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Muri, Switzerland

Hunter L.T.B.,Panthera | White P.,University of California at Los Angeles | Henschel P.,Panthera | Frank L.,Panthera | And 5 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2013

Despite formidable challenges and few successes in reintroducing large cats from captivity to the wild, the release of captives has widespread support from the general public and local governments, and continues to occur ad hoc. Commercial so-called lion Panthera leo encounter operations in Africa exemplify the issue, in which the captive breeding of the lion is linked to claims of reintroduction and broader conservation outcomes. In this article we assess the capacity of such programmes to contribute to in situ lion conservation. By highlighting the availability of wild founders, the unsuitability of captive lions for release and the evidence-based success of wild-wild lion translocations, we show that captive-origin lions have no role in species restoration. We also argue that approaches to reintroduction exemplified by the lion encounter industry do not address the reasons for the decline of lions in situ, nor do they represent a model that can be widely applied to restoration of threatened felids elsewhere. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2012. Source


Creel S.,Montana State University | Becker M.S.,Montana State University | Durant S.M.,UK Institute of Zoology | Durant S.M.,Wildlife Conservation Society | And 56 more authors.
Ecology Letters | Year: 2013

Packer et al. reported that fenced lion populations attain densities closer to carrying capacity than unfenced populations. However, fenced populations are often maintained above carrying capacity, and most are small. Many more lions are conserved per dollar invested in unfenced ecosystems, which avoid the ecological and economic costs of fencing. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS. Source


Jacobson A.P.,UK Institute of Zoology | Jacobson A.P.,University College London | Jacobson A.P.,National Geographic Society | Gerngross P.,BIOGEOMAPS | And 17 more authors.
PeerJ | Year: 2016

The leopard's (Panthera pardus) broad geographic range, remarkable adaptability, and secretive nature have contributed to a misconception that this species might not be severely threatened across its range. We find that not only are several subspecies and regional populations critically endangered but also the overall range loss is greater than the average for terrestrial large carnivores. To assess the leopard's status, we compile 6,000 records at 2,500 locations from over 1,300 sources on its historic (post 1750) and current distribution. We map the species across Africa and Asia, delineating areas where the species is confirmed present, is possibly present, is possibly extinct or is almost certainly extinct. The leopard now occupies 25-37% of its historic range, but this obscures important differences between subspecies. Of the nine recognized subspecies, three (P. p. pardus, fusca, and saxicolor) account for 97% of the leopard's extant range while another three (P. p. orientalis, nimr, and japonensis) have each lost as much as 98% of their historic range. Isolation, small patch sizes, and few remaining patches further threaten the six subspecies that each have less than 100,000 km2 of extant range. Approximately 17% of extant leopard range is protected, although some endangered subspecies have far less. We found that while leopard research was increasing, research effort was primarily on the subspecies with the most remaining range whereas subspecies that are most in need of urgent attention were neglected. © 2016 Jacobson et al. Source


Wilting A.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Cord A.,University of Wurzburg | Cord A.,German Aerospace Center | Hearn A.J.,Canopy | And 18 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: The flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) is one of the world's least known, highly threatened felids with a distribution restricted to tropical lowland rainforests in Peninsular Thailand/Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra. Throughout its geographic range large-scale anthropogenic transformation processes, including the pollution of fresh-water river systems and landscape fragmentation, raise concerns regarding its conservation status. Despite an increasing number of cameratrapping field surveys for carnivores in South-East Asia during the past two decades, few of these studies recorded the flatheaded cat. Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study, we designed a predictive species distribution model using the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) algorithm to reassess the potential current distribution and conservation status of the flat-headed cat. Eighty-eight independent species occurrence records were gathered from field surveys, literature records, and museum collections. These current and historical records were analysed in relation to bioclimatic variables (WorldClim), altitude (SRTM) and minimum distance to larger water resources (Digital Chart of the World). Distance to water was identified as the key predictor for the occurrence of flat-headed cats (>50% explanation). In addition, we used different land cover maps (GLC2000, GlobCover and SarVision LLC for Borneo), information on protected areas and regional human population density data to extract suitable habitats from the potential distribution predicted by the MaxEnt model. Between 54% and 68% of suitable habitat has already been converted to unsuitable land cover types (e.g. croplands, plantations), and only between 10% and 20% of suitable land cover is categorised as fully protected according to the IUCN criteria. The remaining habitats are highly fragmented and only a few larger forest patches remain. Conclusion/Significance: Based on our findings, we recommend that future conservation efforts for the flat-headed cat should focus on the identified remaining key localities and be implemented through a continuous dialogue between local stakeholders, conservationists and scientists to ensure its long-term survival. The flat-headed cat can serve as a flagship species for the protection of several other endangered species associated with the threatened tropical lowland forests and surface fresh-water sources in this region. © 2010 Wilting et al. Source

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