Often these Feel Good Friday posts tie into the time of year or current events. Today, however, is a rather random post about wild cats highlighting the work of Panthera, not to be confused with the 80’s metal band Pantera.
Founded in 2006, Panthera's mission is to "ensure a future for wild cats and the vast landscapes on which they depend.” Utilizing the expertise of the world’s premier cat biologists, Panthera develops and implements global strategies for the most imperiled cats. They focus on wild cats because their presence indicates healthy, intact ecosystems that support all life, including people.
Based in New York City, Panthera has partners in 34 countries and runs projects in over 300 sites around the world. It is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting our 40 species of wild cats. While much of the work they do is focused on the seven species of big cats: cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers, their team of scientists also implements conservation and research initiatives on many of the 33 smaller wild cat species around the globe.
Examples of current projects include: Tigers Forever, connecting tiger conservation organizations across Asia to increase tiger numbers by at least 50% over a 10-year period; monitoring the status of the leopard in West and Central Africa to put an end to leopard poaching; and the Jaguar Parade NYC 2022, an open air art exhibit starting September 7th, in which 40 jaguar sculptures designed by global artists will be placed around New York City, then auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds going to support jaguars. You can see the full list of projects at this link.
Panthera has made a big impact since their founding. Tiger populations have rebounded in India and Nepal, critical jaguar habitat across 18 countries has been protected, wildlife technology has caught poachers in real-time and an alliance between six indigenous tribes has been forged to help protect pumas and bobcats in Washington state. You can watch this short video to see more about what Panthera has accomplished: Panthera: 15 Years of Protecting Wild Cats.
If you want to support the work being done by Panthera there are many ways you can join the pride. Make a donation, shop for merch and share the love. Download the social media toolkit and start sharing information on Facebook at this link, on Twitter @PantheraCats and Instagram @pantheracats. #wildcats