Poacher faces jail after killing an Amur leopard

A Vladivostok man faces up to seven years behind bars for allegedly having poached a critically endangered Amur leopard and attempted to sell its hide. After the 32-year-old hunter began scouting offers for the rare leopard’s pelt, local police were tipped off. Officers initially posed as potential buyers before detaining the suspect and launching a criminal investigation.

The hunter may be charged with the unlawful production and distribution of a particularly rare and valuable wild animal, a charge police claim they have ample proof to back up in court. The case materials have been dispatched to a local court for judicial review.



(Picture source / Map source)

Happy World Lion Day! In honor of this very special occasion, the members of Big Cat Network would like to encourage everyone to do what you can to help the plight of lions everywhere!

Here are some handy resources you can use to help:

Help with money

Donate to WWF India
Adopt through Lion Conservation Fund
Donate to Lion Conservation Fund
Donate to Build a Boma
Donate to Big Cats Initiative
Donate to Panthera
Adopt through Lion Guardians
Donate to Lion Guardians
Donate to Ruaha Carnivore Project
Donate to African Parks
Donate to Uganda Conservation Foundation
Donate to Ewaso Lions
Donate to Gorongosa Lion Project
Donate to/Adopt through The Lions of Gir Foundation - (Asiatic Lion Specific)
Donate to Niassa Lion Project
Donate to Uganda Carnivore Program
Donate to Lion Alert
Donate to Lion Aid
Donate to Rebuilding the Pride
Adopt through The AfriCat Foundation
Donate to The AfriCat Foundation
Donate to Conservation Lower Zambezi
Donate to Walking For Lions
Donate to Predator Conservation Trust
- Big Cat info for kids!

You can also donate to or adopt from your favorite sanctuary and/or accredited zoo!

Petitions to sign

- Save African lions from extinction by listing them as an endangered species!
- Save Lions Now TAKE ACTION!
- President of Kenya: Please Declare Poaching a - National Disaster (Gore warning)
Make Poaching of Endangered Animals an -Internationally Punishable Crime
Start your own petition!

Videos to watch

Desert Lion Conservation
- Lives of Lions

The Global Alliance for Wild Cats

On June 1, 2014, environmental philanthropists from China, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States formed a new Global Alliance with Panthera committing an initial $80 Million over the next ten years to conserve the world’s wild cats and their ecosystems. Marking an unprecedented turning point for the future of wild cat conservation, the Global Alliance’s $80 Million commitment provides cornerstone funding for Panthera’s new $200 Million initiative for wild cats.

The Alliance’s $80 Million commitment will fund the most effective solutions for conserving the world’s wild cats and mitigating their primary threats: poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, retaliatory and punitive killing of cats due to conflict with people, unsustainable hunting of prey species, and the loss and fragmentation of habitat.

Initiatives funded through this commitment will focus on protecting the world’s largest wild cats - tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopards, cougars and leopards – by implementing the following conservation solutions:

  • Protecting and stabilizing more than half of the world’s most important Asian tiger and African lion populations;
  • Securing the largest carnivore corridor in the world for jaguars across 18 countries in Latin America;
  • Creating community-based conservation projects in nearly all countries with snow leopard populations;
  • Reducing killing and poaching in more than half of cheetah and leopard range countries; and
  • Designing and implementing a range-wide conservation strategy for cougars, inclusive of creating corridors and recovery landscapes across North America.

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Three more tigers dead in wildlife reserves

After being monitored for quite some time, a 14 year old tigress in Kanha National Park, has unfortunately passed away due to her old age.

In Bandhavgarh, two of the three cubs born to the Kankati tigress, were found dead, suspected to have been killed by a rival tiger. The surviving cub, a female, was taken to Satpura tiger reserve where she will be brought up in semi-wild conditions, until she is able to be released back into the wild. 


Cee4life notified me last night that the Indian authorities have decided to continue to care for Machli until she dies. I have to give a lot of credit to Sybelle, the director of Cee4life, for her resilience in this matter as she faced a lot of criticism and even got death threats for going against the petition to let Machli die. Sybelle cancelled her trip to India, however, everyone who donated to this cause was contacted and given a chance to have their donations refunded.

For those of you who don’t know, Cee4life is currently doing work at the Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia, providing healthcare and resources as well as an International Education program. You can read more about that or donate here.

There is currently a debate going on about whether or not the forestry department in Ranthambhore should stop providing food for Machli. Apparently, they were ordered to stop in March by the NTCA, and that Machli has been surviving on her own ever since. For those of you who don’t know, Machli is nearly 18 years old, and has lost all of her canine teeth. Despite her ability to still hunt small animals, lizards and birds, she has, for the past four years, occasionally been provided with carcasses.

I agree that they should never have started feeding her in the first place, but that is in the past and not the problem at hand. In saying that, I don’t blame them for what they did, Machli is not an animal I could’ve just left for dead either. It’s now being argued that she’s taking up space, and that it’s inhumane to put her through old age. Whilst she does still live in Ranthambhore, she no longer holds prime territory and has been confined to the very outskirts of the park by males and breeding females. Food is still able to sustain and nourish her, to the point where she can still hunt for herself. Obviously we can’t keep on feeding her forever, but cutting her off completely and leaving her to die does seem a bit drastic.

Machli will die one day, but it absolutely cannot be by our own doing. I’m very open about this subject, but I think exceptions are needed because of her history. Machli does not always feed on the food she is supplemented with, which still suggests stable independence on her part. I know the park is becoming increasingly productive with the populations beginning to rise, but Machli will never become redundant, especially to those who love and admire her.

Valkmik is being opposed by a non-profit organisation called Cee4life. They’re heading over to India in a week’s time, and you can donate via PayPal to their cause if you agree with them. I really do hope that all the pros and cons are weighed and that they can come to a decision that serves her best interests. Machli is a national icon, and is dubbed as one of the greatest tigers to ever walk the planet. Her resilience, unique power and beauty has generated over 500 million dollars to India’s tourism, and she’s provided the park with numerous lineages for the continuation of her species. Towards the end of their lives, B2 and Charger of Bandhavgarh National Park, were cared for in different ways by the forestry department, so Machli should also be given the same kind of chances to live out the rest of her life peacefully. 

Noor (T-39) has finally been photographed with one of her new cubs in Ranthambhore National Park.

(by Aditya Singh

Largest ever Amur tiger release in Russia

Three orphaned Amur tigers, two males and one female were successfully released to the wild in the Russian Far East last week, in further attempts to save the species and to reclaim tiger habitat. Underlining the importance of the event, Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin also attended the release. Two more tigers, a male and female, are scheduled for release in early June, making it the largest release of rehabilitated Amur tigers ever. 

"The tigers were prepared to go back to the wild; they are in good physical shape, successfully stalking and hunting their natural prey and avoid human beings," explains Dr. Viatcheslav Rozhnov, Deputy-Director of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution.

During the rehabilitation process, all contact with humans was eliminated. Monitoring the tigers was done through remotely-operated video cameras.

Read More & Video

Nepal ‘prioritised’ for global effort to save snow leopards
Identifying Nepal as one of the rarest sanctuaries for the endangered snow leopard, the world community and the conservationists have put the country in the top priority of the global action plan to protect the animal.

Nepal’s Himalayas host as many as one-fifth of the world’s total snow leopard population. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are only 12 countries, including Nepal, where the last remaining 5,000 snow leopards are surviving. Studies show that these wild cats are disappearing rapidly from the planet. 

As part of the action plan, the governments have shared a common goal to intensify conservation efforts in the large landscapes required for snow leopard survival by identifying and designating critical habitats of key snow leopard populations as no-go areas for destructive land uses, maintaining their integrity and connectivity through natural corridors, and strengthening their protection on the ground. The global action plan also aims to control illegal trade of wildlife body parts. 

Read More





As my followers know, I volunteer at a big cat sanctuary called South Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Homestead, Florida. Or I did - until it got shut down last month when the owner fell ill with terminal sickness.

SFWRC was a non-profit, no breeding, selling, buying, or trading sanctuary dedicated to providing forever, loving homes to abused animals confiscated by the government that were once kept as “house pets.” However, since the sanctuary is no longer running, the “forever” part is kind of in question. Right now, the Florida Wildlife Commission is looking for new forever homes where these animals can receive the best possible care and enrichment. 

That’s where Reise comes in. You see, Reise is an 18 year old Texan cougar who was confiscated in New York from a drug dealer. She was kept in a small apartment having been fed domestic cat food and extremely undernourished with worms. Thankfully, the New York government got word of this, and she was promptly flown to SFWRC where she began her long recovery to becoming a “normal” Texan cougar (at least, as normal as any captive apex predator can get). After spending the last 15 years of her life at SFWRC, fate would show that it’s time her journey takes her elsewhere, to a new sanctuary here in Florida. But she needs your help.

Big Cat Rescue, an extremely well-run, respected big cat sanctuary in Tampa, Florida, has offered to take in Reise from the Florida Wildlife Commission. But doing this requires money. As being one of Reise’s former caretakers, there is no place I trust more to give her the love she needs than Big Cat Rescue.

I’ve seen what the power of Tumblr can do. And so I ask you all to kindly consider donating to help send Reise to BCR. You can note in the comment section that your generosity is intended for Reise’s cause. Even a couple of dollars goes a long way. If you are unable to donate, I urge you to reblog this post and pass the message on. The more funds we can raise, the better change Reise has to live out the rest of her life in a loving sanctuary…and against being put to sleep. 

This girl is such a loving cat. She’s gone through so much. I hate to say goodbye but I’d love to see her go to a home she deserves, especially after all she’s gone through.

I know what you guys are capable of. Please help- she, along with all the other animals at SFWRC, were very near and dear to our hearts. One cat was already put to sleep and I hate to see any others go. Even a $1 donation helps.


(Source: darwinoid)

Nepal offers plans for conservation of snow leopards

Nepal says it will present a seven-point plan on better conservation of snow leopards at an upcoming Global Snow Leopard Conservation conference in Kyrgyzstan. The conference in October will focus on increasing the number of snow leopards in the 12 countries where the big cat is found.

Nepal’s involvement in the conference will center on reforming its existing policies on conservation of the animal, improving its habitat, reducing poaching and conflicts with human beings, and providing proper training to people involved in conservation efforts. 

Of the 12 countries participating in the conference, China has the largest number of snow leopards, with an estimated 2,500. India has around 600, while Mongolia has 100.


Zoo news!

Very pleased to announce that Kaitlyn, a Sumatran tiger at Australia Zoo is pregnant! This is the first litter for the five year old, and she’s expected to give birth in late August. 

Kaitlyn is considered one of the most genetically valuable individuals in the world, as she was born to a wild mother and captive father. With less than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, the pregnancy is a significant win for the future of the species. 

Read More

Three tigers found dead in just one week

Investigations have begun by forest rangers, in Corbett Tiger Reserve after three dead tigers were found over a week. Officials suspect the tigers had been poisoned by poachers, however, this is yet to be confirmed via autopsy. 

Shrinking habitats due to the growth of urban areas in India and increasing deforestation have brought the cats into conflict with farmers who live near tiger reserves.

Despite conservation efforts, tiger numbers in India have declined due to rampant poaching of the cats for their valuable pelts and body parts that are highly prized in traditional Chinese medicine.


Amur leopard population up 50%

The population of the Amur leopard has grown by half since 2007 and the cats have expanded their habitat as far as North Korea, the WWF said. 

Environmentalists were unable to take a census of the big cats for several years, because the population is counted by their paw prints in the snow. No lasting snow was seen since 2011 in their habitat, an area 5,000 square kilometre in Russia’s far eastern Primorye region.

The previous census in 2007 put the number of Amur leopards at between 27 and 34, which many experts said at the time is not enough to ensure continued reproduction of the subspecies. However, a conservation drive spearheaded by the WWF and supported by the Kremlin improved the situation.

Environmentalists hope to increase the population to 70 to 100 cats, which would ensure its stability

Read More

Africa battles poachers to save its wild lions.

Zambia has become the latest country to ban the hunting of lions and other endangered wild cats as the continent tries to arrest the predators’ plummeting population. UK charity LionAid chief executive and biologist Dr Pieter Kat says the number of lions across Africa has dropped dramatically in recent decades, with lions extinct in 25 African countries.

"About 50 years ago we had about 200,000 lions living in Africa. I’d estimate from our own research that perhaps today we have about 15,000 left. Now 15,000 still sounds like a relatively large number but, you know, you can’t put more than 15,000 into even a small space." he said.

"What’s happening in western Africa is very, very sad because, you know, Senegal, all the way in the west, probably has about 40 lions left," he said. "Then we move over a couple of countries and we find that there’s, you know, maybe 50 or 60 lions left. And then we go to Cameroon, they maybe have 110 lions left. And then we come to Nigeria that has less than 34, 35 lions left. And there are a lot of these national parks in these countries, but the problem is nobody goes there."

Dr Kat said because west Africa is not a popular tourist destination, the national parks are starved of funds to maintain the parks and staff.

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