2013 has seen some great progress in the conservation of wild cats. Below are a few highlights:
1) Nepals Tigers increase by 63%.
Nepal is an important country for tiger conservation and the population is connected to the Tigers northern India. As the WWF reports in Nepal’s tiger numbers climbing the Tiger numbers in Nepal have gone up by 63% since 2009 to about 198 cats. This clearly shows that Tigers can recover quickly if suitable habitat and prey is left and if they are well protected.
See also: Nepal records remarkable growth in tiger numbers.
2) New Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu (India)
India has declared the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary a new Tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu in southern India. An estimated 25 Tiers are living there and the new reserve connects to existing protected areas. See more: India Declares a New Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.
3) New law to protect Pumas in California
Hunting Pumas (Cougars, Mountain Lions) is illegal in California in contrast to many other states in the US where the cats are still hunted. But Pumas were still shot when perceived as a safety threat. Often this was unnecessary. In 2013 a new law was passed to which requires that nonlethal procedures are used when a Puma accidentally walks into towns but poses no threat to the public.
Learn more about the new bill on the Mountain Lion Foundation website: California Mountain Lion Public Safety Bill.
4) Now ambitious global initiative to protect Snow Leopards across their range
Snow Leopards are endangered across their range. In 2013 a conference was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic where governments of all 12 countries with existing Snow Leopard populations, experts and NGOs got together. The countries agreed to work together on Snow Leopard conservation and research. One of the goals is to “identify and secure 20 snow leopard landscapes across the cat’s range by 2020″. This is very ambitious and could result in much better protection and rising populations of the rare cats across their range.
See more in the following artices on the Snow Leopard Trust website:
5) Amur Leopard breeding confirmed in China
The Amur subspecies of the Leopard is one of the rarest cats in the world with an estimated 30-50 individuals left in the wild. The Amur Leopard lives in the Russian Far East close to the Chinese Boarder (sharing it’s range with the Amur Tiger). In 2013 the first known successful breeding was confirmed in China thanks to camera traps. This shows that areas in China are also important for the species and conservation efforts are needed in both countries. NGOs like the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) are already working in both countries for the Amur Leopards and Amur Tigers.