Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Time is running out for big cats

16 September, 2014 - 14:00 -- John Burton
Tiger, Puma, Jaguar portraits.

I am about to go on a brief holiday. After I get back World Land Trust (WLT) we will be launching Big Cat Big Match Fortnight at the Linnean Society on 30 September.

Our target is to raise £500,000 during the fortnight, and we are well on the way to getting commitments of £250,000 in advance to match donations from the public during the two week period 1-15 October.

How will the money be used? This is the important question. Time is running out for the big, top-of-the-food-chain predators. Education campaigns take too long, and have wasted huge amounts of money in the past.

What is needed is habitat and we have identified areas of land that are essential for the survival of big cats. And, by saving species at the top of the food chain, we can save all the other wildlife that belongs in the habitat.

The top priority is completing the Chilkiya-Kota Corridor, a traditional wildlife route for Bengal Tigers between Corbett Tiger Reserve and Ramnagar Forest Division in Uttarakhand, northern India.

We have also identified tracts of land that will benefit Jaguar and Puma, and we have already been able to provide a haven for the Caucasian Leopard.

We are in discussion with Iranian Cheetah Society over ways of providing safe habitat for the last remaining Asiatic Cheetahs.

Big cats, and often their prey, are a particular target of poachers and trophy hunters. Protecting habitat once it’s purchased is another element of big cat conservation, and we shall use some Big Cat Big Match funds for our Keepers of the Wild programme which supports the employment of rangers in the reserves WLT has helped create.

However the greater part of the funds raised during Big Cat Big Match Fortnight will be used to fulfil WLT’s core mission to protect and sustainably manage natural ecosystems of the world, which we do primarily through land purchase. The more money we raise the more habitat we can save, and in a world where land prices are escalating we have to act now.

Please sign up to be reminded of the Big Cat Big Match Fortnight. And, do help us spread the word.

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