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Industrial-Scale Tiger Farms: Feeding China’s Thirst for Luxury Tiger Products

Young, healthy tigers jump through rings of fire, sit upright on cue, clawing at the air, and perform other well-choreographed circus tricks. Enthusiastic crowds cheer. After the show, some pay extra to hold small, cuddly cubs. But those who visit these tiger attractions in China have no idea of the suffering behind the scenes or the dark commerce that keeps them afloat.

Putin’s Tiger – Caught in the Act!

By Zoe Jewell of Wildtrack  Last week Vladimir Putin released Kuzya, complete with electronic tracking device, but forgot to tell her she was to stay in Russia. Shortly after she swam across the freezing Amur river into China where she stopped for supper at a Chinese chicken farm take-away.  She left nothing but a few…

Bhutan: a Frontier for Culture, Biodiversity, and Adventure

Bhutan straddles an area with high biodiversity richness—the Eastern Himalayas. Precipitation from the monsoons, great altitudinal variation, and its location connecting the Indian plains to the high Himalayan peaks on the edge of the Tibetan plateau allow for an amazing assemblage of biodiversity that is still being discovered today. Bhutan is the only place on Earth where snow leopards and tigers share the same habitat. Recent survey results show that both these endangered large cats are not only surviving, but thriving, in Bhutan. And this is only one example of how Bhutan is a coveted destination for scientific exploration and adventure, writes Tshewang Wangchuk, the first Bhutanese National Geographic explorer, and Executive Director for the Bhutan Foundation in Washington, D.C .

Snow Leopard Caught on Camera After Catching Marmot

From Matt Fiechter, Snow Leopard Trust: A remote-sensor research camera snapped a photo of a wild snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan’s Sarychat Ertash Nature Reserve shortly after the cat had caught a marmot. During the short mountain summer, these rodents add some diversity to the snow leopard’s diet.

Pumas Trained to Run on Treadmill Help Explain Big Cat’s Ambush Strategy

From Liza Gross: The puma, the Western Hemisphere’s most widely distributed mammal, is rarely seen. But its stealth may explain how the cat manages the high-energy costs of its carnivore lifestyle, a new study based on teaching a puma to run on a treadmill shows. With video of mountain lion on treadmill.

Livestock Guarding Dogs in Southern Africa

Given the number of comments about my blog on the effectiveness of guard dogs in protecting livestock, I asked Jane Horgan, NGS Big Cats Initiative grantee to respond.  Here’s what Jane has written. Stuart Pimm Jane Horgan: Thank you all for your comments. This author is referring to programs run by NGOs throughout southern Africa as…

Lion Conservation: Does it Come Down to Cows?

By Shivani Bhalla with Paul Thomson I write this story from my tent in Samburu. I am looking out, watching the dry landscape in front of me. I see two warthogs coming to graze in the only place they can find some grass – outside our tents. I see the dik diks and squirrels searching…

Bouncing Back: Nepal’s Tigers Survive Civil Turmoil

By Joseph Allchin

Dhaka, Bangladesh–For years the Himalayan nation of Nepal lacked a functional government. Years of war and subsequent reorientation of the state, left vulnerable the nation’s rich fauna and in particular its tigers to the rampant poaching that has decimated wildlife populations across Asia. While Nepal’s politicians bickered, fears rose for its iconic tiger, one of its most majestic animals. But now Nepal’s big cat may be on the rebound.

Inserting Captive-Bred Tigers Into the Wild: Will it Work?

By Joseph Allchin

Dhaka, Bangladesh–The South China tiger has not been seen in the wild since the 1960s. Although Chinese delegates at a global tiger conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh this week are reluctant to admit it is extinct in the wild, it might as well be, because no confirmed sightings have been made since the 1970s. There were under 60 of the subspecies left in zoos worldwide in 2002.

However there is now hope that captive tigers can be trained to be reintroduced and function in the wild for the first time in decades.

Bobcats Prowl Among Us: Haunt Birdfeeders, Brooks, Boulevards

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It’s on the prowl from three hours before sunset until midnight, and again before dawn ‘til three hours after sunrise.  Each night, it moves two to seven miles, mostly on the same route. Along the way it visits, like the humans in whose shadow it lives, known locales.  But its stomping grounds are a hollow…

Bangladesh Vows to Protect Wild Tigers in Spite of Industrialization

By Joseph Allchin

Dhaka, Bangladesh–Bangladesh’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, opened a major international conference on tiger conservation in the country’s capital, Dhaka, on Sunday. With delegates from all 13 tiger range countries in attendance, Hasina stated that her “government will do everything for conservation of the tigers,” lamenting “indiscriminate industrialization,” as a chief threat to habitats.

Bangladesh’s government is, however, involved in several industrial projects controversially located very close to the country’s sole remaining tiger habitat, the largest contiguous mangroves in the world, the Sundarbans.

Maasai Steppe Warrior for Wildlife Elvis Kisimir Speaks Up for Lions

“In a few years to come, the world will only see the rare lion spoor on the sandy soil. If the wind blows, then even those spoor will go.” One extraordinary Maasai warrior shares his message for the world about the future of big cats. Elvis Kisimir experiences the full extent of familial responsibility while…

Mongoose Fends Off Lions: Explaining Viral Video

A mongoose that survived a tussle with four African lions may have been dealing with playful youngsters, a biologist says.

Surprising Pictures: Catlike Creature Rides on Rhino

Editor’s note: James Kydd is the creator and editor of the blog rangerdiaries.com and a professional safari guide. A type of catlike creature called a genet has been spotted catching a ride on the backs of buffalo and white rhinos, new camera trap pictures reveal. As cameras, social media, and technology advance, more and more wildlife…

Face-to-Face Conservation

“The phone calls always seem to be on a Sunday and 1000 kilometres (600 miles) away from here” Florian Weise tells me. We’re standing next to a huge drum of diesel — “this is where the NGS Big Cats Initiative money went” he explains, filling up his pick-up for the long journey. Florian’s insights into…