WildTiger

In many places the word “tiger” refers to any wild cat.  Our work takes place where apex and subordinate predators fufil their vital ecological roles.  Innovative projects such as LeopardEye and Ecosystem Reboot are part of WildTiger operations within the three elements of rescue/rehabilitation, anti-poaching/trafficking and coexistence strategies,

Interim blog from Jack Kinross (main blog page HERE):

LOVE, LEOPARD STYLE

This is just a short piece, I’ve delayed the next blog post for now while I concentrate on a certain situation. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent with big cats, in the wild, in rehabilitation or captive situations, whatever, it’s in the thousands and then if you add to that the time analyzing data, well you can see why I don’t really have much of a social life, maybe these cats are my social life. If you look at the image, the visiting wild leopard, a large male, is showing submissive behaviour to a rehabilitating female leopard. Big cat romance is passive/aggressive, serious injury, even death can happen. Courtship and mating can show what we consider violence but to big cats it’s just part of the gig, it’s what they do, both females and males are warriors of the jungle, strong individual characters, one of the reasons I am so drawn to them, so determined about their protection.
In this case, all going well, these two leopards may get together. I’m not going to give details for security reasons (their security) but this relationship has built up over time, nature will ultimately decide the outcome, we can only do our best to give it that chance.
For all the sorting out and to and fro, which as I say does involve growls, swipes and bites, once large felids do get together there is incredible affection as well, a kind of raw purity which ensures the continuation of species which have taken millions of years to evolve. Each individual, each relationship has its own characteristics, that must be respected, there is still so much to understand about these animals and no single study has all the answers but what we do know is that unless species like leopard and tiger are given this respect their days are numbered. I don’t want to be part of the generations that has allowed that to happen…

STATEMENT 30 January 2019

This short statement is in reference to concerns by WildTiger with regards to conservation of panthera pardus, the leopard.

WildTiger will be expressing these concerns in further detail at the Species Survival Network (SSN) meeting to be held in Delhi, India, in February 2019.  This will be followed by a report to be released at the time of CITES CoP to be held in Sri Lanka in late May 2019.

Through our own ground level efforts as well as constant analysis of leopard conservation throughout the global range of panthera pardus, WildTiger observes and expresses serious concern regarding protection of this species.  It is our contention that panthera pardus is not receiving support at the level needed to sustain populations and the leopard has become a conservation blind spot compared to what are often referred to as icon species.

Below are just a few of the issues justifying our concerns:

  • A recent meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, attended by representatives of the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and WildTiger disclosed information showing alarming scarcity of leopards through the mid hills region.  The recent tiger census had shown low numbers of leopards in lowland areas.  Retaliation kills and ongoing poaching incidents through the axis of Nepal and the neighbouring Indian States of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are well documented.
  • Data disclosed by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) shows seizure of leopard body parts in India continue at a high rate indicating the poaching of leopards continues unabated throughout India.  A number of seizures and arrests have shown criminal trans boundary cooperation throughout South Asia particularly between nationals of India and Nepal.
  • Information obtained by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) through 2018 found that leopard bone products are still being promoted in China.  To quote (below) from the EIA report which can be read HERE:Since 2000, the parts of more than 4,900 leopards have been seized, destined for the market in China and likely representing a mere fraction of the leopard parts being trafficked.Image courtesy EIA

  • The trophy hunting of leopards continues in 13 African countries despite the fact panthera pardus is a CITES appendix 1 listed species.  The annual quota across nations where trophy hunting of leopards is permitted is in the many hundreds.  Many thousands of leopards have been killed this way during this century with more than 1000 leopard ‘trophies’ imported into the US alone between 2014 and 2016.  WildTiger contends the trophy hunting of leopards stimulates poaching by giving value thus creating a commodity.

Detailed statistics regarding these issues and many others confronting the leopard throughout its global range will be published in the May report.