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Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Animal Eyes

From cats to clams, the animal kingdom literally has many different ways of seeing things. This week on Ask Your Weird Animal Questions, we’re taking a visionary look at nature.

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…

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: The Truth About Your Cats

Why do cats like stinky shoes? Can clipping a cat’s claws stop it from scratching? Our weekly column examines feline mysteries.

Q&A: What Animal Mental Illness Tells Us About Humans

Mental illness doesn’t only affect humans: Animals like dogs and cats suffer from anxiety, dementia, and even phobias, according to a new book.

Changing Attitudes of Maasai Steppe Pastoralists Offer Hope to Lions

For the Maasai, the lion hunt is a celebration of bravery reflecting their reverence and respect for the big cat as a primary foe. However, their relationship with the lion has become increasingly turbulent as the pastoralists confront an ever more populated landscape where conflicts between people and wildlife are on the rise. Warriors often put down their spears, replacing them with poison and guns. With lion populations plummeting across many parts of the continent, one spot on Tanzania’s Maasai Steppe shows refreshing signs of a recovering lion population and a Maasai community in a locally-motivated transition. Deirdre Leowinata reports.

Philanthropists Pledge $80 Million for Wild Cat Conservation

Environmental philanthropists from China, India, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have together committed U.S. $80 million over ten years to help fund conservation of all 38 species of wild cats.

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.

Video: Tigers Draw Tourists and Support for India’s Parks

Tigers are symbols of power and beauty, the “King of the Cats”. Everyone wants to see one in the wild. But are hordes of visitors hoping for the thrill of getting up close to the lord of the jungle good or bad for India’s wildlife sanctuaries?

Counting Tigers by Their Stripes

Tigers are secretive by nature, making it difficult to estimate their populations in the wild. But Dr. K. Ullas Karanth of the Wildlife Conservation Society employs an ingenious solution: he uses remote “camera traps” to photograph unsuspecting tigers and identifies them later by their unique stripe patterns. As a result, he has helped develop a more reliable way to count — and protect — tigers in India’s Western Ghats.

Video: Wild Cats of the Forest

Victoria Hillman is a National Geographic Explorer and Research Director for the Transylvanian Wildlife Project overseeing research on carnivores and biodiversity of Europe’s last great wilderness. Follow the expedition here on Explorers Journal through updates from the team. —–— The Carpathian mountains are home to two species of wild cat, the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and the European…

How Cats and People Grew to Love Each Other

A new study marks possibly the earliest known evidence of a beneficial relationship between humans and cats.

A New Species of Wild Cat Found Prowling Brazilian Forests and Grasslands

Hiding in plain sight, researchers have discovered that a wild cat called the tigrina is actually two separate species.

Rare Cat Captured in Camera Trap

The elusive Borneo bay cat and four other rare species of felines have been spotted in logged forests—a good sign, experts say.

October 13, 2013: Arctic Double Dating, Poisoning Rhinos to Save Them, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson as we we ski and kayak across Baffin Island, poison rhinos to save them, and meet child soldiers while bearing witness to illicit mines in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Do Animals Get Dementia? How to Help Your Aging Pet

Wild animals usually don’t live long enough to suffer cognitive decline, but domestic pets can be susceptible, experts say.