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Big Cat Conservation

Big Cat Conservation

Photo courtesy of Action for Cheetahs in Kenya

KENYA
Cheetahs have been extirpated from 25% of their historic range in Kenya in the last 20 years. Action for Cheetahs in Kenya (ACK) aims to promote the conservation of cheetahs through research, awareness and community participation. ACK works closely with local wildlife authorities and land holders to develop policies and programs that support wildlife conservation and human livelihoods for the long term. Working in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the goal is to promote cheetah population sustainability in Kenya through coexistence with people. Ongoing ACK research identifies factors influencing cheetah habitat selection, as well as issues affecting livestock predation. Studies include conflict evaluation, GPS tracking, habitat surveys, ecological studies and health monitoring. Through research, education and cheetah-human conflict mitigation, the program informs and promotes local and regional cheetah conservation efforts. ACK supports sustainable activities to alleviate poverty and encourage conservation attitudes, empowering participants to be conservation leaders in their communities.

TANZANIA
Lion populations have suffered a dramatic decline in the past 50 years, disappearing from 80% of their former range. Scientists estimate that less than 40,000 animals remain and fear that without urgent measures, lions may disappear completely from unprotected areas. Human-wildlife conflict is the single most important threat now facing large carnivores in East Africa and must be addressed in order for lions to persist. Tanzania’s Ruaha landscape is a high priority region for carnivore conservation. The intense human-carnivore conflict in Ruaha is driven by livestock depredation, poverty, insufficient knowledge about carnivores, and few benefits from wildlife. The Ruaha Carnivore Project aims to lessen conflict by employing local people to help improve livestock husbandry, reduce depredation, and improve kill identification and wildlife knowledge. The project helps reduce the negative impacts of carnivore presence and provides significant conservation-related benefits such as education, training and employment. This improves both the cost-benefit ratio of carnivore presence and the likelihood of their continued persistence in the region.

MONGOLIA, CHINA
TheSnow Leopard Trust (SLT) works solely to protect the endangered snow leopard and its Central Asian habitat through a partnership-based approach to wildlife conservation. With a focus on community partnerships and conflict mitigation, SLT conducts research to help determine key snow leopard habitat, assesses wildlife-human conflict levels, and identifies potential resources for conservation programs. All SLT programs must involve local communities in the protection of snow leopards and their habitat, promote an improved quality of life for members of the community, be verifiable through monitoring programs, and have a path to becoming self-sufficient. SLT constantly endeavors to improve their conservation projects to better meet the needs of cats and humans, and are not only protecting these magnificent cats, but greatly improving the livelihoods of families and communities that share their homes with them.

The Zoo & Zoo Society also support the conservation of snow leopards, cheetahs,lions and other carnivores by helping to address human carnivore conflicts through the Human Wildlife Conflict Collaboration.

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