Big cats are having hard times in this teeming world of men –
There are far too many of us, and far too few of them.
So if the very thought of this makes you (like me) quite blue,
Here are a few nice people who could use a bob or two.
Panthera works for the conservation of he world’s largest and most endangered cats: tigers, lions, jaguars and snow leopards. It is a well-respected charity which is run by some of the world’s leading wild cat experts. It has been instrumental in setting up the Tiger Corridor in Asia and the Jaguar Corridor in South America, as well as supporting many other conservation projects.
The Lion Guardians are young Maasai warriors who have forsworn killing lions in favour of protecting them. They help resolve local conflicts between lions and people and help villages protect their cattle against attack, showing that lions and people can coexist. The Lion Guardians programme helps, encourages and educates these young men to the benefit of themselves, their communities and the local lions. In the areas of East Africa where the Lion Guardians programme has been running for some time, the lion population is starting to recover.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund, based in Namibia, exists to help preserve this most fragile of the big cats. It works for cheetah conservation where cheetah populations still exist, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in Iran, where a small population of the Asiatic cheetah is still hanging on. The CCF has done a lot of work in mitigating human-predator conflict, and their Livestock Guardian Dog project has been a great success in both Namibia and South Africa.
The Snow Leopard Trust works in 5 of the 12 countries where snow leopards are found: China, India, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia. Collectively, these 5 countries contain over 75% of the world’s population of wild snow leopards. The SNT works through small grassroots projects with local communities to mitigate conflict between herders and snow leopards. Their online shop selling local crafts is well worth a visit.