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While his own research focuses on learning about and protecting the fossa, Madagascar's elusive top predator, Luke Dollar has also devoted himself to promoting smart and effective conservation throughout the world. As a part of this larger dedication, he also heads up National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.

Learn More About Luke Dollar and His Work

Remembering George Rabb, a Driving Force Behind the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative

Last week, the National Geographic Society and the global community of conservationists writ large lost George Rabb, an iconic, stalwart advocate and icon for wildlife, the environment, and the biodiversity sciences.  Most recently, Dr. Rabb served on National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative (BCI) Grants Committee.  Since 2010 until mid-2017, he and seven other leading conservationists…

To Protect Endangered Carnivores, We Must Also Protect Livestock

Post submitted by Matthias Fiechter of Snow Leopard Trust.  A conservation catch 22: Increasing the number wild prey animals is key for healthy snow leopard populations. But it doesn’t solve the problem of livestock predation – on the contrary.

Scientists Successfully Collar Three More Wild Snow Leopards in Mongolia

Post submitted by Matthias Fiechter.  GPS collars will allow Snow Leopard Trust researchers to better understand the elusive species. In a remarkably successful expedition, three more snow leopards have been equipped with GPS collars in the Tost Nature Reserve in Mongolia’s South Gobi province this April. Two of them are male, and one is female. They’re…

Are we coming or going? Stakeholder engagement in the four corners

Post submitted by Lise Hanssen, Project Coordinator of Kwando Carnivore Project If there was checklist for setting up a lion conflict mitigation project in rural Namibia (or anywhere else I would imagine), first on the list would be engaging with the affected community.  In the case of the Chobe floodplains, this means seven conservancies with…

Exploring the use of five types of puma vocalizations

Post submitted by Max Allen – University of Wisconsin Communication is an important component of animal behavior, but is difficult to study in the wild. This is especially true for cryptic wildlife species, such as carnivores, that are difficult to observe. Recent advances in the technology of motion-triggered video cameras now enable researchers to remotely…

Say Cheese! Using camera traps to detect Madagascar’s largest carnivore, the fosa

Post created by Samuel Merson Camera traps have become an important tool for biologists and conservationists alike.  They are regularly used in surveying, and are of particular use in detecting rare and elusive animals. Meet the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox), Madagascar’s largest native predator and a particularly challenging animal to study. Fosa occupy large areas of forest…

KopeLion: protecting wild lions for future generations

Post submitted by Rose Hinson and James MacCarthy While out exploring the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, Ingela and Stuart came across something quite extraordinary. They found all the signs of a lion kill, but the body was missing. Instead of a carcass, all they found was a trail of blood leading off into the…

Where Have Zimbabwe’s Cheetahs Gone?

Post submitted by Alex Rudee Esther van der Meer looks right at home amid all the five-star luxuries of the Victoria Falls Hotel. As she relaxes in a wicker chair on the red-brick porch of the famous resort, Esther seems for all the world like just another high-end tourist soaking up the African sun. Donning…

Population Effects From Snared Lion Rescues

Post submitted by Zamiban Carnivore Programme. Photo by Luke Dollar

Chobe lions: A Transboundary Conundrum

Post submitted by Lise Hanssen, Project Coordinator of Kwando Carnivore Project.  Photo (above) by Luke Dollar Corridors, connectivity, dispersal, tolerance, land-use, mosaic, communities – these are the terms that often describe the ability for lions to persist in a landscape shared with people and their livestock. The reality of lion conservation is that the areas in…

Pride in our Prides: Cutting-Edge Technology Protects Lions, Livestock and Livelihoods

Post submitted by Barbara Cozzens In the mid-morning hours of May 2016, a dominant male lion named “Nduraghumbo” ambles through Botswana’s cattle-trodden grasses, unaware he has just crossed an invisible barrier. Just as he does, a text message comes in to Dr. Andrew Stein’s phone: Nduraghumbo has entered Gunotsoga. Geofence 1 break time: 1025hr. Coordinates:…

When Lions Attack People: A Case in Gunotsoga Village, Botswana

Post Submitted by Andrew Stein. Stein is a repeated Big Cats Initiative Grantee, as well as the founder and director of CLAWS. Too often in conservation we are squarely focused on protecting wild species. Since the inception of our lion conservation program, poison use has stopped entirely and lion killing halted in 2016. We see…

Holding the line for lions in Mozambique

Post submitted by Shane O’Neal “I think she’s dead.” Dr. Stuart Pimm made the grim diagnosis as our helicopter descended toward the site where the lion’s tracking collar said it should be.  Paola Bouley, who had been anticipating her reunion with the first lion she ever collared, was crushed. “Please don’t let it be too…

Video cameras provide first documentation of Sunda clouded leopard communication behaviors

Post submitted by Max Allen – University of Wisconsin, Madison Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) are a threatened species that is shrouded in mystery. Most solitary felids are renowned for being mysterious and difficult to see, but Sunda clouded leopards take this to an extreme. It is for this reason that little is known about…

Christmas Cubs for a Happy New Year

News from the Field from Pride in Our Prides Lion Program in Botswana by Florian J Weise – Pride in Our Prides, CLAWS Conservancy It is still dark as our vehicle rattles down the dirt track.  Dust everywhere.  The smell of camphor and wild sage surrounds us.  We are on our way into the Okavango…