Sometimes it can seem like the only news for wildlife is bad news. Twelve year old trophy hunters, politicians wanting to get rid of the Endangered Species Act, and accelerating climate change.
|Ranger Toby wants to share a couple of success stories with you.|
Even though they do involve Big Cats.
|Perhaps I should report incognito...|
Let the headlines begin!
China Borrows "America's Best Idea"-
Chinese biologist Feng Limin has never encountered a big cat in the wild, but he's been studying their range in the forests along China's borders with N. Korea and Russia using motion-capture cameras. His research documented 27 Siberian Tigers and 42 Amur Leopards residing in that range.
|Photo Credit: A. Cuedra/Science Magazine|
Dr. Limin's studies have led to the Chinese government establishing a HUGE National Park - 60% larger than Yellowstone! (Toby's sporting a National Park hat in their honor.)
|A Siberian tiger captured by one of Dr. Limin's trail cameras.|
Photo Credit: Beijing Normal University
Three Persian Leopards Return to Caucasus
Persian leopards, once common in the Caucasus Mountains, are extinct in some areas and dangerously diminished in the rest. An 11-year effort of the Russian government, World Wildlife Fund- Russia, and the Russian Academy of Science has led to three sexually mature adults being released on July 13, 2016. This was an enormous undertaking! Habitat had to be reclaimed and repopulated with prey animals. A special facility was built specifically for housing and training young leopards to live in the wild (adults from zoos would not survive). Protection measures for wild leopards had to be strengthened.
At the Center for Breeding and Reintroduction of Persian Leopards in Caucasus, a mother leopard nuzzles her young cub. Source: World Wildlife Fund
The goal is a self-sustaining wild population, which means a minimum of 50 leopards. This first release is a huge step toward hope for a return of Persian Leopards to part of their historic range.
Yay! for these big felines and the people who are fighting to save them! Have a great weekend, and remember what Toby says:
"There's so much left worth saving, keep caring and fighting for wildlife!"