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Luke Hunter

of Panthera

Dr. Luke Hunter is the President of Panthera (www.panthera.org) and has worked on the ecology and conservation of wild carnivores since 1992. His current projects include assessing the effects of sport hunting on leopards and lions, working with teams in the Brazilian Pantanal to reduce the conflict between ranchers and jaguars, and the first intensive study of Persian leopards and the last surviving Asiatic cheetahs in Iran. Hunter supervises graduate students working on carnivores around the world including the first comprehensive studies on some little-known species such as African golden cats and Sunda clouded leopards. Luke Hunter has contributed to over 140 scientific papers and popular articles, and has published seven books including ‘Cheetah’ (2003), ‘Cats of Africa: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation’ (2006), ‘A Field Guide to Carnivores of the World’ (2011) and "Wild Cats of the World" (2015). Photo by Steve Winter.

Asia’s Last Cheetahs

The cheetah’s speed is legendary. As possibly the swiftest mammal that has ever lived (extinct relatives of the cheetah were likely not as speedy), there is nothing on earth it cannot out-run. Nothing in nature, that is. Unfortunately, for all its extraordinary high-speed adaptations, the cheetah has no evolutionary solution for modern traffic. Among the many dangers faced by cheetahs, collisions with vehicles rank among the top threats to an especially endangered population: the unique Asiatic cheetahs of Iran.

Proposed US-Mexico Border Wall Will Have Impacts on Wild Cats and Other Wildlife

Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, opposes the construction of a border wall that would disturb the natural movement and dispersal patterns of wildlife, including cougars, ocelots and jaguars, between Mexico and the United States. Fencing has already broken natural connections between wild cat populations in some areas of the border. Further fortification, as proposed by the Administration, would fragment wildlife populations already under pressure.

How to Save the Lions

These projects protect lions from poachers, traps, and angry people.

Finding the Last Cheetahs of Iran

This week, National Geographic magazine published extraordinary new images of wild Asiatic cheetahs in Iran. That National Geographic was able to photograph these rarest of cheetahs is testament to 11 years of conservation work by the Iranian Department of Environment. As the only country on Earth that has managed to keep this remarkable cat alive, Iran deserves to be congratulated. (Photo by Frans Lanting, from the November 2012 issue of National Geographic Magazine.)