After a fortnight of concentrated fundraising to ensure that all donations were matched, World Land Trust (WLT) is delighted to report that we raised a total of more than £326,000 for the Big Cat Appeal.
John Burton, WLT’s Chief Executive said: “We are enormously grateful to everyone who donated to our Big Cat Appeal during Big Match Fortnight, the match funders in particular. This is a great result and means that we are within sight of our appeal target of £500,000.”
Thanks to very generous donations during Big Match Fortnight WLT is able to get on with funding urgent conservation immediately.
Protecting big cat habitat
As a result of Big Cat Big Match, an additional £50,000 will boost the funding we already have in hand to support the creation of Chilkiya-Kota Corridor to protect Bengal Tigers in northern India. The corridor is the most important migration path between Corbett Tiger Reserve and Ramnagar Forest Division for tigers, elephants and other wild animals.
Our conservation partner, Wildlife Trust of India, is working with villagers living in constant fear and have wholeheartedly agreed to be relocated to safe areas where they will have their own houses and land ownership.
Big Cat Appeal funds are also helping us reach our target for current land purchase in the Atlantic forest of Brazil and we now have enough money to secure the purchase of property measuring 59 acres (24 hectares) which will extend the territory of a small group of Pumas that roam the area.
The property is strategically significant because it is an important part of a wildlife corridor linking land owned by Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu (REGUA), WLT’s partner in Brazil, and other protected areas. The Atlantic forest is a biodiversity hotspot and has been reduced to less than 7 per cent of its original cover.
Other Big Cat Appeal funds will save land in Sierra Gorda in Mexico where staff of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG) have been recording Jaguar on trail cameras for several years. We need to extend their habitat through land purchase that will not only benefit Jaguars but other wild cats too.
In the meantime, WLT’s conservation department are currently reviewing project proposals submitted by partners earlier in October. In due course we shall release news of the projects that have been selected for funding through the Big Cat Appeal.
More than 370 members of the public gave to the appeal, and we benefited greatly from donations made by charitable trusts, including Peter Smith Charitable Trust for Nature and Ridgeback Charitable Trust. WLT corporate supporters and ambassadors donated generously too and we particularly thank Media Bounty and Sigrid Shreeve whose book Jabujicaba is raising funds for Brazil.
WLT will continue to work hard to meet the appeal target of £500,000 as quickly as possible so that we can help protect land for big cats that are severely threatened in the wild. Thank you again to everyone who supported us.