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Posts Tagged "big cats"

Extinction Countdown

Lion Meat Tacos (You Read That Right) Are the Latest Threat to Conservation

lion

Why do U.S. restaurants keep trying to sell lion meat? This month a Florida restaurant called Taco Fusion put $35 lion tacos on its menu, and a California restaurant called Mokutanya announced $70 lion skewers, its second such promotion in the past year. Public outrage rose up almost immediately, forcing both restaurants to remove the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

After 13-Year Quest, Clouded Leopards Confirmed Extinct in Taiwan

formosan clouded leopard

Thirteen years, 1,500 infrared cameras, hundreds of catnip-baited hair traps and an almost incalculable number of hours in the field have confirmed what scientists have long feared: the Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura) is in all likelihood extinct. The subspecies, endemic to Taiwan, was wiped out by poaching, trade in its pelts during the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The 6 Most Endangered Feline Species

Iberian lynx

Poaching, habitat loss, inbreeding and hybridization. These are just a few of the threats faced by many wild feline species around the globe. Here are six of the world’s most endangered feline species and subspecies—some of which may not survive into the next century. 1. Amur leopards Let’s start with the good news: The population [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Amazing Photos of Florida Panther and Cubs Bring a Bright Spot to a Deadly Year

florida panther with cub

This has been the deadliest year on record for Florida panthers (Puma or Felis concolor coryi), but the critically endangered big cats also ended 2012 with some pretty amazing news. For the first time, an uncollared female has been photographed carrying her cubs to a new den. The photographs, taken by motion-sensitive camera traps two [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Snow Leopard News: Climate Change, Radio Collars, Heart Troubles and a Video First

Wow, this is quite the week for snow leopards (Panthera uncia) with not one, not two, not three but four interesting stories coming out about these endangered big cats. Let’s start with the bad news. Climate change, as you might expect, could soon create trouble for snow leopards living in the Himalayas. According to a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Cougars Are Returning to the U.S. Midwest after More Than 100 Years

They go by a lot of names: mountain lions, cougars, pumas, catamounts and more. But people living in the Midwest may soon have a new name for these big cats: neighbor. Cougars (Puma concolor) have not lived in Oklahoma, Missouri and other midwestern states since the  beginning of the 20th century. But now the cats [...]

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Extinction Countdown

At Least 356 Indian Leopards Killed in 2011, Half by Poachers

Indian leopard

India’s leopards are dying at a rate of at least one per day, according to a report released this week by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI). At least half of those deaths have been caused by poachers seeking the big cats’ valuable skins, claws and other body parts. Leopards (Panthera pardus), which live [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Can Stem Cells Help Save Snow Leopards from Extinction?

snow leopard

Jurassic meow? Scientists at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, have come up with a novel idea for possibly saving endangered big cats: reproduce them in the lab. And the researchers have already accomplished the first step, creating embryonic stem-like cells from the tissue of an endangered adult snow leopard (Panthera uncia). The research was published [...]

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Extinction Countdown

DNA Test Proves Killed Cougar Migrated from South Dakota to Connecticut

lion being examined by technician

If the eastern cougar (Puma concolor couguar) went extinct in the 1930s, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reported back in March, why do so many people in New England keep reporting cougar sightings? As FWS lead scientist Mark McCollough told me in March, the 110 confirmed cases on cougars (sometimes called mountain [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Good News for 2 Rare Leopard Species [Video]

snow leopard

Conservation groups are reporting better than expected news on two rare leopard species, the critically endangered Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) in Russia and the endangered snow leopard (P. uncia) in Afghanistan. First up, the Amur leopard, of which there are fewer than 50 animals left in the wild. But those weak numbers might be [...]

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Running Ponies

Big Cats and Cologne: “They Roll and Cheek-Rub and Just Look to be in Heaven.”

tiger-calvin-klein-obsession-featured

Late last year I was lucky enough to take a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the big cat facilities at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. I met one of their female tigers, plus three lions, including their magnificent male named Bruiser. All I can say is that you have not lived until you’ve seen a lion’s [...]

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Running Ponies

Rare Asiatic Golden Cats are World-First Test Tube Babies

asian-golden-cat-kittens

A pair of Asiatic golden cats have been bred using artificial insemination for the first time in an effort to ensure the future of this rare and beautiful species. Asiatic golden cats (Pardofelis temminckii) are small, nocturnal cats that live in the tropical rainforests of southeast Asia, their range stretching from China, Nepal and India [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The Man-Eater of Mfuwe

Matt Wedel kindly passed on the photos you see here. They show the Man-eater of Mfuwe, an enormous male lion Panthera leo that terrorised the small town of Mfuwe (and the surrounds) in the Luangwa River Valley of eastern Zambia. The photos were taken in Chicago’s Field Museum where the specimen has been on display [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Williams and Lang’s Australian Big Cats: do pumas, giant feral cats and mystery marsupials stalk the Australian outback?

Virtually all people interested in animals are aware of the so-called ‘mystery big cat’ phenomenon. Large, often black, cats are reported with apparent frequency from the eastern USA and the UK. But the phenomenon isn’t unique to those two areas. Here, we’re going to look specifically at the ‘mystery big cat’ phenomenon in Australia. The [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Camera Trap Tuesday: Islands in Los Angeles

debs bobcat4

“Is Griffith Park an island?” That’s the question that Miguel Ordeñana, a wildlife biologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles who also does field work in Nicaragua, wanted to know. Griffith Park isn’t surrounded by water. It’s not found offshore, like Catalina Island, and it isn’t encircled by a moat. What Griffith Park, [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Candid Camera (Trap): The World’s Rarest Big Cat [Video]

Amur_Leopard_in_the_Colchester_Zoo

New camera trap footage of a mother Amur leopard and her two cubs provides evidence to conservationists that the world’ most endangered big cat is still breeding in the wild.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Incredible Camera Trap Footage of the Rare African Golden Cat [Video]

african golden cat drawing

The Wildlife Conservation Society released new camera trap footage of the elusive African golden cat. One important outcome of their research is a new understanding of the daily activity patterns of the species.

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The Thoughtful Animal

You’ll Never Guess How Biologists Lure Jaguars To Camera Traps

Jaguar-Belize-Zoo

Camera traps are a useful tool that scientists to use study jaguars. The downside is they have to wait for an animal to pass in front of the camera. Some biologists have discovered a clever way to entice the big cats to do just that.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: King of the Jungle

African Lion

I’m not sure why lions are called “king of the jungle,” when they live on the savannah. Still, this male lion, photographed in September of 2012 at the San Francisco Zoo does look quite kingly. And if you missed my post last week on why lions like to cuddle, here’s a handy link.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Even Lions Like To Cuddle

lion lick

Lion snuggles look adorable, but they betray evidence of the often violent life that lions lead. Cuddling may help to reinforce friendships that become necessary to protect a lion’s territory from intruders.

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The Thoughtful Animal

By Understanding Cheetah Social Networks, Researchers Could Improve Big Cats’ Breeding Odds

Cheetah_yawn

Nine lives won’t help to perpetuate a cat species unless the cats manage to reproduce. The decline of wild cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), classified as “vulnerable” by the IUCN, led to the coordination of captive breeding programs in zoos and other breeding facilities. And while many know of the trouble that zoos have encouraging pandas to [...]

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