big cat.  To lose 8 healthy tigers, an entire family, to poachers is devastating.

It is important to understand there are many people in the Russian Far East that are protective of the Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), you might know this tiger better by the name Siberian tiger. This tiger subspecies is listed as  critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and in the Red Books of the Russian Federation. Following the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg in 2010 the Russian Government began allocating  money to conserve Amur tigers in protected areas. But they are facing a formidable opponent and that is the demand for tiger skins and  tiger derivatives, such as bones and other parts for tiger wine, soups and traditional medicinal practices. As the tiger population dwindles, the price of tiger parts goes up because of scarcity.

Younger Generation is Driving the Illegal Trade!

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Is Your Cat a Tree or Bush Dweller?

Sometimes I like to jump up to the top of my Cat Power Tower and survey the land. Other times, I like to sneak inside my Kat

Gracey napping on top of Cat Power Tower

Napping on top of my Cat Power Tower

Kabin and watch from down low.  I like having both options available to me at all times in my habitat.  When the sun room doors are closed and I can’t get access to my tower, I resort to jumping up behind the sofa and watching the front yard birds from the bay window.  Because of my love of both high and low places, I think I might be part leopard.

Leopards are Both  Tree  and Cave Dwellers

The leopard uses trees as observation posts,  and has been observed dragging prey several times its own weight up into a tree to cache the carcass for later meals.  The leopards’ scapula is uniquely attached to its muscles allowing the spotted cat to be   proficient at climbing and has a  locking wrist enabling  the cats superior tree climbing ability.

Even though I am not as good a climber as my big cat cousin, I like to think of myself as a leopard when I am sunning myself while napping on top of my tower.  There are times that I prefer to observe from the ground and our leopard cousins also prefer lower level living at times.

Leopards are tree dwellers

A leopard napping in a tree

While leopards are able to haul their prey up into a tree, perhaps  a more preferred method is one in which gravity works in the cats favor, and that would be dragging the carcass down into a cave. There have been references made in scientific literature about leopards using caves, including specific descriptions of caves that are leopards lairs. According to Charles Brain, author of the book The Hunters or the Hunted? An Introduction to African Cave Taphonomy, leopards use caves as retreats, feeding places, and breeding lairs.

I Feel Like a Bobcat in my Kat Kabin

Even though leopards also lurk about the ground, when I decide to curl up inside my Scratch Kabin I imagine that I am a bobcat out in the wild.

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