Posts Tagged ‘lion’

In Another Life…

How’d this guy get my job?!?!?

Kevin Richardson

Humans vs. Cheetahs-Mediators Needed

It’s a gray, soggy morning here in the Northeast, and I’m not moving too quickly. It would be a perfect day to just laze around in bed all day watching the rain. The antidote to this kind of day may just be this great wildlife conservation/volunteer trip from Biosphere Expeditions—you couldn’t get much more opposite: dry, hot Namibia and focused on cheetahs, the fastest land animals on earth.

85% of our world’s cheetahs are in Namibia, and that fact is lamented by the ranchers in that area who lose domesticated herd animals to hunting cheetahs. The meal of choice of the cheetahs is not necessarily ranch livestock, but optimal food sources are growing ever more scarce as the delicate balance tips even further away from natural order. The result is that farmers and ranchers see cheetahs as enemies, and shoot to kill to eradicate the threat to their livelihood. Humans are the biggest threat to the survival of these magnificent cats.

Your role as a conservation volunteer would include collecting data in the Khomas Hochland region (being fully trained by scientific research staff) to help Biosphere continue their good work resolving human/predator conflict.

“We believe there is enough space in this region for farmers and cheetahs to easily tolerate one another; cheetahs only attack valuable livestock and game species if there are not enough smaller, wild prey animals present,” said Kathy Wilden, Strategy Director of Biosphere Expeditions.

“Our new expedition aims to provide scientific proof and guidelines for farm management to address the issue. The results of our work will be used to create ways in which there can be peaceful co-existence between humans and big cat predators. This in turn will support a sustainable future for all in central Namibia.”

The 12-night expeditions run in November and December or between January and March.

For more information  visit www.biosphere-expeditions.org

Party for the Planet

Starting today, April 17, through Sunday April 25, in celebration of Earth Week (the fortieth anniversary of EARTH DAY is April 22), over 130 of the best zoos and aquariums across North America are throwing a big ol’ Party for the Planet.

While I have always had a somewhat conflicted view of zoos, some of them from my childhood being very sad with animals pacing in cement box cages or the gorilla that was in the bright blue wrought iron cage in a shopping center parking lot zoo—so many zoo habitats are now stunning and natural environments where animals thrive. Aquariums also have magnificent habitats in so many places, and spare no expense to provide the very best in care. The conservation work and study that goes on behind-the-scenes at zoos and aquariums is also responsible for much of our modern understanding of many species…so I fall down on the side of they are a good thing. When I look exclusively at the relationship and wonder they inspire in kids…the passion and desire to be a zookeeper or veterinarian just because a lion looked you in the eye and you felt a spark…I know a new animal advocate and steward of the planet has been born each time. THAT is huge, and so worth every penny put into getting it right for the animals.

So this week, go to the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) website to find Party for the Planet events near you, and get out there and growl and howl a little for Earth Day, and all of us that are resident here.

Big Cats

african-lion-closeupNational Geographic has launched the Big Cat Initiative, an emergency intervention to halt the decline of big cats.

From the site:

About the Big Cats Initiative

From lions in Kenya to snow leopards in the Himalaya, the big cats of the world need help,. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, and other top felines are quickly disappearing, all victims of habitat loss and degradation as well as conflicts with humans.

To address this critical situation, the National Geographic Society has launched the Big Cats Initiative, an emergency intervention to halt the alarming decline of big cats combined with longer-term strategies to restore populations. National Geographic is committed to immediately eliminating conflict points between humans and predators. “We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats,” says National Geographic Explorer–in-Residence Dereck Joubert. “They are in such a downward spiral that if we hesitate now, we will be responsible for extinctions across the globe. If there was ever a time to take action, it is now.”

Receive Big Cats Initiative updates with the Geo-Link Newsletter. Continue reading

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