The Huffington Post‘s Green blog recently published a letter by Panthera’s President, Dr. Luke Hunter, on the deadly impact of snares on big cats & other wildlife @ http://huff.to/Ioiwvj. Read what Dr. Hunter had to say about Ngoye, a leopard close to his heart that recently fell victim to a wire snare in S. Africa & who was saved by Panthera’s field staff. More on Panthera’s Snare Removal campaign @ http://bit.ly/JltgqE
A male leopard, who strayed into Dhondegaon village in the district, apparantly in seach of water and food, attacked a youth yesterday.
In another incident in the district, a femal leopard died after falling into a 50-ft deep well.
Forest officer P P Bhamre said a four-and-half years old leopard attacked Yadav Bendkule, a local youth, and was later spotted in the field of Madhukar More at Dhondegaon yesterday.
Forest officers reached the spot with tranquiliser and a cage, but the animal escaped.
At village Dahingule-Shivar, a female leopard was found dead in a 50-feet deep well in the field of Hiraman Bagul.
Officers said that she must have been searching for water.
Published on Apr 26, 2012 by londolozigamereserve
Footage from Londolozi Game Reserve of the three new lion cubs that are part of the Sparta Pride. We believe them to be in the region of seven weeks old (born early March 2012).
by Adam Bannister on April 29, 2012
There is nothing as special as looking into the dark eyes of a lion cub.
Even at this age they have razor blade teeth – Cindy Matthews
It is always a very special time to have lion cubs on the reserve and we just hope that their mother can protect them during this vulnerable stage. I’m sure, that you can appreciate that with animals still so small, we at Londolozi, are practising the highest levels of sensitivity. We appreciate your patience when it comes to more footage and news on these wonderful additions.
Moving around under the watchful eyes of mom.
Whatever glimpses we can get of these three animals is a real privilege. We are not 100% sure of the age of these cubs but we think they are in the region of 7 weeks old. The reason we say this, is that on around the 4th March, the tracking team found one of the Sparta lionesses with new born cubs. To reduce impact, the area was immediately zoned; sadly the cubs were not seen again. We all presumed that they died. It looks likely now that she just moved them to another location, and those are the cubs we are seeing now.
The black tips to the ears; a delightful addition to these little cubs.
- “African Cats” is a new film documenting the lives of Kenya’s lions and cheetahs
- The filmmakers spent more than two years following the great cats as they struggled to survive
- During the course of filming, they got to know the distinct personalities of their subjects
- They hope the film, billed as a “real-life Lion King,” will spur audiences’ interest in conservation
London, England (CNN) — Filmmaker Keith Scholey has a PhD in zoology and three decades of experience filming and photographing wildlife. Yet when it came to predicting the behavior of the lions and cheetahs of Kenya’s Maasai Mara Nature Reserve, all that proved of little use.
“You’re constantly surprised,” he said. “When you start following wild animals, you’re initially an incredible expert. And the more you follow them, you realize you’re less and less of an expert.”
For his new film “African Cats,” Scholey led a film crew documenting the lives of individual lions and cheetahs over the course of two and a half years. “The only thing we had control over was the selection of the characters — we had no control over the plot,” says Scholey.
The Disneynature film, which is narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart, debuted in the UK Wednesday, with a royal premiere attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke gave a speech calling for an end to wildlife poaching in Africa after the screening.
Describing their filming routine, Scholey said each morning, the crew would wake in their camp before dawn, and set out to where they had left the cats the night before.
If they managed to find them, the crew would then follow their adventures through the 1510-square-kilometer reserve, one of the few remaining places where the three big African cats — lions, cheetahs and leopards — live in large numbers and in close proximity.
Keith Scholey, director of “African Cats”
It led them to unforgettable sights — all captured in high definition and slow motion — as the animals engaged in rivalries and constant struggles for sustenance and survival, earning the movie a billing as the “real-life ‘Lion King’.”
“The most remarkable scene was two lions swimming across the flooded Mara River and one being taken by a croc and getting away,” recalled Scholey. “We didn’t know crocs would go for lions — and now we know. You can see why lions are really unhappy to go in that river.”
As the crew followed their subjects, the animals’ individual personalities gradually revealed themselves.
“You don’t want to anthropomorphize, yet they do have distinct personalities that come out,” said Sophie Darlington, the movie’s principal photographer. Some were brave, others cowards. Some were leaders, others followers. And some had developed specialist skills — like the lioness who had mastered a unique technique for suffocating her prey — that others lacked.
As a species, lions also had their own particular character — dramatic, charismatic, and occasionally unintentionally comic — which the crew grew to appreciate.
“There’s nothing funnier than a lion doing a pratfall,” said Darlington.
Explained specialist photographer Simon King: “It’s their — sometimes false — sense of confidence, in everything. They don’t think they can put a foot wrong and they frequently do, and it’s amusing to watch.”
The crew were safe observing the animals — sometimes at extremely close quarters — from the sanctuary of their vehicles, although lions and elephants sometimes wandered through their camps at night. On one occasion, a bull elephant, drawn to a fruiting tree, rolled over one of the crew’s vehicles that had been parked nearby.
Sophie Darlington, principal photographer for “African Cats”
Generally though, their presence did not bother the animals, who were used to vehicles entering the reserve.
“Do they care? Some of the time we’re undoubtedly an asset, because we’re shade on a hot day,” said King. “In the past I’ve had 13 lions under my car. They’re very flatulent, and then they try to bite the brake tubes.”
The film’s producers hope that by engaging audiences in the real-life narratives of the great cats, they can encourage people to protect the species. Cheetahs, the world’s fastest land animals, are endangered, while lions are classified as vulnerable.
“It’s important not to convey a finger wagging message in every single production because that would be counterproductive,” said King. “A movie like this is a celebration of other lives that I hope will get people thinking, so when they next hear that tigers, lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhino are under threat, they do something about it.”
|Temporal range: Early to Middle Pleistocene – Recent|
The jaguar ( /ˈdʒæɡwɑr/ or UK /ˈdʒæɡjuː.ər/; Panthera onca) is a big cat, a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only Panthera species found in the Americas. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar’s present range extends from Southern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Apart from a known and possibly breeding population in Arizona (southeast of Tucson), the cat has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century.
This spotted cat most closely resembles the leopard physically, although it is usually larger and of sturdier build and its behavioural and habitat characteristics are closer to those of the tiger. While dense rainforest is its preferred habitat, the jaguar will range across a variety of forested and open terrains. It is strongly associated with the presence of water and is notable, along with the tiger, as a feline that enjoys swimming. The jaguar is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain (an apex predator). It is a keystone species, playing an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating the populations of the animals it hunts. The jaguar has an exceptionally powerful bite, even relative to the other big cats. This allows it to pierce the shells of armoured reptiles and to employ an unusual killing method: it bites directly through the skull of prey between the ears to deliver a fatal bite to the brain.
The jaguar is a near threatened species and its numbers are declining. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat. While international trade in jaguars or their parts is prohibited, the cat is still frequently killed by humans, particularly in conflicts with ranchers and farmers in South America. Although reduced, its range remains large; given its historical distribution, the jaguar has featured prominently in the mythology of numerous indigenous American cultures, including that of the Maya and Aztec.
As part of our preparations to present the concept of lions as a World Heritage Species to UNESCO, we have a request for you.
Would you be willing to take a camera with you next time you are out in your cities and send us high-quality photographs of the lion statues, images, etc that you see? We are particularly interested in images from China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, In…dia, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand – but also from Holland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, USA, any African country!
Please send the images by e-mail to email@example.com with a brief description of where the photographs were taken.
Thank you all so much!
With the clock ticking on a quarantine order for five surviving Zanesville animals, the Kasich administration is urging Muskingum County officials to take steps to prevent the animals from being returned to Terry W. Thompson’s widow.
State officials say that as of next week, they won’t have authority to keep the animals – a spotted leopard, a black leopard, two Celebes macaques and a brown bear – that have been quarantined at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The Department of Agriculture announced earlier this week that the animals are clear of contagious diseases for which they were quarantined after the Oct. 18 incident at Thompson farm.
Marian Thompson, the widow of Terry W. Thompson, has been trying for months to get the animals back. Terry Thompson killed himself after releasing his animals.
But the Kasich administration isn’t ready to see the animals returned to the scene of the escape last year that forced sheriff’s deputies to kill 48 exotic animals to protect the public.
Affidavits, letters and emails obtained by The Dispatch through public records requests detail the administration’s efforts.
Gov. John Kasich’s chief counsel, D. Michael Grodhaus, in an April 3 email asked Muskingum County Prosecutor Michael Haddox to act “to protect the public and to make certain that the tragic events of October 18th are not repeated.” He said the legal authority to deal with the animals rests with local humane society and health department officials.
The administration also sent Haddox affidavits from several state employees who were at the Thompson farm who described the cages as “inoperable or damaged to the extent that they could not be used for containment purposes.” They also said they saw “unsanitary conditions” and the “overwhelming stench of urine and excrement.”
Haddox said in an interview with The Dispatch that the county is “very limited” in what it can do about Thompson’s animals at this point, absent a new state law which is still in the works.
“In my opinion, we’re on pretty thin ice trying to keep the animals from coming back,” he said. “Unless there’s a situation where there’s animal abuse or neglect or a situation where a public nuisance is present, there’s not a lot we can do.
“If the animals are returned,” Haddox said, “we want to make sure our residents of Muskingum County are protected.”
Robert G. McClelland, Thompson’s attorney, said in an April 18 letter that state officials will be breaking the law if they don’t return the animals to their owner. “Marian Thompson never agreed that the animals should remain at the Columbus Zoo for this many months and in fact attempted to take them prior to the quarantine order.”
Uploaded by DocosHD on Apr 3, 2010
Following the remarkable life of one small leopard from when she is just eight days old every step of the way until she is three years old and on the brink of adulthood.
“The incident is extremely tragic as well as an eye-opener after the electrocution of two tigers in the recent past in Tadoba landscape,” said Praveen Pardeshi, principal secretary (forests). He said a red alert has been sounded around Tadoba, Melghat, Bor, Nagzira and Navegaon. After discussions with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and senior forest officials, preventive steps to trace more traps in the periphery of these PAs have been announced.
Directions have been issued to the staff to keep track of all water holes, particularly on the periphery of protected areas for traps on a daily basis. “Nagzira and Bor also need to be on high alert, with daily scanning of every waterhole and keeping track of tigers outside the parks,” Pardeshi said.
As per the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), the latest poaching may be the handiwork of the gang involved in poaching near Tadoba in 2010. The pictures of those two culprits are already available with the forest department and Nitin Desai, Central India director of WPSI.
Pardeshi has also directed recruitment of 90 forest guards under Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) approved by the government for TATR. These guards will be put under the field director and posted in buffer zone for patrolling.
The money for the secret fund will be released this week and announcement of awards for information leading to arrest or capture of contraband articles will be made on radio, bus stations, railway stations and village chavdies.
Pardeshi also spoke to inspector general of police (IGP), Nagpur, and superintendent of police, Chandrapur. They are on high alert to capture and trace the suspects.
Wildlife experts said that the system of monitoring waterholes twice daily has not been followed and needs to be strictly monitored and documented. Such poaching incidents are possible only during summer in landscapes of tiger reserves. However, the field staff come to know about it after several days.
Therefore, divisional forest officials (DFOs) have been told to alert field staff on wireless immediately. In the next two days, officials have been told to meet staff and enforce various protocols of protection camps, including group patrol, daily monitoring of water holes, reaching out to local villagers for getting information of outsiders, enhanced frisking of strangers as well as villagers found in unusual locations, maintenance of diary by guards etc.
At the same time, officials have been told not to press the panic button. It is being described as an exercise to boost confidence and vigilance level of the field staff, they were told. They have been further asked to ensure that pro forma of monitoring waterholes is regularly submitted by guards.
I need help. Ive been fighting for these tigers for 5 years. Trying to get the signatures to 20 000 by 26th Sept 2012. This is the Tiger Temple petition which I have presented twice already. I was told there were not enough signatures to make a difference, twice…. Frustration is not the word. 26th Sept is the date of birth of my tiger who i helped raise inside the Tiger Temple. He continues to suffer, I cant help him without your help. Please take a moment to sign and share. Sybelle xohttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/The-Wildlife-Trade-Tiger-Temple-Behind-the-Cloak-of-Buddha/
The Wildlife Trade & Animal Abuse – Tiger Temple – Behind the Cloak of Buddha Cee4life – The Petitio
Uploaded by 4srsru on May 4, 2011
In the heart of India, an extraordinary tiger dynasty is under threat. Machli, the great mother, has ruled this kingdom for over ten years.
Now, her daughter eyes her throne and so do outsiders. But this prize, so difficult to steal, will prove even harder to keep.
Fierce battles, dangerous liaisons, and territorial wars lie ahead. Who will be the next ruler of Ranthambore?
*Attached below is the Continued Documentary….
Rescue story of the day! Masai: CA Fish & Game Confiscation—For every animal actor who works successfully with people, 20-30 animals are bred that don’t make it. Masai was one of those, coming from a business in California that uses animals for films until they won’t work anymore—then forgets them—as if they never existed. Now at TWAS, Masai now rules over his very own pride and will never be forgotten!
The ‘most dominant carnivore of Ranthambhore’ is now a shadow of her past
The Queen Mother of the tiger dynasty is now in her sunset days. It may be a painful fact to accept but Machli, the tigress that reigned supreme in the woods of Ranthambhore for over a decade and produced numerous litter, is now a toothless tigress.
Not that Machli, now 17 years old, has lost all her grace. The animal, though without most of her canines, still remains a magnificent creature, with her attractive fur and elegant looks intact. Age has not withered her. Perhaps only when she moves, does the infirmity show.
Machli is a celebrated tigress — she was the subject of “Tiger Queen” a 50- minute film by ace cameraman Nalla Muthu which was shown in National Geography and Animal Planet channels a few years back. Continuing with the tiger dynasty trail, Nalla Muthu followed Machli’s daughter Bhagani (T-18) to the Sariska Tiger Reserve where she was shifted to from the Ranthambhore National Park in July 2008 as part of a project to revive the extinct tiger population there. Nalla Muthu’s encounters with Bhagani have led to the making of the impressive wildlife film, Tiger Dynasty .
Tiger Queen presented Machli as the “most dominant carnivore of Ranthambhore” during her heyday. As Machli had displaced her mother to be the reigning queen of the woods, her daughter, a doughty female with the code name T-17, did the same to Machli too some years back. Now every animal in the forest is seemingly doing the same to a toothless Machli.
Rajasthan Minister for Environment and Forests Bina Kak, who was in the Ranthambhore National Park recently, watched her, talked to her (that is what the Minister told The Hindu !!!) and clicked her pictures. That surely gave her some insights into the lives of tigers in the wild when they are aged.
“All her canines are gone. She has difficulty in chewing. Now she survives on the baits [domestic animals tied to a tree or post] provided on a regular basis by the staff of the Forest Department,” Ms. Kak told The Hindu on her return.
“At times, even the bait kept for her is snatched away by other tigers — like T-24 and T-25. Machli is old. She needs protection now,” Ms. Kak, observed. This may be defying the law of the jungle in which only the fittest survive.
“A dedicated team is looking after her in Ranthambhore. There is a viewpoint in conservation circles that the animal should be allowed to die a natural death. But with Machli, with a tigress they all knew so intimately, they say, they cannot do that,” Ms. Kak said.
Yet, in her difficult days also, Machli’s survival instincts are helping her.
“She is a clever female. Once she kills the calf that is tied as bait, she immediately drags it across a stream and hides it on the other side of the bank. This way the other animals would not follow the scent and snatch the prey from her,” Ms. Kak explained.
“I saw it at least three times. I am sure she is doing it purposely to evade the rest of the predators and scavengers,” Ms. Kak asserted.
- Machli still remains a magnificent creature
- Dedicated team looking after her
ALDF Back in Court Demanding State Take Action on Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, Now Exhibited Without a Permit
April 5th, 2012
After Baton Rouge Court’s Ruling Revoking Invalid Permit, ALDF Files Lawsuit Demanding Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Put an End to Owner’s Illegal Possession of the Big Cat
For immediate release
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Tony the TigerBaton Rouge, La. – This morning, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to do its job of enforcing Louisiana’s big cat ban in the case of Tony, Grosse Tete’s “truck stop tiger.” Michael Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony, an eleven-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, expired in December, yet he has continued to keep Tony confined at the Tiger Truck Stop, in open violation of state law. ALDF’s lawsuit would compel the Department to take steps to enforce the law and report Sandlin’s illegal possession of Tony to local law enforcement for prosecution. In addition, ALDF, along with two Louisiana residents, today filed a petition to intervene in Sandlin’s current lawsuit against the state; the interveners seek to defend the state’s law banning private ownership of big cats. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bono assistance with the lawsuit and the petition to intervene.
Hope Everyone here has a Roaring good Weekend xo
To generate data on the tiger and panther presence in the State, the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department would be initiating a week-long census starting May 1. Apart from enumerating the carnivore, the exercise plans to make an estimate of herbivore abundance at different sanctuaries and national parks.
For the annual exercise, the department officials along with volunteers from different animal welfare groups would scout the wild using techniques such as pugmark track, walking trails and water hole. The trails left by tigers and panthers along with other wildlife would be picked up and documented.
Locations to be covered include Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary of Jannaram forests in Adilabad district, Eturnagaram and Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary of Warangal district, Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary of Khammam district, Papikonda and Chintalapally apart from Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary, Tirupati and Srisailam Tiger Reserve.
According to the officials, the field work was planned to be carried out from May 1 to 7 along with about 40 to 50 volunteers.
“This will be followed by required work to go through the data in the next three days and eliminate possible duplications and arrive at right figures about wildlife in these areas,” said A Sankaran, Deputy Conservator of Forests.
About herbivores, the initiative would be broader and involve estimating low, medium and high abundance of their presence.
“By the end of May, we will have compiled the numbers and details of the national parks and sanctuaries,” he said.
Vijay Pinjarkar & Mazhar Ali, TNN | Apr 29, 2012, 02.05AM IST
Doctors from the Government Veterinary College – NP Dakshinkar, Shirish Upadhye and Gautam Bhojane – are supervising the treatment. Medication has been started to ensure that gangrene doesn’t set in on the tiger’s injured left paw. “The further course will be decided after x-ray and operation if any will be done only on Monday,” said sources involved in the rescue.
Veterinary doctor PD Kadukar, who supervised the rescue and initial medication, claimed that the injury is serious. “There’s swelling on the paw and the tiger has difficulty in standing,” he said, adding that the tiger has been under tremendous strain for almost 18 hours while its leg was caught in jaw trap. “It could have struggled hard to release his paw, which only worsened its injury,” Kadukar added.
Earlier during the day, National Tiger Conservation Authority member-secretary Rajesh Gopal visited the spot. Terming the incident as unfortunate, he instructed forest officials to enhance surveillance and strengthen intelligence gathering to prevent such incidents. He held meetings with APCCF (wildlife) AK Saxena and TATR CCF Vinay Kumar Sinha in Chimur. “Gopal revealed some intelligence information he had regarding poaching and asked for enhancement of vigilance,” said Sinha.
Saxena said that Gopal had called for strengthening of surveillance in jungles, particularly at vulnerable spots. “He claimed similar poaching attempts were happening elsewhere in the country. He stressed on complete scanning of all waterholes in forests of Chandrapur to check presence of similar traps at other places,” said Saxena.
State PCCF (wildlife) SWH Naqvi commended the forest staff for the quick detection. “It was possible only because Phase IV of the census is on. It’s sad that one tiger is dead,” he said. “We will start group patrolling during the monsoon season.”
He said it’s too early to talk about the injured tiger’s release. “Should it be radio-collared and where should it be released will be decided in consultation with NTCA and other experts,” said Naqvi. “Moreover, we will have to see how quickly the tiger will recover from its trauma and injuries.”
Following the success of a tigress being released with a radio collar in November last year, the forest department may repeat the experiment with the current injured tiger. “Radio collaring is a possibility,” said Naqvi.
After the tiger was brought to the Forest Department’s premises in Seminary Hills from Chandrapur, it took nearly three hours and 20 people to lower the cage.
The forest officials didn’t seem ready with any plans. Only after the cage was lowered was a 500 sq ft area enclosure created with a white cloth. A cooler has been kept near the cage.
The tiger is readily lapping up a lot of water but was yet to touch the mutton pieces that it’s being fed when reports last came in.
TIGER TEMPLE ~ ON A MISSION TO ADVERTISE TO THE WORLD ABOUT THIS TEMPLE OF HORROR….”THEY FORGOT ONE THING…….THE TRUTH”.
AS DIFFERENT NEWSPAPERS PUBLISH ARTICLES ABOUT THIS TEMPLE, VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION HAS BEEN LEFT OUT. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY AND EDUCATE YOURSELF AND EVERYONE THAT YOU KNOW ~ THE TRUTH ABOUT THAILAND’S TIGER TEMPLE. DO NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE HORROR THE ABUSE AND WILDLIFE TRADE THAT IS HIDDEN FROM THE WORLD ~BY GOING THERE AS A TOURIST, YOU ARE HELPING THE SUFFERING, THE KILLING OF THESE TIGERS……
Hello,my name is Sybelle Foxcroft and I am a conservationist and the CEO of Cee4life (Conservation and Environmental Education 4 Life www.cee4life.org) Australia.I work a great deal for the big cats, particularly the Tigers, and I work alot for the Tigers of India, the Bengal Tigers. An example of some work I have done in India, please see – http://tiger.ndtv.com/storypage.aspx?id=NEWEN20110175449
I am writing in regard to an article that the Times of India has published regarding the Tiger Temple, Thailand. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/crouching-tigers-hidden-pets/articleshowpics/12863844.cms
I need to inform you that this place is abusive and has conducted wildlife trade. I know this as I was the undercover investigator that exposed this.
There is a massive amount of evidence that I have put out into the public. And I have investigated the temple for 5 years. It is corrupt and abusive.
Youtube – www.youtube.com/cee4lifeaustralia
Cee4life website – www.cee4life.org/ttphoto.php
The petition – http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/The-Wildlife-Trade-Tiger-Temple-Behind-the-Cloak-of-Buddha/
Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/BehindtheCloakBuddha
Additionally, I have written and published the book on this called ‘Behind the Cloak of Buddha’ – http://www.amazon.com/Behind-Cloak-Buddha-animal-endurance/dp/1442102020
The Tiger Temple in Thailand, is a place of severe abuse to Tigers, and it was founded on the procuring of the Bengal Tigers through the illegal wildlife trade.
I have the proof of that.
Please do not promote these unethical places. I am very willing to provide you with all evidence and am willing to provide an interview to you.
Additionally, you may like to know that there are other witnesses to all of this, including some people from India who worked there and also witnessed the abuses.
We are very willing to talk with you.
I urge you to withdraw the false claims of the Tiger Temple from the Times of India, and to show the truth.
It is because of things like this in the media, that people get the wrong knowledge.
We have a responsibility to provide the public with the truth.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, my phone number is +61403527454 my skype is syb.fox
I await to here from you as soon as possible.
A tiger has died after being caught in an iron jaw trap in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, India. The tiger was found by a team of foresters on Thursday night who also found many other iron jaw traps in the area which poachers must have laid down on Wednesday night. The foresters were in the area putting down camera traps to try and get images of the beautiful big cats, when they found the dead body of the tiger. Another tiger was also found alive by foresters after being trapped in a nearby snare. The foresters have not approached this tiger yet for fear of attack. Tranquilizing experts have been called to the area and TigerTime are hopeful that they will safely remove the tiger from the trap.
When approaching the tiger, forest guard MB Zade was caught in another jaw trap but luckily escaped serious injury due to wearing the correct footwear. Forest guards managed to release his leg from the trap without much harm being caused.
The traps would have been laid by professional poachers and so forest officials have now issued a look out for traditional medicine sellers in the area, as poachers usually travel under this disguise.
It is an awful moment when news of a tiger being trapped reaches TigerTime, let alone two. This death of a beautiful tiger could have been stopped.
We need to put an end to the tiger trade which is being fuelled by the ever growing use of ‘traditional medicine’. Help us stop the unnecessary slaughter of this wonderful endangered big cat. Please sign www.bantigertrade.com or help fund our on the ground projects by donating here.
Written by: Chantelle M Henderson
Source: The Times of India
19th Judicial District Courthouse, 300 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop are suing the state, arguing that Louisiana’s ban on private ownership of big cats like Tony is unconstitutional—flying in the face of the current national sentiment that dangerous exotic animals should be more strictly regulated. Ohio is currently considering a bill that would ban new ownership of captive wild animals, following the massacre of 48 animals including lions, tigers, and bears, who were released by their Zanesville owner last October. Additionally, in February, a bipartisan bill—the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act”—was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit the breeding and private possession of captive big cats. ALDF’s petition in intervention supports Louisiana’s power to safeguard public safety and animal welfare through such legislative measures.Mr. Sandlins new Attorney is: Jennifer Treadway Morris.
QUOTED BY MICHAEL SANDLIN….ON JANUARY 25, 2012
“However, the appeal will go on and Wildlife & Fisheries has promised to take no actions against me. This includes any criminal charges or seizing Tony. The NEW DESCRIMINATON LAWSUIT is underway. Judge Janice Clark has requested a $100,000.00 bond in connection with our request for a restraining order against the State. I am busy trying to find an insurance company to write it. Jennifer Treadway Morris (attorney) is trying to get the judge to lower the bond amount because it is unreasonable.
AS OF MARCH 24, 2012 MR SANDLIN STATED THIS…UPDATE ON COURT CASE. Tiger Truck Stop, Inc. Michael Sandlin VS State of Louisiana Attorney General, LDWF, and Iberville Parish. Judge lowered bond from $100,000.00 to $10,000.00 Cost me $200.00 instead of $2,000.00 The restraining order against the State and Parish is in place. Lawsuit has been served and we will file for a Sumary Judgement asking the court to declare the New Exotic Animal Ban Unconstitutional
*LETS ALL KEEP OUR HOPE ALIVE FOR A WIN FOR TONY * WE WILL KEEP YOU POSTED ON ANY COURT NEWS AND UPDATES AS WE GET THEM.
Photo courtesy of Cloversweed
PUBLISHED: 05:11 GMT, 26 April 2012 | UPDATED: 05:34 GMT, 26 April 2012
Wildlife officials in California are asking the public to be on the lookout for the cruel poacher who sawed a dead cougar’s paws off.
Authorities said the suspect removed the feet as apparent souvenirs of the mountain lion after it was struck and killed by a car.
The responding officer instead found the cougar dead on the road, pulled it to the side and contacted a game warden to dispose of the carcass.
The patrol believes the animal was chasing a fawn, which was found safe nearby, when it was struck by a vehicle.
He said the poacher, who likely knew where to find the cougar by listening to the police radio transmission, is likely planning to make jewellery out of the claws.
It is illegal in California possess mountain lion parts.
The incident may be related to two animal mutilations last fall, according to MSNBC.com.
Tim Dunbar, executive director of the California-based Mountain Lion Foundation, told the website that two male mountain lions were found mutilated.
Mr Dunbar said that one of the animals had been shot, and the other was hit by a car, and both had paws and genitals removed from the carcasses.
In this case, authorities are hoping a $2,000 reward will be enough to entice someone who knows the poacher to turn them in.
California Fish and Wildlife Department spokesman Andrew Hughan told MSNBC.com: ‘Money talks and hopefully the reward will go up and somebody will rat them out.’
Report on the Tiger found in Corbett posted earlier.. all parts were found to be intact..but surprisingly, a broken scapula & dislocated 4th & 5th lumbar vertebrae were found.. cause of death as yet unknown, awaiting test results..
full-grown tiger was trapped on Wednesday after being on the prowl in the neighbourhood of Lucknow for exactly 108 days. The tiger was believed to have strayed from the forest in and around Lakhimpur-Kheri district, about 200 km from Lucknow, in early January and had found his haven in a thick forest patch around the Union government run Central Institute of Sub-Tropical Horticulture in Rehmankhera, barely 20 km off the state capital. According to UP forest and wildlife conservator Mahendra Singh, who was specially detailed to lead the operation, “The wild cat was first sighted in the forests of Hardoi on January 1 and barely four days later, it was spotted in the sprawling 250-acre forest patch in Rehmankhera, where we succeeded in capturing the animal today.” The tiger, however, casue no injury to any human being. The captured Tiger is carried to the Dudhwa national park, where it would be set free on Thursday.
Lucknow, Wed, 25 Apr 2012 ANI
Lucknow, Apr 25 (ANI): Forest officials on Wednesday captured a tiger which strayed into the Central Institute of Subtropical Horticulture (CISH) premises located 25 km away from Lucknow.
Secretary, forest department, Ajay Verma told mediapersons here that they were able to capture the tiger without causing any harm to any person, cattle or property.
“The tiger which was straying in the area has not caused harm to any person, cattle or damaged property. This is our biggest achievement. The forest department had trapped it inside a 27square kilometer area by placing a bait. The animal has not been harmed as we run a project for the conservation of tigers. The tiger has been tranquilized without causing any harm to it,” said Verma.
The five-year-old feline, which had strayed into the institute in January, measured eight feet in length and had managed to deceive the officials of the forest department for the past four months.
“The tiger was first noticed on January 8 in this area. It is presumed that this tiger had entered our Horticulture institute on January 6, 2012 and since then he has been roaming in this area,” said Dr. Rakesh Singh, a veterinary doctor.
The tiger has been sent to the Dudhwa reserve situated on the Indo-Nepal border in the Lakhimpur-Kheri district in Uttar Pradesh. (ANI)
Last update 14/04/2012 01:01:00 PM (GMT+7)
VietNamNet Bridge – Mr. Nguyen Mau Oai, 85, in Tho Xuan district, Thanh Hoa province, has illegally raised a dozen of tigers since 2006 but the local authorities have not taken any action.
A neighbor says that Oai breeds 14 tigers. “Sometimes they fought with each other at night. They bawled and kept us awake,” the neighbor adds.
Mr. Oai’s village is famous for processing glue from cow, buffalo, dog and pig bones. But local residents say that Oai raises tigers to process tiger bone glue.
Oai’s tiger camp has attracted many visitors. Sometimes, several tigers were reported dead because of diseases, which raised doubts among local people. The number of tigers in Mr. Oai’s camp changes very often, from 10 in 2007 to 7 in 2008, 10 again in 2009, 7 again in 2010 and 14 in 2011.
The question is why the local authorities have neglected this tiger camp and nobody has inspected the origin of the tigers.
Mr. Oai says that in 2006, his son, Nguyen Mau Chien, who works in Hanoi, purchased these tigers, which were baby tigers at that time, from an ethnic minority man. At present, the tigers weigh from 250 to 300kg.
Asking him about the license to breed tigers, he says that in early 2012, his son orally asked for permission from Thanh Hoa’s Chairman. He adds that he has transferred the tigers to his son-in-law, Mr. Nguyen Van Tu, a local official.
In 2008, the former Chair of Thanh Hoa province, Mr. Mai Van Ninh, signed decisions to impose VND30 million ($1,500) on Tu and VND30 million on Chien for illegally raising ten tigers. However, these men have kept raising tigers, with changing numbers.
Mr. Le The Long, chief of the Thanh Hoa Forest Protection Department, says that Mr. Chien and Mr. Tu are not licensed to breed tigers. The Vietnamese law also does not permit households and individuals to trade or breed rare wild animals, including tigers.
Mr. Le Quoc Viet, another official from the Thanh Hoa Forest Protection Department says that the National Forest Protection Agency must take action against families that breed tigers in Tho Xuan district, Thanh Hoa province and release tigers back to the forest.
Viet also asks the environmental police agency to investigate the number of tigers owned by Tu and Chien.
Our pic of the day shows two tigress cubs playing at a waterhole in Bandhavgarh Natl Park, India. Only 100 yrs ago, more than 100,000 wild tigers flourished in Asia. Today, less than 3,200 tigers remain. But Panthera knows what it takes to save this species. Our Tigers Forever program aims to increase tiger numbers by 50% in key sites over a 10 yr period. Learn more about Tigers Forever @ http://bit.ly/9rTr4V
Canadian Lynx ~ Top
Canadian Bobcat ~bottom
The bobcat and lynx. The former is a medium-sized cat with long, tufted ears and a short, bobbed tail, while the latter is, well, a medium-sized cat with long, tufted ears and a short, bobbed tail. Yet they got slapped with different names and assigned to different species. So what gives?
Believe it or not, there’s a method to the madness. While bobcats and lynxes are separate species, they do belong to the same genus, which, coincidentally, happens to be the Lynx genus. There are four different species belonging to this group — three of which share the family name: the Eurasian lynx, the Spanish (or Iberian) lynx and the Canadian lynx. The fourth member, the most common cat native to North America, is the previously mentioned bobcat.
The Lynx genus, with its four species, has the largest range out of all the cats. The Eurasian lynx (the most numerous and widespread of the four species) can be found throughout Western Europe and Northern Asia, while the Spanish lynx (the rarest of the four) is found only in Spain and Portugal. The Canadian lynx lives primarily in Canada and a handful of northern U.S. states including Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming and Washington.
While the three species bearing the family name have the bobcat outnumbered in terms of global spread, the bobcat dominates the continent of North America. That’s because the lynx prefers forested areas since that’s where its main source of food, the snowshoe hare, lives. The bobcat tolerates a more varied habitat — from marshes and swampy areas in the southern part of the continent, to desert and scrub in the western regions to mountainous, forested areas in the north. The only area where the Canadian lynx and bobcat coexist is along the U.S.-Canada border.
Geography isn’t the only difference between bobcats and lynxes. Learn how to tell them apart by taking a quick glance at their ears, coat, feet and tails.
Since even the three species of lynx vary somewhat in regards to size and appearance, it can be difficult to make any wide generalizations about differences among them and bobcats. For instance, a subspecies of Eurasian lynx (called the Siberian lynx) can weigh up to 84 pounds (38 kilograms) — much more than the average lynx weight of 18 to 60 pounds (8 to 27 kilograms)]. Nevertheless, differences do exist.
To begin with, the bobcat looks a bit more like an overgrown house cat than a lynx does. With extra-long tufts of furon its ears and a shaggy mane of fur around its cheeks, the lynx takes on an otherworldly appearance. The long black ear tufts, which can grow to be almost an inch (2.5 centimeters) long, act as excellent hearing aids, enabling the agile cat to pick up on the soft footsteps of its prey
A lynx also has larger feet and longer legs than a bobcat to help it navigate the deep snow common in its range. Its big, furry paws act like snowshoes to help this feline chase down food in the winter. Much of the time, that food consists of snowshoe hares. Anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of the diet of the Canadian lynx is made up of hares
The bobcat has a more varied diet than its rabbit- and hare-loving cousins, supplementing with small prey like birds and mice. The stealthy cat can also bring down larger animals, like deer, with a pounce spanning about 10 feet (3 meters)
It’s a good thing bobcats don’t have the same attraction to snowshoe hares, since their smaller paws wouldn’t fare as well in the snow. Their coats, too, are shorter with more spots than those of lynxes and range from light gray to the more common brown. Lynxes, with the exception of the spotted Spanish lynx, lack much of a pattern on their long, thick, mostly gray fur.
Of course, an article on bobcats wouldn’t be complete without mentioning their short, rounded tails that appear to be cut, or “bobbed.” While both cats have the characteristic haircut-gone-awry type of tail, the bobcat’s is banded with black stripes. It’s also black at the top of the tip and white at the bottom, while the lynx’s tail lacks banding and is completely black at the tip.
A final way to spot the difference between bobcats and lynxes deals with behavior. Although both species (barring the larger Spanish lynx) are roughly the same size, bobcats seem to have more of an attitude. They’ve even earned themselves the nickname “spitfires of the Animal Kingdom” because of their fierce hunting style and bold behavior.
You must be dismayed at whats become of your life
The threats, the struggle, evading the fights
Land closes in on what was once rightly your home
Habitat loss has left you with streets to roam
Youre an icon, beloved, magnificent and revered
A life force so powerful, humans aspire to achieve
And to possess these attributes that you only hold
Humans created medicinal myths to take your soul
And the tears fall down across the earth
For the death of each Tiger which humans made cursed
A cure, a status symbol for money and greed
Your rights taken away for the consumption of vile human needs
But you are the balance in biodiversity
An Apex predator, such a vital need
For if you were gone, if you go extinct
The forests would crumble and the surrounding life would shrink
All the money on earth cannot replicate nature
Although some humans think they are powerful creators
They genetically inbreed you to create “pretty” colours
An appalling trend for tourism and uneducated others
For every stick that beat you, every gun that shot you
Every arrow that pierced you and every knife that cut you
You are still alive against all odds
A survival specialist, I thank God
One day I tracked you through a forest so remote
To check on your cubs, your health, your home
In this one place no human was near
You laid beside the stream, no menace, no fear
As I watched this freedom so few of your kind feel
I knew without doubt just what you need
No camera’s, no noise, no human’s, no cage
Just the right to be free and live to your natural age
The mountain peaks are inaccessable and secluded
Your eyes scanned the cliffs, youre going there I concluded
You are not safe and as much as I want you to stay
Go my friend Tiger, run far far away
MAHUVA: Have poachers become active near Gir National Park again? Missing claws of a lion that died a year ago and a cub that has been missing for nearly 50 days indicate that all is not well in the lion’s abode.
A 10-month-old lion cub in this range has been missing since March 5 and the forest department has no clue about its disappearance. K S Randhawa, deputy conservator of forests, Bhavnagar, denied that a cub has been missing but senior forest officials confirmed to TOI that the cub has indeed been traceless.
Earlier, in April 2011, a lion was electrocuted at Valar village in Mahuva range. When the carcass was found, the claws were missing. Four persons were arrested in the connection but even after a year forest officials have not found the claws.
The two recent cases not only bring back those memories but also highlight the lack of co-ordination between the departments concerned and the ground staff in the region. The lion’s carcass was found 10 days after it died. After killing the lion, the accused had put the carcass on a bullock cart and dumped it on the gauchar land. Marks of the bullock cart wheels in the area had led the forest officials to conclude that the lion may have been killed somewhere else and the body was later dumped in the revenue area.
Randhawa, however, denied involvement of any gang of poachers in lion’s killing. “We suspect involvement of local people in the case of missing claws,” he said.
According to the last census, there were 411 lions in the sanctuary and of this, 33 were in Bhavnagar district, mostly in Mahuva range.
The project E-eye (electronic eye) is a software-based system where 10 high resolution thermal and infrared cameras mounted on a tower are spread across the 350 sq km area of the park that falls in a highly sensitive zone bordering Uttar Pradesh. The cameras capture image of objects weighing more than 20 kg and generate alerts if they are crossing the boundary. The alerts are sent to the control room in the park and the NTCA office in Delhi.
All the cameras have been placed in positions from where they cover the entire 350 sq km of the area and can be controlled by NTCA officials sitting in Delhi.
According to the NTCA, due to shortage of field staff it was getting difficult to cover the entire 800 sq km of the Corbett area and installation of cameras has brought down the incidence of infiltration in the area drastically.
The cost of the project is around Rs.3.5 crore.
“It is for the first time in the world that a surveillance system of this type is being used in any national park. The project was launched some five-six months back to check poaching of tigers in the park,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Forests and joint director of NTCA, S.P. Yadav said.
The cameras monitor the area 24X7 and send images even during the night.
“It has helped in checking infiltration, poaching and illegal mining in the area. As soon as the control room receives alerts and images of people or vehicles inside the area, an alert team is sent to the location,” he said.
Initially, the cameras have been placed on the Uttar Pradesh border as that was the sensitive area where several incidents of infiltration and poaching were reported in the past.
The NTCA will monitor the system for a year before replicating the project in other sensitive areas of India‘s 41 tiger reserves which houses a total of 1,706 tigers.
Yadav says that there have been incidents where people have been arrested for mining illegally in the area and it has instilled fear among the locals and they have stopped venturing into the protected zone.
The NTCA was helped in this project by a Pune-based company, Binomial Solutions Private Limited, set up by a group of young engineers and management graduates.
“It was my love for wild animals that made us come up with a system that can help in monitoring the park even in the night and sitting several kilometres away. It is a fool-proof anti-poaching system that gathers information, does processing, filtering and then sends alerts,” Ravikant Singh, CEO of the company, told IANS.
The cameras can capture the thermal and normal image of the body mass irrespective of forest density and inclement weather conditions.
“Besides, we have got the tender for installing a similar system in another tiger reserve and are also doing a case study in Assam’s Kaziranga National park,” said the 33-year-old techie.
On Thursday April 19, 2012, Subira, the lone female lion at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, started her journey to The Wild Animal Sancutary in Colorado. Subira traveled comfortably and had no problems with the trip. She was unloaded yesterday at approximately 6:30 Mountain Time. While Subira was trying to decide if she wanted to get out of the transport cage into the large enclosure inside the Bolivian Lion House, all of the other lions outside (and one male inside on the other end of the 15,000 sq. ft. building) began to roar. According to sanctuary staff, “It was great to see her reaction, as she perked up and listened intently.”
When the lions stopped roaring, she got up, walked into the enclosure and began to check it out. Once she was done, she came over to the fence and would lightly moan and talk back to staff whenever they spoke to her. The next time the lions roared outside, she stood up and listened intently again.
Staff eventually left her for a while, as they had to drive to another part of our facility, but they came back about an hour later. Subira had eaten the meat she had been given and was drinking as staff entered. She laid down next to the fence and seemed content and stayed alert listening for more lion talk.
Sanctuary staff plan on spending a lot of time at the lion complex to make sure Subira feels supported. If she continues to be comfortable, she will be allowed visual contact with several other lions – except for the ones adjacent to her enclosure – so she can see them as well as hear them better.
It will be some time before Subira is allowed to meet the lions in the enclosure next to hers. She must get accustomed to the proximity of other lions first, as well as claim her new territory before her rehabilitation can move on to the next step.
Zoocheck is happy to have facilitated Subira’s relocation.
More news on Subira later.
Panthera has launched our Remove a Snare. Save a Life. campaign to raise $50,000 to protect the world’s wild cats f/ deadly snares. Watch & share this campaign vid to help us reach our fundraising goal & raise awareness about the impact of snares on big cats. http://bit.ly/Il4AAW All donations directly support anti-poaching patrols removing & preventing the setting of snares. Learn more & donate http://bit.ly/JltgqE
Corbett confined in small boma
After receiving so many angry, caring and passionate emails, messages on our blog, twitter and facebook, I now feel positive about the future of the Tiger Corbett.
I made people “physically ill”. I’ve been compared to Mugabe and to the Hitler. I’ve been offered a choice between death and castration. Can I come back to you on that one!
Many of you thought he needs a mate and sex, others thought castration will get rid of his aggression.
Others told me that I must not “dilute the gene-pool”. Jules Brenner sent me an article (American Scientist) about the aggressive gene. This was valuable input and I thank you.
Cam Steele believes this world is for “every animal, not just for humans”. Gary Thomas told me that I “lived to tell the tale, let Corbett live to share the tale”.
The main thing is that hundreds of people participated in the debate and hopefully a good decision was made.
It is amazing that with technology, we can talk to each other across the world. All of us concerned for this planet have communication tools to change, to save, to adapt.
The human population is now 7 billion people and we are pushing many species, including the tiger to the brink of extinction.
I’m doing well in hospital and walked 800 steps without help today. Hopefully I will be back at Tigers next week and can continue with rehab at home.
During all this time, I have of course gone through my own evolution and this is what I have decided to do:
potential new area
I will create a 300 Ha area for Corbett. On the ground, the fence will be heightened and strengthened. Where there may be danger, double gates will be installed.
Animal communicators will be invited to communicate with Corbett in his boma and then when he is set free to see how he feels.
If you would like to contribute to Corbett’s boma, you can do this through the Savannah’s Fund (see below).
In addition, I will shortly hold an auction in Johannesburg to raise some of the R3 million that I need (details will follow).
One of the things we will auction, is a life size bronze statue of Corbett. As I write this well known artists John Bassi is working out the logistics of how to create this magnificent bronze which will weigh 300 kilograms.
At the auction 15 of the best photos by Daryl and Sharna Balfour, Lorna Drew and Yvette van Bommel will be auctioned off.
Safaris from well known lodges will be auctioned, two big cat safaris will go under the hammer.
For any collectors, replicate jackets of the one JV wore which gave him protection against Corbett’s teeth, will be auctioned.
My new book “Hand Brake Safari – A Journey with Tigers” will be launched. Written with humour, it tells of the last 12 years of tiger conservation. The blood, the sweat, the tears, the joy, the sadness and of cause the attack.
At the auction there will also be a thank you ceremony for Julie Brown, Julie Ann Reid and Phumlani Nchunu whose incredible bravery saved my life.
If anyone has anything of value, a painting, an art piece, a herd of blesbuck, a sable bull antelope, anything that has value that can be auctioned, please contact Sunette (email@example.com)
We will let you know the final details of the auction, however, the first of June at 6pm in Johannesburg has been targeted.
When the new boma is completed and fully stocked with prey, Corbett will be darted, weighed, measured and then he will be transported to his new area. One or two mature tigresses will join him. The area will be stocked with kudu, warthog, mountain reedbuck, blue wildebeest, impala, blesbuck and springbuck.
In the meantime, I need to get back to full fitness. Thank you again for thousands of messages from across the world. In my darkest hour, I could feel the positive energy.
Thank you to the staff, the sisters and the doctors that treated me at MediClinic in Bloemfontein. I am extremely grateful.
Corbett after operation
The threat by lethal injection of Corbett is gone and the freedom route will be followed. You have the satisfaction of having influenced my decision and I thank you for it.
Tread lightly on the earth
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Locals acted on ‘self-help basis’ amid wildlife apathy.
MIRPUR (AJK): A scared cat climbs up a tree, is spotted by an innocent child and consequently rescued by local heroes – an anecdote of human compassion often narrated in children’s books.
Kashmir is home to two of the world’s big cats, the common leopard (Panthera pardus) and the snow leopard (Uncia uncia), a cat so secretive few have been privileged enough to get a glimpse of it in the wild.
A businessman of the area, Waseem Khursheed, is a witness to the killing. “A snow leopard climbed up a tree and remained there for eight hours in the town of Banjosa, some 18 kilometres from Rawalkot.”
Locals informed Deputy Commissioner Sohail Azam about the animal which had left its habitat and ventured near the settled areas. The deputy commissioner asked the villagers to scare the leopard through firecrackers, but finding the steps inadequate, they decided to kill it instead.
Khursheed said the villagers acted upon a “self-help basis” to avert any threat to human life. After the DC was informed of the leopard’s presence, a few police constables visited the site, but left shortly without taking any initiative. “Sensing the snow leopard’s hunger, the scared villagers shot down the animal with a 7mm rifle.”
Khursheed added that the villagers skinned the animal and distributed its meat among the locals as it is considered to be very useful for patients of orthopedic diseases. He added that a snow leopard was also killed last year in the same area, and though the police arrested the accused, he was later released on bail.
According to the AJK Wildlife Act, the killing of a snow leopard can result in imprisonment of up to 6 months and/or fine. However, no charges are a framed if the animal is killed in self-defence.
Narrating his version, DC Sohail Azam said that on being informed of the animal’s presence, he immediately contacted AJK Wildlife Department’s Director General Javed Ayub to dispatch a team to capture the animal without injury.
“The Wildlife Department’s DG was attending a function when he received my call. He suggested the use of firecrackers to scare the leopard away.” Azam added that he dispatched some policemen with the directives to adopt the same preventive measures.
Azam strongly advocates the need for a district-level office of the Wildlife Department to ensure the safety and protection of endangered animals in the populous hills and forests around Rawalkot.
He confirmed the death of another leopard last February, who was also shot dead by locals.
Newly-inducted Wildlife Department DG Chaudhry Muhammad Razaq, who has recently replaced Javed Ayub, blames lack of manpower and proper equipment for the inefficacy. “My predecessor’s advice of using firecrackers to scare the animal away was the right solution.”
Encounters between humans and the big cats are becoming increasingly frequent. The animals wander off in search of food and venture towards the settled areas where they are killed by the locals out of fear and lack of awareness.
Correction: An earlier version of the article was incorrectly running a picture of a leopard, rather than a snow leopard.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.
Canadian Cats – International Society For Endangered Cats
Canada has three wild cat species: Bobcat Lynx rufus, Canada Lynx Lynx canadensis and Cougar or Mountain Lion Puma concolor. None of these cats are listed as endangered or threatened at a species level in Canada, and their status varies in each province.The Eastern Cougar subspecies Puma concolor couguar was designated Endangered in April 1978, but the species was reconsidered in April 1998 and placed in the Data Deficient category.
Bobcat Lynx rufus
- HB Length: 65-105 cm (25.5-41″)
- Tail Length: 9-11 cm (3.5-4.3″)
- Height: Appr. 21 cm (53″)
- Weight: 6-13 kg (13-29″)
Range: Central & North America
Habitat: All habitats
The Bobcat is the most successful wild cat species in North America, and more easily recognized than many other small wild cats. Their soft, dense coat is light grey to reddish brown, and they are randomly barred and spotted with black or dark reddish brown. The fur along the middle of the back is usually darker, while the underparts are whitish, and also spotted.
In 2007, a rare melanistic Bobcat was captured in Florida. Less than a dozen black Bobcats have ever been reported, so officials took DNA samples and blood tests, then released the cat back into the wild.
The short ‘bobbed’ tail, approximately 7.5 – 15 cm long, is marked with several indistinct dark bands, and black tipped only on the topside. The bob tail is possibly a past adaptation to cold conditions. Bobcats are short stocky cats with muscular legs, their hind legs being slightly longer than their forelegs. Their relatively high shoulder height and thick fur make them appear much larger than they really are. The large ears are black on the outside, with a white central spot, and their eyes are a yellowish brown. Their ear tufts, if present, are much smaller than those of the Canada lynx Lynx canadensis, as is the ruff framing their face. The largest Bobcats are found in Canada and the western USA, while the smallest are found in Mexico.
Bobcats are found from southern Canada, down through the USA to northern Mexico. As habitat generalists, they live in a wide variety of areas, including all types of forest, coastal swamp, desert and scrubland. Only large, intensively cultivated areas without adequate surface cover appear to be unsuitable habitat. Their range in Canada has been expanding northward with forest clearance and warmer winters.
Unlike the Canada lynx, they are not found in the northern latitudes where deep snow restricts their movements. They generally favour low and mid elevations, but have been found at 3,500 metres in Mexico.
Males have an established range which includes the smaller ranges of several females, and often overlaps partially with other males’ territories. Female ranges are more exclusive. Young males disperse and travel long distances in search of an unoccupied territory, while females often settle near or partially within the range of their mother.
Bobcat home range sizes vary widely, from 6 km² in southern California to 325 km² in New York. Although there are no exact figures, population density estimates range from 48 cats per 100 km² in Texas to 11 per 100 km² in Virginia.
A recent population analysis (1) found that Bobcat numbers have increased throughout the majority of its range since the 1990’s. Forty-eight US states, seven Canadian provinces and Mexico were surveyed, with all locations except Florida reporting increased populations. The Bobcat is found in each of the contiguous states except Delaware. Its US population was estimated to be from 2,353,276 – 3,571,681 individuals. The population in Mexico is not well known, and it appears to be very rare in some central areas.
These tough little cats survive mainly because they are secretive, cantankerous, will eat almost any type of prey and can live in almost any kind of habitat. Like their close relatives the Canada Lynx, they prey primarily on rabbits, but are less of a specialist.
They are reasonably tolerant of human disturbance, adapting well to altered habitat. They hunt by day or night, and as opportunistic feeders, prey on whatever is most abundant. Although they are heavily persecuted as livestock killers, the majority of their prey species are destructive agricultural pests. Despite their small size, Bobcats can also be effective predators of deer, taking animals weighting up to tentimes their own body weight which are generally killed when resting. They are mainly ground dwellers, but can climb trees with ease and are excellent swimmers.
Bobcats are solitary animals, and the males and females associate only during the breeding season, which runs from December to April, with the earliest breeding occurring at the lower latitudes. Only resident cats with established territories raise litters. While males may breed with several females, the females typically mate with only one male
Gestation is 50 – 70 days, with one to six, usually two to four, kittens being born in a den, hollow log, under a rock ledge or in dense thickets. The kittens are born with faint marks on their back and sides, and dark streaks on their faces that fade as they grow. They open their eyes after about nine days. They nurse for about three to four months, and at five months of age the mother takes them out hunting. They stay with her until the next breeding season. Bobcats are sexually mature at about one year for the females, and two years for the males.. They have been known to live over 33 years in captivity, and 12 – 13 years in the wild.
Bobcats are legally harvested for the fur trade in 38 US states, and in seven Canadian provinces. In Mexico, the Bobcat is legally hunted in small numbers as a trophy animal. There appears to be little illegal international trade, although within the US, molecular forensics techniques have determined that skins reported as originating from an area with a high bag limit were probably illegally taken from an area with a lower limit.
The Bobcat is now the leading wild cat species in the skin trade, with most exports coming from the US. In 2000-2006 the average annual export of skins was 29,772, with an all-time high of 51,419 skins exported in 2006.Demand for Bobcat pelts is being driven by Asian countries with growing economies, such as China. Although this harvest seems likely to continue, it is regulated. The far more serious threat to these cats is the continuing habitat fragmentation, loss of habitat, and persecution by farmers and ranchers.
On a regional level, the Bobcat is totally protected in ten USA states; in Canada hunting and trade is regulated; and in Mexico hunting is regulated in five states and shooting of suspected livestock predators is permitted. The degree to which these little cats have been studied and managed in North America makes them probably the most thoroughly examined species in international trade today. They are classed as Least Concern (2008).
Photo copyright Dr. Alex Sliwa
Range map IUCN Red Data List (2008)
(1) Citation: Roberts NM, Crimmins SM. 2010. An update of bobcat Lynx rufus population status and management in North America: Evidence of large-scale population increase. Journal of Fish & Wildlife Manaagement June 10, 2010
Canada Lynx Lynx canadensis
- HB Length: 76-106 cm (30-42″)
- Tail Length: 5-12 cm (2-5″)
- Height: 60-65 cm (24-26″)
- Weight: 5-17 kg (13-29 lbs)
Range: North America
Canada Lynx are the most common and widespread feline in Canada. They are easily recognizable cats with their black ear tufts, flared facial ruff, and very short tail. They can only be confused with the closely related Bobcat Lynx rufus in the southern part of their range. A closer look, however, reveals a number of differences. The Lynx has longer legs and broader footpads for walking in deep snow. Their ear tufts are longer, and the facial ruff is more developed. Their tail has a black tip, while the Bobcat’s is more striped and white underneath. These two cat species seem to have divided the continent up between them, with the Bobcat being limited by snow depth to southern Canada through to Central Mexico, and the Canada Lynx in the northern forests.
The usual background colour of the fur is a silvery grey or grey brown, but can vary to yellowish‑grey and rusty or reddish‑brown. The fur is usually white tipped, giving the animal a frosted appearance. Their thick, soft pelt can be variably marked with more or less distinct dark spots, and sometimes small stripes. A rare pallid colour phase suggesting partial albinism is known as the ‘Blue Lynx’. There is a distinct ruff of long hairs framing the face; the ears are large and pointed with irises of a yellow brown to a light yellowish‑green. The legs are long, with the rear limbs longer than the front ones, giving the body a tilted forward or slightly stooped appearance. The footpads are broad and well furred, and the tail is very short and black tipped.
The ears have long, erect tufts of dark hairs, and black backsides towards the tip. These tufts are just as sensitive as their whiskers, and the slightest breath of wind can be detected by the cat.
Canada Lynx live mainly in boreal forests or in mixed deciduous/boreal woodlands, but can live in farmlands if they are interspersed with wooded areas. They favour forests with dense undercover vegetation such as thickets and deadfalls, with marshy areas and rocky outcrops.
Their total range in North America is 7.7 million km2, and their historic range is largely intact, although it has shrunk in the south due to human settlement and forest clearance.
Their range follows that of their main prey species, the snowshoe hare. The Canada Lynx is the only known felid to undergo prey-driven cyclic population declines. Densities peak at 17-45/100 km2, falling to 2-3/100 km2 during the low cycle.
Lynx have been recorded travelling long distances, up to 1,200 km, seeking out patches of hare abundance. A study in the Yukon found home ranges increased from 13.2 km2 to 39 km2 when the hare population was low. Several cats abandoned their home ranges during this period, and many dispersed 250 km or more.
Over two hundred years of records from the Hudson’s Bay fur company show that the Lynx population fluctuates in an eight to 11 year cycle, in response to fluctuations in the numbers of the snowshoe hare. Hares breed profusely through several summers when food is plentiful, and may reach 1,800/km2 at the peak of the cycle. Overpopulation means they eventually wipe out their food supply and their numbers plummet. Lynx populations follow the hare cycle with a lag of one or two years.
Lynx favour mid-sized prey in order to compensate for the immense amount of energy expended to catch it. Other prey species may be taken opportunistically, or when hare numbers are low. It takes 50 voles to equal the food energy from one snowshoe hare, however, and the voles live beneath the snow cover in the winter. Hares are active year round.
Lynx are mainly terrestrial and nocturnal, although they may also hunt during the day if prey is scarce. Lynx are thought to hunt mainly by sight and hearing, relying on smell to a lesser extent. They usually stalk their prey to within a few bounds before pouncing, but they are also known to wait in ambush for hours.
Although classed as solitary animals, researchers often see groups of paired females. Female kittens establish home ranges close to that of their mothers, and travel and hunt co‑operatively.
Mating occurs in late winter to early spring in most areas (March ‑ April in Alaska, April ‑ May in Alberta). The female mates with only one male, and the receptive period can last from one to ten days. Mating usually takes place at night, and the males are especially vocal at this time. Dens can be made in hollow logs, at the base of trees, in rocky areas or in dense vegetation. One to six kittens are born after a gestation period of 63 ‑70 days. In years of low prey availability, females may not conceive at all, or may spontaneously abort in response to the body’s poor nutritional condition. Lynx kittens average 197 ‑211 grams at birth. Their eyes open between ten and 17 days, and they begin to walk at 24 ‑30 days. The kittens nurse for three to five months, but begin to eat some solid food at one month of age. The young remain with the adult female until the following winter mating season. Young lynx may remain together for some weeks or months after separating from the female, travelling and hunting co‑operatively. Sexual maturity is reached around 23 months, although in periods of prey abundance, sexual maturity at ten months has been recorded. Captive Canada Lynx have lived up to 21 years, and life expectancy for wild animals has been recorded at 15 years.
Throughout Alaska and most of Canada, the Lynx is managed for the fur trade. During the cyclic low in the 1980’s most areas reduced harvests. From 1980-1984 an average of 35,669 pelts were exported from Canada and Alaska. That number fell to 7,360between 1986-1989. The population is considered stable in the northern portion of their range.
Canada Lynx are rare and protected where they occur in south-eastern Canada. They are classed as regionally endangered in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, where researchers have reported fertile hybrids between Canada Lynx and the Bobcat. The primary threat to the cats in these areas is the expanding population of the eastern coyote.
A project in the Adirondack Mountains of New York in 1989-1992 saw the reintroduction of 83 Lynx, but the population did not prove to be self sustaining. Thirty-six of the Lynx were killed by automobiles, and it is doubtful any of the cats survived
From 1999 onwards, 204 Lynx from Canada and Alaska were relocated into the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado. This population has become well established, and researchers are reporting increasing numbers of kittens born each year.
In the United States, Canada Lynx were historically found in 25 states, but now just 111,730 km2 of critical Lynx habitat has been proposed for designation in Maine, Minnesota, Washington and the Rocky Mountains. The main threat to these cats in the USA is habitat fragmentation.
Canada Lynx are classified as Least Concern (2008).
Photo copyright Michael Zahra
Range map IUCN Red Data List (2008)
Cougar Puma concolor
The Cougar probably has as many different common names as they do geographical races: Puma, Mountain Lion, Florida Panther, Painter, Mexican Lion, Catamount and Red Tiger to mention a few. There have been over 30 subspecies of Cougar described by various authorities, but these are mostly local variations or races that gradually blend into one another over their range. Recent genetic studies have indicated that the current subspecies should be reduced to six.
These cats are commonly called Puma in Latin America, and either Cougar or Mountain Lion in the north.The term Panther is used for any cat of uniform colour and was the name given to these big cats by early settlers in Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Because of their immense range, there is a wide variation in coat colour, from a buff or sandy brown to reddish brown, through to a light silver and slate grey. There have never been any authenticated reports of melanistic Cougars. The coat is fairly short and coarse, being somewhat darker on the back, and a pale buff on the chest, belly, and inner sides of the legs. Overall, the coat is fairly uniform in colour and is essentially unmarked. Their head is fairly small, with dark brown to black patches on the muzzle, and irises of green gold to yellow brown. The ears are short and rounded, and grey to black on the backs. The forelegs are shorter than the hind legs, and the footpads are relatively large. Their tail is fairly long and slim, gradually darkening towards the tip. The cats found in Central and South America are smaller than those in North America.
The Cougar has the largest range of any New World cat, larger than any other terrestrial mammal in the western hemisphere. They roam from the Yukon in Canada to the extreme southern tip of South America. These big cats range through a wide variety of habitats, from coniferous, deciduous and tropical forest, through swamps, grasslands, and semi-deserts, from sea level to altitudes of 4,500 metres.
Their varied habitats suggest a tolerance of environmental conditions rare among mammals. Habitat use can be highly seasonal, following prey migrations to higher or lower elevations.
In much of their Latin American range, they share many habitats with the Jaguar Panthera onca, and may favour more open habitat than the larger cat. Both species however, have been found in dense forest.
Radio telemetry studies in Chile found their home ranges to be up 100 km2, with the cats often covering up to 16 km in a few hours.
Population densities have been estimated at no more than 4 adults per 100 km2 in North America. In South America, densities range from 0.5-8 adults/100 km2.
|HB Length: 86-155 cm (34-61″)Tail Length: 60-97 cm (24-38″)Height: 60-76 cm (24-30″)Weight: 34-72 kg (75-159 lbs)|
Incredibly adaptable and very athletic, Cougars have great leaping ability and are good climbers. They swim well but prefer not to enter the water unless it is necessary. Sight is their most acute sense, hearing is well developed, but their sense of smell is not particularly acute.
Primarily nocturnal and crepuscular, activity peaks at dusk and dawn. The bulk of their travelling and hunting is done at night, and their activity patterns are related to the activity of their prey and the concealment offered by the darkness.They hunt over a wide area, carefully stalking their prey and leaping on its back, or seizing it after a short, swift dash. Large kills are often covered with scraped over vegetation and dirt, and the cats remain in the vicinity, returning frequently to feed. However, they seldom eat carcasses killed by other animals.
Small to medium sized prey are more important in their diet in tropical portions of their range. In North America, deer make up 60%-80% of their diet, but in Florida where deer numbers are low, they eat smaller prey.
In a shrub ecosystem in Chile, hares made up 96% of their prey. Like all generalist feeders, the Cougar will eat whatever is most abundant in any given ecosystem.
Females are seasonally polyestrous, and there are no sharply defined breeding seasons in most of their range. Most births in North America occur from late winter to spring. The receptive period can last up to nine days, and male-female associations occur only during this time. Females usually give birth every other year. One to six, usually two to four, cubs are born in a cave, rock crevice, hollow log, under an overturned tree, or in thick vegetation. The gestation period is 80 – 96 days. Cubs weigh 226 – 453 grams at birth and are spotted with dark brown spots over a brown buff coat. The spots gradually fade as they grow. Their blue eyes change to the greenish yellow or yellowish brown of the adults by 16 months of age. The eyes open at nine to ten days, they begin walking around 14 days, and nurse for three months or more, but begin to take some meat at six weeks of age.The young cats will remain with the adult female at least through their first winter, and often up to 18 – 24 months. Litter mates may travel and hunt together for a few months after leaving the female. Sexual maturity is attained at around two and a half years of age for females, but males take at least three years. They have lived to 20 years.
Cougars were extirpated from the eastern half of their historic range in the US and Canada over 100 years ago. Numerous recent sightings in the Midwest and eastern half of the continent suggest they may be re-colonizing some of their former range. In 2009, the government of the province of Ontario officially declared the eastern Cougar now living in that province. In 2010, however, the US government declared the eastern Cougar subspecies officially extinct in the northeastern states.Their research showed that the Cougars in that area are not genetically different from those found in the west, and therefore did not deserve separate status.
The only area where Cougars survived historical extirpation is in a single population in the Everglades forests of southern Florida. In an effort to help restore the depleted genetic make-up of the Florida Panther, officials released a few Texas cats into south Florida to strengthen the gene pool. The main threats to these cats today is being killed on the many highways and roads in the area, and extreme loss of habitat.
Cougars are increasingly found in habitat patches that have been fragmented by human activities such as highways, ranches and farms. Restored habitat corridors are vital to link these isolated populations..
As one of the top predators in the food chain, the Cougar has been persecuted unmercifully by man. A combination of guns, poisons, snares, traps, and hunting dogs have been used in this persecution, often under the guise of government sanctioned predator control (bounty) programs. Farmers and ranchers have had a running feud with these cats for decades, and land use and stock management practices must be changed before this situation can be improved.
In many Latin American countries, Cougars are shot on sight or subject to bounty control programs even though the size of their population there is unknown.
Various native peoples in North and South America have revered the Cougar as they have the Jaguar Panthera onca. The ancient Peruvian city of Cuzco was laid out in the shape of a Cougar. The Cochiti Indians of New Mexico carved life sized statues of this cat out of stone and created a mesa top shrine in their honour. Great Lakes tribes believed their tail whipped up waves and storms, and Christian missionaries in southern California found the Cougar to be a significant obstacle in the establishment of missions. Natives so respected the big cat that they refused to hunt it or protect livestock herds from its predations.
The explorer Columbus was one of the first to call them lions because of their resemblance to female African lions, which he had seen before. Males were assumed to be fierce, elusive creatures because explorers saw only “maneless” female lions.
The species Puma concolor is classified as Least Concern (2008).
Range map IUCN Red Data List (2008)