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While his own research focuses on learning about and protecting the fossa, Madagascar's elusive top predator, Luke Dollar has also devoted himself to promoting smart and effective conservation throughout the world. As a part of this larger dedication, he also heads up National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.

Learn More About Luke Dollar and His Work

Private Reserves Support National Parks in Big Cat Conservation

National parks offer large core habitat that is critical for conserving large cats, but national parks alone are not sufficient to sustain a connected and genetically healthy population. Smaller adjacent private reserves improve connectivity and increase habitat extent in areas outside these parks. Sustainable, low-impact ecotourism often incorporates private nature reserves, which can serve to…

Hundreds of Cases of Conflict Between Farmers and Predators Defused in Namibia

In May 2014, a leopard trapped on a commercial livestock ranch in central Namibia became N/a’an ku sê’s 500th big predator conflict case. The vast majority of these animals (over 400) have been released immediately to keep contributing to the wild gene pool. In other situations, rehabilitation of an orphaned or conflict predator may be required. Lethal control is only necessary under rare circumstances and, although individual predators can cause significant economic damage, most landowners seek alternative solutions. National Geographic Big Cats Initiative Grantee Florian J Weise reports.

Build a Boma, Protect a Cow, Save a Lion

Good fences make good neighbors, the saying goes, and this is particularly true in rural Africa, where herders face daily challenges to protect livestock from lions and other predators. Build a Boma is a fundraising campaign by the National Geographic Society’s Big Cat Initiative that helps build the sturdy enclosures to protect cattle and goats from nocturnal raiders. By building traditional enclosures known as bomas, predators and domestic animals are kept apart, saving lions and other marauders from being killed by people anxious to protect their livestock. It’s an African solution funded in part by small donations from people of goodwill across the world, people in countries where sleeping safely at night has been taken for granted. Build a Boma is a win-win for people and wildlife.

Big cats versus livestock – simple solutions reduce conflicts on Namibian farms

  The Big Cats Initiative Grants Program seeks to identify and support projects that engage in immediate actions leading to reductions in big cat mortality. BCI Grantees often provide updates from the field, and we love sharing them with you. BCI Grantee Florian Weise provides this dispatch from the field.   By Florian J. Weise,…

Amboseli’s People & Wildlife: Innocent Bystanders Falling Prey to Local Conflicts

In recent weeks, human-wildlife conflict in Kenya has grown more severe.  This week, Maasai warriors rampaged across the Amboseli ecosystem, following an unsuccessful interaction between tribal leaders and the Kenya Wildlife Service.    Not far behind the recent killings near Nairobi National Park and elsewhere in the Amboseli ecosystem, Kenya is again plagued by back-to-back…

Lion Killing in Kitenden, June 2012

The following dispatch from the field is reported by Richard Bonham, Founder and Chairman of the Maasailand Preservation Trust and Director of Operations for Big Life Foundation. LION KILLING IN KITENDEN, JUNE 2012 by Richard Bonham, Founder of the Maasailand Preservation Trust and Director of Operations for Big Life Foundation The shocking statistics of the…

THE KITENGELA SIX: Outrage over lion killings in Nairobi – Reader Caution: Graphic Photos *Updated with video

Nairobi National Park is likely one of the most visited protected areas in all of Africa, home to wildlife including lions and other big cats that are possibly viewed by more people than any others in Africa.  Yesterday morning, six lions were killed just outside the protected area.  Big Cats Initiative Grantee Dr. Paula Kahumbu is dedicated to protecting…

Secretive lives of leopards revealed through scientific monitoring in Namibia

Big Cats Initiative grantee Florian Weise reports on GPS tracking and camera trap photos of a beautiful four-year-old leopard in the mountains of south-west Namibia.

Lion Lights Invention by 13-Year-Old Kenyan to Save Big Cats?

In this video report, National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee Paula Kahumbu reports on a bright idea by 13-year-old Kenyan innovator Richard Turere to save endangered lions with his “lion lights” invention. Big Cats Initiative and its grantees have a near-uniform shared theme of conservation via deep engagement with local communities and stakeholders.  The connection between…

Maasai Women Speak Out for Living Walls

The Big Cats Initiative Grants Program seeks to identify and support projects that engage in immediate actions leading to reductions in big cat mortality. Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld, Executive Director of the African People and Wildlife Fund, has been the recipient of multiple BCI grants and provides a prime example of how the BCI and its…

Leopard given GPS collar after capture on Namibian cattle ranch

The Big Cats Initiative Grants Program seeks to identify and support projects that engage in immediate actions leading to reductions in big cat mortality.  BCI Grantee Florian Weise provides this dispatch from the field: Leopard given GPS collar after capture on Namibian cattle ranch A large portion of central Namibia’s landscape is used for cattle…

Is the Serengeti Highway Really Cancelled?

While a new government statement announces the stretch across the Park will not be paved, conservationists’ concerns remain–focused on the traffic, not the tarmac.