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Tag archives for Big Cats Initiative

B is for Boma, K is for Kraal

I’m just south of the Zambezi river, in the Caprivi, the long eastern panhandle of Namibia that stretches from the Okavango River to Victoria falls. Angola and Zambia are only 40 miles away to the north, Botswana 10 to the south, and Zimbabwe less than 150 to the east. It’s certainly Africa’s most geographically complicated…

Climate Change Joins Lions and Livestock in an Unlikely Partnership

In the coming years, climate change will transform the world in ways that we have not predicted. The king of the big cats has already survived two major periods of change, but with humans quickly taking over valuable grassland habitat, will they be able to survive another? On the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania, lions have…

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.

June 1, 2014: Slackline Between Hot Air Balloons, Curing “Invisible Diseases” and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend on radio, or listen below! Hour 1 – Slacklining…

The Silent Roar on the Roof of the World: Saving Snow Leopards

The eastern Pamir plateau in Tajikistan, called the Bam-e Dunya (Roof of the World) at 13,000 feet and higher, is an unforgiving place, especially in winter. And yet, despite temperature plummeting to -50 Fahrenheit in the winter, people, mostly Kyrgyz herders, eke out a living in this harsh environment, tending to their yaks, sheep and…

Africa’s Illegal Charcoal Trade Engulfs Cheetah Habitat

In rural northern Tanzania, an African country famous for charismatic megafauna, including free-roaming cheetah and other big cats, impoverished and under-employed Swahili villagers struggle to survive. One way to earn money and make cooking fuel is to cut forests for wood that can be turned into charcoal. It’s an economic and environmental disaster, illegal because it is not sustainable for either wildlife or people. Meet the team that is looking for new ways to create livelihoods while teaching villagers the importance of protecting their natural wealth.

Sleeping With Lions

We’ve heard some crazy stories here at National Geographic—everything from a polar bear that shredded an occupied tent to a livid elephant that nearly gored a man. None so terrifying, however, than Big Cats Initiative Grantee Amy Dickman’s lion encounter … but maybe not in the way you might think.

May 26, 2013: Staying Safe Going Up Mountains, Injuries Flying Down Cliffs and More

This week, we chat with Conrad Anker who reflects on how difficult it is for even the best climbers to avoid disaster on Everest, Jon Jenkins who is scouring the deepest reaches of the universe looking for signs of intelligent life, and daredevil Angela Proudfoot who skydives against all odds after sustaining a serious base jumping injury.

April 14, 2013: Digging in a Graveyard on Halloween, Helping Kids by Hiking and More

This week, we meet a retiree who decided to climb the Seven Summits on a whim, learn about the humanism of primates, explore the potential for drones, previously used exclusively in combat, to help conservation, and we discover where food goes after you eat it.

March 3, 2013: Everest Emergency, How to Train Your Cat, and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend, or pick your favorite segments and listen now below! Episode: 1309 – Air Date:…

Lions No Match for Young Boy and His Invention: Richard Turere at TED

“At the age of 6 to 9, I was responsible for my fathers cows,” says Richard Turere, now 13, and having just spoken in front of about 1500 people at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. “And these lions were very annoying, because they were killing my father’s cows.” Taking his responsibility seriously, Richard…

February 3, 2013: Paddle Boarding Down Waterfalls, Searching for Venomous Snakes, and More

Join National Geographic Weekend radio show this week, as we kayak off waterfalls, refuse to run from charging lions, and treat disease with venom from some of the most poisonous snakes around.

December 23, 2012: Whispering Dogs’ Secrets, Saving Cheetahs with Donkeys, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson as we whisper dogs’ secrets to their owners, trade guns for climbing gear in Rio, paint endangered animals onto a barn, teach donkeys to protect cows from cheetahs in Namibia, save the world from a Mayan apocalypse, tunnel deep under Gaza to deliver groceries, sacrifice our fingertips to bee stings in Turkey, and take in hot air from shale rock across the United States.

Lion Numbers Plunge as African Wilderness Succumbs to Human Pressure

The king of the African savannah is in serious trouble because people are taking over the continent’s last patches of wilderness on unprecedented scale, according to a detailed study released this week. The most comprehensive assessment of lion (Panthera leo) numbers to date determined that Africa’s once-thriving savannahs are undergoing massive land-use conversion and burgeoning human population growth. The decline has had a significant impact on the lions that make their home in these savannahs; their numbers have dropped to as low as 32,000, down from hundreds of thousands estimated just 50 years ago.

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,…