This is a new page being built as WildTiger distributes guidelines to highly affected areas. It is important to understand why big cats are so important and why coexisting with them is crucial to our future. This section is currently being translated into different languages focusing on hotspots where human – big cat conflict has created serious challenges in accordance with the posters and leaflets WildTiger distributes in those languages. We’re also building in a component linking the importance of big cats to mitigating climate change timed for 1 February 2022, the beginning of the next Year of the Tiger. For now we suggest this link regarding the biodiversity crisis and climate change and you can read below for fundamental information on why big cats are important.
- Big cats are usually listed as being tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard but there are other species of wild cat large in size and facing the same challenges as these four. These include cougar (also know as mountain lion or puma), cheetah, snow leopard, lynx and clouded leopard. Species of big cats are part of nature in many parts of planet earth.
- Every one of these big cat species plays an important role in ecosystems. They are known as keystone species because if they are removed then there is a breakdown of the ecosystem to which they belong.
- Another description often applied to big cats is that they are apex predators. They are known as barometers of ecosystems which means the health of those ecosystems is very much dependent on the health of big cats. If ecosystems are healthy then the air we breathe, the water we drink and even the food we eat is healthy.
- Big cats are also important to our thinking, they help us remember our place on earth as they are symbols of nature. Big cats are important to cultural heritage and pride as well as being major reasons why wildlife tourism is popular and of economic benefit.
- By being at the top of food chains and symbols of nature they are connected to us so strongly that by protecting them, we protect ourselves.
WildTiger is expanding this information along with a new membership section for ‘Living with Big Cats’ soon. Please check back and/or follow our social media sites for progress.