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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…

Kenya’s Problematic Progress

Driving on a Friday night from the idyllic campsite to a local farm for an after-dark game count, Action for Cheetahs (ACK) lead researcher Cosmas Wambua navigates a treacherous highway. The notorious Mombassa Road is a twisting, turning, death-ridden mess of an international highway. Bitterly joking we’re on a ‘lorry safari’, sightings include burned-out overturned…

Do Factory Farms Need a Pooper-Scooper Law?

In 1978, New York embraced a major public health and environmental innovation.  The idea was simple: human excrement is captured and treated (for the most part) before being released into the environment, so the excrement from dogs should be as well. The law, which became known as the “Pooper-Scooper Law,” mandated that all dog owners…

We are Cheetah Friendly – Part II

  “We are cheetah friendly”.  The sign hangs on the gates of farms who participate in Cheetah Outreach’s Livestock Guardian Dog Program.  In a land where commercial farming has encroached on wildlife for generations, certain NGOs and farmers are working together to create new ways of solving the problems of predation.  Cheetah Outreach comes not…

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,…

We are Cheetah Friendly – Part I

  “Howzit?  How are the cheetahs?” ask my new friends in Cape Town. “I’m going to Bray for a few days.”  “Where??”  When even a South African hasn’t heard of this place, I know I’m in for another adventure.  Bray is a frontier post located 200 meters from the border of Botswana in the Southern…

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…

When Predators & Farmers Collide : Botswana

These people work hard out here; the conservationists, the farmers, everyone.  The hot days of October dictate an early rise to reach the far-flung locations that entail research, data gathering and community outreach. I’m in the central Kalahari region, just outside the town of Ghanzi in Botswana.  It’s hot, like… Africa hot… as the cliché…

Community-Based Conservation Saves Big Cats in Iconic African Park

Text and photos by Kate and Marcus Westberg The Masai Mara is a place of great beauty and drama where people and wildlife live side by side. While having a savannah full of wildlife on your doorstep seems amazing to us, living with lions is never easy. With the generous support of the National Geographic…

Kenyan Chainsaw Gang Thwarted

National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee Anne Kent Taylor continues her updates from the field in Kenya this weekend. Her adventures this week include a giraffe rescue and an encounter with a chainsaw gang. Taylor has been using funding from the Big Cats Initiative to provide wire fencing to Kenya’s Maasai herders, on the basis…

Hyenas Bounce Off Fence Protecting African Livestock

Anne Kent Taylor continues her reports from the field in Kenya, where she and local collaborators have been providing chainlink fencing to farmers to shield their cattle, goats and other animals from big predators. In the face of “horrific” predation of livestock, the fencing program has been achieving very encouraging results. One farmer reported watching…

Super-Predators Foiled by Kenya Fencing Project

Anne Kent Taylor reports from rural Kenya that her project to help livestock farmers fence their animals at night has put barriers around 200 bomas–and so far there have been no reports of predation in the protected enclosures. The work is supported by the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative, an initiative by the National geographic…