More to come about Cats
As of December 2015, The good news is that several species of lion are now formally protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act including the critically endangered Asiatic lions of India and a subspecies now called P.l. leo found scatter throughout western and central Africa. Other subspecies are listed as threatened: many living in protected restricted areas.
Throughout the various pages in this blog, habitat loss is one of the main causes of endangerment: in Africa, habitat loss is cause by human population growth and cattle farmers. Here’s a statistic that profoundly exemplifies what habitat lose looks like: less than In West Africa, lions roam in less than 1 percent of their original space: throughout Africa, roaming territory has been reduced to less than one-quarter their original range (Scientific America). Poaching and smaller populations of prey animals are also responsible for both lion and cheetah population decline. In order to continue managing these populations of lions and the management of protected reserves requires a great deal of money. If you love lions, there are plenty of donation and information sites online.
Having evolve in the Northern American Continent and traveling over the land bridge created by the last ice age, the Cheetah spread throughout Asia and into Africa. They are now found only on the savannahs and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa. These beautiful animals numbers are dwindling in protective wildlife preserves in part due to increased competition from lions and hyenas. On top of that, cheetahs tend to wander off the reserves placing them in danger of human conflict. The smaller the population, the less diverse the gene pool, and the more fragile they become to diseases. Attempts at breeding Cheetahs in captivity are very dodgy, and scientist are very concerned for their future (Scientific America).
Check out The Smithsonian Institute for more information.
Cheetah Science Q The Smithsonian
Living on rugged, mountainous terrain in the Himalayas and Central Asia, snow leopards are able to leap up to 50 feet in the air. They eat mostly wild sheep, goats, and smaller mammals such as pikas, zokors and marmots. Other than habitat loss, diminishing food supply and the illegal wildlife trade, many herders also do revenge killings as they prey on livestock to survive.
WWF considers climate change as perhaps “the greatest long term threat to snow leopards” resulting in “the loss of up to 30 percent of the snow leopard habitat in the Himalayas alone.”
Contact the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) if you’d like to help. They work on conservation projects to protect these animals with the local people, and supports research.
Read more about Snow Leopards and a list of other animals at WWF