National Geographic is all about the cats. Not the Jellicles from stage, nor the fluffy fella who might be purring on your belly as you read this (or walking across your keyboard)…but the big ones. Big cats of most species, from lions and tigers to cheetahs, snow leopards, and mountain lions–you know, all those Macintosh operating system names–are in real trouble. Top felines around the world are disappearing at alarming, disastrous rates, from habitat loss and human conflict. Proven ineffective claims of Chinese medicine claims the lives of tigers, safari resort properties push lions and leopards and cheetahs out of crucial hinting and living spaces, and suburban subdivisions snatch ground right from under the paws of mountain lions and bobcats here in the US.
To help open some eyes, and start corrective action plans, the National Geographic Society and Explorers-in-Residence (man, how do I get THAT job?!) Dereck and Beverly Joubert, have launched the Big Cats Initiative. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so it is a multi-pronged attack against extinction: education, on-the-ground conservation programs, global awareness, even economic incentives in rural communities. The first step, addressing the worst crisis, is to halt the decline of African lions and cheetahs, and in a perfect world, success would include building populations back up from the critical levels where we find them today. Next steps will hopefully follow soon–it is a definite crisis when you realize, for instance, that there are now more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild.
The clock is ticking. HERE is how to take action and CAUSE AN UPROAR!