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Lion Population Declining in Uganda

declining african lion population in uganda

In an article written in the Oryx journal, researchers are reporting that the African lion population in Uganda has decreased more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.  Reasons for the decline include

“…poisoning by local cattle herders, retaliation for livestock predation and other  human-related conflicts.”

Read more about the declining lion population at:  http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/10/24/Conservationists-warn-of-decline-in-lion-numbers-in-Uganda/UPI-62601382643564/#ixzz2iklxrZmw

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Poachers Responsible for Karnataka, India Tiger Losses

karnataka tigers

The Deccan Chronicle has reported that 23 tigers have died over the past two years in Karnataka, an Indian state known for having the largest population of tigers in the country. According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, poaching is the main cause of the loss.

“Of the tigers who died at least 16 are said to have been fallen into the hands of  poachers or  succumbed to “unknown reasons.”   While eight tigers died or were poached in the tiger reserves,  six  were found dead outside them. Although as many as 14 tigers died in 2012 alone, the state has done little to curb wildlife poaching, say animal conservationists.”

Read more about the Karnataka tigers.
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Rihanna Visits South African Lion Park

Rihanna Visits South African Lion Park

Rihanna visits Lion Park in South Africa before performing at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

The Lion Park is a breeding ground and sanctuary for African wildlife, with a focus on the Wild Dog, white lion and cheetah. The lions in the park come from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Northern Gauteng and Botswana. There are currently 80 lions in the park.

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Los Angeles – The Griffith Park Mountain Lion

Steve White Camera Trap Griffith Park

A 125-pound mountain lion has been living in L.A.’s Griffith Park for the past four years.

Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country. Located just above Los Feliz Boulevard, it covers over 4,300 acres.

The young lion, named P-22, has been living on mule deer, raccoon and coyote. It is believed the wild cat travelled 20 miles to the park from the Santa Monica Mountains. After triggering a camera trap in 2012, the big cat was found and sedated. A GPS collar was attached to the animal to track its movements.

National Geographic photographer Steve Winter has taken several shots of the lion. One will be appearing in National Geographic’s December issue.

Read the entire story here.

 

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Jaguars Seduced by Calvin Klein “Obsession for Men” Cologne

calvin klein obsession for men

According to a recent article in Scientific American, the best way to lure a jaguar to a camera trap is by spraying the surrounding tree branches with Calvin Klein’s “Obsession for Men” cologne.

The camera traps are used to take photos of the jaguars and collect research data. When a jaguar approaches the trap, infrared sensors trigger the camera.

“Obsession for Men” is described by the manufacturer as a “masculine blend of botanics, spices and rare woods.” One of the scent’s main ingredients is civetone, which is produced from the glands of civets.

The civet, a nocturnal cat-like mammal with raccoon facial features, lives in the tropical forests of Asia and Africa. There are over a dozen different civet species. The civet Viverra civettina is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

civet

The animal’s gland secretions have been used to make perfume for hundreds of years. However, the number of perfumes containing civetone has been on the decline since the development of synthetic musk. Channel No. 5 stopped using civet in their perfumes in 1998.

The procedure for removing the secretion, which is extracted every two to three weeks from a sac under the civet’s tail, is extremely painful.

In 2004, the Chinese government killed over 10,000 civet cats in captivity when a man became ill from a new strain of the SARS virus that was similar to the SARS virus found in civets.

In addition to the use of glandular sections to manufacture perfume, civets are also killed for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in Asia.

A coffee made in Vietnam and the Philippines is produced from coffee cherries that have been partially digested by civets. A 2012 investigation found civets being force-fed the cherries and living in horrific conditions.

Are you or someone you know using perfume or cologne with civetone? You may want to start shopping for another product. Check the bottle’s ingredients to find out.

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Today, July 29th, is Global Tiger Day

the tiger

Today, July 29th, is Global Tiger Day, also known as International Tiger Day. The purpose of the event, which was launched in 2010 at the world’s first global Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, is to raise awareness on tiger conservation issues.

The 2010 St. Petersburg Tiger Summit was organized by Russian president Vladimir Putin and World Bank chief Robert Zoellick in response to research that showed wild tigers would go extinct by 2040 or sooner.

Summit goals included the establishment of a global system to preserve and restore tigers in the borders of their historical range, increase public awareness and support for tiger conservation and double the wild tiger population by 2022, from an estimated 3,200 wild tiger to more than 7,000.

More than $330 million in donor pledges was raised during the summit, which was attended by hundreds of representatives from the 13 tiger range states and members of the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), as well as the WWF, Wildlife Conservation Society, political leaders, heads of state and celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Campbell. The group unanimously adopted the St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation, and endorsed the Global Tiger Recovery Program as the mechanism for its implementation.

Established in 2008, the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) is an international alliance of governments, organizations and individuals led by the 13 tiger range countries. GTI members are committed to working together toward a common agenda to save wild tigers from extinction.

GTI aspires “…to a world where, by 2022, wild tigers across Asia will no longer face the risk of extinction—and will live in healthy populations within high conservation value landscapes that are managed sustainably for present and future generations.”

 

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New Article by Author David Quammen on African Lion Conservation

african lion conservation

According to a new article on African lion conservation by science and nature writer David Quammen, recent surveys and estimates indicate an 80% decline in lions throughout Africa, with the remaining lions currently living in approximately 70 different areas. “But the smallest contain only tiny populations, isolated, genetically limited, and lacking viability for the long term,” notes Quammen.

Quammen states various causes of the decline, including:

  • Habitat loss
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Poaching of lion prey for bush meat
  • Poaching snares that catch lions instead
  • Displacement of lion prey by livestock
  • Disease
  • Spearing and killing of lions
  • Tribal ritual killings
  • Trophy hunting

He discusses possible solutions to the problem, such as the controversial fencing strategies suggested by ecologist Craig Packer, a professor at the University of Minnesota and director of the Lion Research Center.  Parker claims that “few African nations can invest adequately in the management of the parks,” and that while fencing could destroy some migratory ecosystems, it would protect and save a much higher percentage of lions due to significantly reduced management costs.

Quammen also talks about a reduction in lion killings following the 2007 implementation of the Maasai Lion Guardian program, a Living with Lions project. Lion killing has been a Maasai “rites of passage” tradition.  The Lion Guardian program recruits and trains Maasai warriors to protect the lions instead of killing them.

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New Report on Reintroduction of African Lions into the Wild

african lion research

A new report on African lion conservation, A Framework for the Ex-situ Reintroduction of the African Lion, has been published by Jackie Abell of Lancaster University in collaboration with the African Lion & Environmental Research Trust (ALERT). The report provides an overview of successful and unsuccessful efforts to reintroduce captive-bred African lions into the wild.

Although off-site management of threatened species is not uncommon, there has been on-going debate about reintroduction programs and strategies.

Report recommendations include:

  • An initiative to re-study previous ex-situ (off-site) reintroductions in order to develop a framework for future African lion conservation strategies.
  • Captive breeding programs that follow internationally recognized veterinary, animal husbandry and ethical standards.
  • The need for pre-release training of hand-raised lions, including regular daily walks, nighttime outings, the development of a pride structure and hunting skills, and exposure to competitive species.

According to an earlier report on African lion conservation published by the Ecology Letters scientific journal, as much as half of Africa’s wild lion population may decline to near extinction within the next 20 to 40 years.

 

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