National Geographic
Menu

Lion Conservation is Evolving in Maasai Mara

    The chief sat in the shade on a plastic chair that his wives had brought from inside. He was dressed to go out, with his wooden accoutrements– the herding stick and club that every Maasai man usually carries – were laid across his knees. His truck’s engine was running on the other side…

A Fortress For Cougar Kittens

We suspected F47, an adult female mountain lion followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, was pregnant in Spring of 2013; during the winter, we had caught her on camera consorting with M85, the resident male that overlapped her territory (see Rare Video Footage Shows the Dynamics of Cougar Courtship). In late Spring, F47 began to…

Lions Confiscated From German Circus Start new Life in African Sanctuary

Maggie and Sonja, two lionesses seized from a circus in Germany, are settling into their new home in South Africa, “where they’ll have a second chance to live out their days in a nurturing and natural environment” at the Born Free Foundation’s Big Cat Rescue and Education Centre at Shamwari Game Reserve, the conservation charity Born Free USA said in a news statement today.

Get Involved to Protect the African Lion

It is estimated that there are approximately 35,000 wild lions in Africa. This is a large decline in the total population since last estimates in 1980 of about 76,000. The decline is largely due to habitat loss, loss of prey base, and increased human-lion contact. (Related post: Lion Numbers Plunge as African Wilderness Succumbs to…

VIDEO: Young Women Rising to Save Lions in Mozambique

Celina Dias and Domingas Aleixo – featured in the newly released film-short by the EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation (EOWBF) – were both born and raised in Villa da Gorongosa, the largest village in the park’s surrounding buffer-zone. Recruited to Projecto Leões da Gorongosa in 2013, they represent the first women from Gorongosa to ever be employed on a Park science project and the first Mozambican women to work directly with lions in the wild, to study and conserve them.

Terrified Baby Impala Becomes Young Cheetahs’ First Hunting Lesson

Professional guide and lodge owner Mikey Carr-Hartly was on safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara, when he witnessed a remarkable encounter between a cheetah family and a young impala. “We were in an area of the southern Mara called Majani ya Chai, not far from Sala’s Camp,” said Mikey. “It’s the ideal habitat for cheetah because…

Great News for Tigers in India—and a Cautionary Tale

Talking Tigers: Part 10 of a 12-part series Amidst frequent heartbreaking stories about disappearing tigers, today there is some great news. India’s latest census has counted 2,226 tigers, a whopping 30 percent jump from the 1,706 documented in 2011. Nearly 10,000 “camera traps” were set up in known tiger territories; the resulting photographs definitively identified individuals…

Video: Satellites, Spies, and Savanna Science

Doing ecology in new and exciting places sometimes means that perfect historical data aren’t readily available for comparison with the present, and more creative efforts might be in order. As part of my PhD dissertation with the Pringle Lab at Princeton University, I’ve been using recently declassified American government satellite imagery recorded high over Mozambique in 1977 to study how war-driven mammal declines in Gorongosa National Park might have affected tree cover in the park’s savannas.

Short Film Showcase: Amazing Slo-Mo: Rare Tiger Released Into Wild

Two filmmakers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare race against the clock to capture high-speed footage of a Siberian tiger being released into the wild. In the past, conventional cameras captured only a fleeting glimpse of a tiger as it left its enclosure to return to the wild. But the IFAW hopes high-speed, high-definition…

Mountain Lions Versus Porcupines

What did F99, a subadult female mountain lion followed by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, think when she encountered a North American porcupine in early November? A small, female mountain lion in the Northern Rocky Mountains might weigh 80 lbs, while a large porcupine might weigh 20. Certainly, the two species aren’t matched for a fair…

Tigers and Wild Cats for Sale in Myanmar: A Tale of Two Border Towns

Talking Tigers: Part 9 of a 12-part series A decades-long investigation found that the illicit trade in tigers and other wild cats has been nearly shut down in Tachilek—a frontier town in eastern Myanmar—most likely because of heightened security across the border in Thailand. But the situation in Mong La, a lawless Burmese city on the…

“Lions Are My Life”: Part 2 of Jeneria’s Story

This is the second part of a feature on Jeneria Lekilelei, Ewaso Lions Field Operations and Community Manager. Click here to read Part 1. You came up with the idea behind Ewaso Lions’ flagship outreach program Warrior Watch. Can you explain your motivation for this program and its progress since its launch in 2010? I came…

From Goat Herding to Lion Conservation: The Story of a Samburu Warrior. Part 1

Meet Jeneria Lekilelei, a young Samburu warrior who comes from the Sasaab area in Westgate Community Conservancy, Samburu, Kenya. Jeneria started working with Ewaso Lions in 2008 as a Lion Scout and has since taken a substantial leadership role in his current position as Field Operations and Community Manager. Jeneria is a wildlife hero and…

Conservation between Hope and Despair

The last few months have been busy for team Panthera in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. On a hopeful note – repeat snow leopard camera trap surveys in the Alichur in the eastern Pamirs have shown a small yet promising increase in snow leopards using the protected conservancy grounds. More predator-proof corrals have been built in the eastern…

Steve Winter on the Trail of Big Cats for Big Cat Week

From trekking India’s Himalayas in search of rare snow leopards, to stalking the elusive jaguar through Latin American jungles, to chronicling the nocturnal activities of the cougar, there is nowhere Steve Winter won’t go to come face-to-face with his subjects.