Category Archives: Big Cats

A New Year of Hope for Wildlife Conservation

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Another year has come and gone. Like those years preceding, 2015 has witnessed both heartbreak and achievements in conservation. As we reflect back, it is important to find the positive in the saddest of situations, learn from them, and apply the knowledge gained to help in the new year. The death of the King of Hwange, Cecil, brought trophy hunter… Read more »

What an Endangered Species listing in the US means for African Lions

2015 has seen a media frenzy centered on the African lion, mostly for the wrong reasons. Headlines condemning the illegal killing of a research lion, Cecil, started a global conversation on the lion hunting industry. A recent documentary, Blood Lions, solidified the fact that this type of exploitation is a contributing factor to the demise of this magnificent species. For… Read more »

The State of Africa’s Big Cats: a 30-year Conservation Report Card

 Despite staunch conservation efforts, global big cat populations continue to decline. In just the last 30 years, data collected by conservation groups in Africa show that some big cat populations fell by at least 50% (table 1). Loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflicts, hunting, and poaching continue to threaten the long –term survival of these iconic creatures.   Population 1985 2015… Read more »

Make 2015 the Year of Conservation Achievements

As 2014 came to a close, I felt inundated with reports of record numbers of animals killed to fuel the illegal wildlife trade.  In 2014, almost 1,200 rhino were killed for their horns.  Numbers of elephants slaughtered for ivory were in the tens of thousands.  It appears that life in the sea is just as dangerous on land as over… Read more »

Can CITES Regulations Help Protect Wildlife?

From 3-14 March, the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is holding their Conference of Parties 16 (CoP16) in Bangkok, Thailand.  While some species will get the protection they so desperately need to survive in the wild, others seem to fall by the wayside.  What constitutes a species being placed on the coveted Appendix I list?  Is a… Read more »

Exotic Animal Ownership

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Since the exotic animal incident in Zanesville, Ohio a few weeks ago, I have received a lot of questions regarding the laws governing exotic animal ownership in the United States.  Ownership of exotic or non-native species in the US is a much debated subject.  In actuality, regulation is done on a state, not national, basis; which allows for a lot… Read more »