Friday, 7 August 2009
Save China's Tigers to Fund Wild Cat Conservation Worldwide
Save China's Tigers, a charitable foundation funding pioneering work with the South China Tiger, has broadened its scope of conservation goals from tigers to include all wild cats around the world. Today it launched the "Wildcat Fund” to encourage and support wild cat research, conservation, as well as reintroduction efforts for highly endangered and vulnerable wild cats.
There are currently thirty-seven species of wild cats, with many facing uncertain futures. The best known are the big cats including tigers, lions, and jaguars. Of these, the South China Tiger is the most endangered and is on the verge of extinction. However, three-quarters of the world's wild cats are smaller species and many of these are also highly endangered such as the Iriomote Cat, the Andean Mountain cat, Borneo Bay cat, and the Flat-headed cat.
Historically, funding in wild cat conservation has favoured the large, charismatic species such as lions, cheetahs and tigers. While giving priorities to cat species having the IUCN “Endangered” status or above, Save China’s Tigers’ “Wildcat Fund” also encourages projects conducting pioneering biological and ecological research of little known cat species in an effort to increase understanding of these species and help design improved conservation actions.
Ms. Li Quan, Founding Director of Save China's Tigers said: "My passion has always been for all cats of the world. I am very pleased to be able to contribute to the conservation of all of them through Save China's Tigers’ Wildcat Fund. Over the years, we have realized that for some endangered species to survive in the wild, a multi-disciplinary approach combining captive breeding, rewilding, habitat protection and restoration, and re-introduction can make a valuable contribution to wildlife conservation and the environment. Save China’s Tigers was the first to experiment with this alternative in big cat conservation and we have made a number of significant breakthroughs in tiger conservation. We would like to apply our expertise and share our experience to help save other endangered cats of the world", says Quan.
Projects applying for funding must be proactive conservation projects led by wild cat biologists and ecologists with proven academic record, but more importantly over eight years of field experience. Proposals should not include office and administrative expenditures. "We would like to focus on field activities to counter the trend in conservation where valuable donor funding pays for office infrastructure and expensive conferences. And, we would like to make the projects we fund accountable for our benefactors", Quan added.
One of the first projects that Save China's Tigers will be funding is Brazilian Jaguar expert Dr. Peter Crawshaw's research vehicle to support his various wild cat conservation projects including jaguars, cougars etc. Another is the rewilding and reintroduction of a female Oncilla (aka "Tiger Cat" and "Leopardus tigrinus") in Brazil to learn if it is feasible to think of reintroducing individuals into the wild from captive conditions, as well as to study the behaviour of wild individuals of this little known cat.
Funding applications can be made at any time by completing an application form which can be downloaded from our website. The grant committee will be chaired by Save China's Tigers founder Li Quan with a panel of experienced cat scientists. Any inquiries must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Save China's Tigers would like to use this opportunity to thank all its supporters for their tremendous contribution to our historic Chinese Tiger conservation effort.
WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF:
Conservation Finance International
FOR MAKING THIS NEW INITIATIVE POSSIBLE
Photo by: Yuan Ye