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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African Lions Need Your Signature Now!

The African Lion needs our help.

African Male Lion photo by Beverly Joubert

African Male Lion photo by Beverly Joubert

Hope for Lions through Protection

Some of you might remember when we talked about The African Lion Hope through Protection last year. If so, you might remember that on March 1, 2011, an alliance of wildlife protection and conservation groups petitioned the Secretary of the Interior to list the African lion as an endangered subspecies pursuant to the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA). These groups included Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, The Fund for Animals, Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

The USA is the world’s largest importer of sport-hunted African Lion trophies

The United States is the world’s largest importer of African lion parts, for hunting trophies and for commercial use.  From 1999 and 2008, 7090 lions from a wild source were traded internationally for recreational hunting purposes.  Most of these lions, 64% of the total, were imported to the United States. Even though there has been a continuous population and range decline for the lion, the United States lion trophy imports have increased.  Imports in 2008 were larger than any other year in the decade and twice the 1999 number.  The Endangered Species Listing would make a significant difference to crackdown the trophy trade.  A listing under the ESA would put strict controls on the import of lion “trophies” by Americans, and would ban the commercial trade of lion parts in the United States.

African Lions are the ONLY big cat not protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act!

On November 26, 2012, the U.S. government issued a favorable finding that a listing may be warranted, but before making a final decision, they’ve allowed for a 60 day public comment period. They want to hear from you.  African lions are the only big cat not protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Take Action! Please add your signature and comment in favor of the ESA listing for the African Lion now!


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The Story of Sikiria The End of a Lion Legend

The Story of Sikiria

Last year we posted a survey about African lions and asked you to tell us which lion caught your eye and why.  For those of you that participated in the survey, you might remember the short story of Sikiria that was part of the survey question.

Here is the excerpt from the survey:

The Lion Guardians have been extraordinarily successful at stopping lion killing. This program is one of the first in East Africa that combines traditional knowledge with modern scientific techniques.

In order to learn more about the African lion, a radio collar is attached to track each lion’s movement. Once a lion is given a collar, the Lion Guardians give the lion a Maasai name.

The names usually reference either a physical characteristic or a behavior unique to that particular lion. For example, one lion was given the name Sikiria, which means “he of the donkey”. This name was given to  him because he liked to eat donkeys. This name and telling of stories about him helps diffuse the anger and retaliation from the Maasai when Sikiria goes looking for a donkey. Now watchful eyes can keep Sikiria out of trouble and the donkeys safe by relaying messages about Sikiria’s location. It is also much easier to forgive behavior when you know the name of the lion and their unique traits.

Sikiria "He of the donkeys"

Sikiria "He of the donkeys" Photo by Philip J. Briggs

The Lion Guardians named him “he of the donkeys”

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Maasai Change Brings Hope for the African Lion

Happy New Year!

Philip J. Briggs Lion Paw and Gracey Paw

We are grateful for those that care for all cats, big and small

In 2011, we threw out making resolutions and decided that in 2012 we  wanted to focus on gratitude. One of the things we are grateful for are stories of positive change, of hope and of  a spirit that remind each and every one of us that changes, however small can and do make a difference.  The Maasai and The Lion Guardians are a shining example of how an idea sparked change and is bringing hope for the African Lion.

Three Maasai Children

Three Maasai Children

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Cat Whisker Spot Patterns in Lions, Leopards and Me

Friends, did you know that you can identify a lion from the whisker spots that are found in rows on each side of the face?  We learned that we can also identify a male lion by his mane in our post Lion Guardians Give Each Lion a Maasai Name, but a mane can change throughout the lion’s life depending upon age and health. Only the whisker spots remain unchanged throughout a lion’s life.

Whisker Spot Pattern

Whisker Spot Pattern from www.livingwithlions.org

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The Tiniest Tiger’s Gotta-Read 7 Blog Links:Paying it Forward: Tripbase Blog Post Project

I was tagged by our friend Carol Bryant of Fido Friendly to be a part of The 7 Links, Tripbase Blog Post Project. I was honored to be tagged by Carol to share 7 links from our Conservation Cub Club blog.  This took me some time to decide which posts to choose for each of the categories.  I hope you like the posts I have chosen.

At the bottom are 5 blogs I have tagged to take the torch and run with their 7 best links.  Thank you for reading The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club.


Lion Guardians Give Each Lion a Maasai Name

Lions from the Lion Guardians ProjectIt was super tough for me to choose, but I chose this post with all the African Male Lions as the Most Beautiful. Our  wild lions are in trouble and the Lion Guardian Project is showing great promise for the conservation of the big cat. One of my favorite things about the project is the naming of each lion. The naming and telling of stories about each lion emphasizes the individuality of each cat. It is also much easier to forgive the lion for preying on livestock when you know the name and unique traits. I asked  the readers to tell me which lion caught their eye and why. They are all handsome, don’t you agree?

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Lion Guardians Give Each Lion a Maasai Name

Lions from the Lion Guardians Project

These 9 lions are from the Mara Predator Project Lion Database.

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