Today is #GivingTuesday: a day set aside to donate to non-profit groups. There are countless non-profits around the globe who are working to make this world a better place, and giving to any of them would be great. However, since this is a blog about wild cats, why not support the tireless organizations who are working to conserve these incredible animals?
Here is a non-exhaustive list of groups, some of whom I have mentioned on this site, who are working to protect wild cats:
- Center for Biological Diversity
- Conservation CATalyst
- Fishing Cat Conservancy
- Mountain Lion Foundation
- National Geographic Society
- Nats Cats DNA
- Snow Leopard Trust
- Wildlife Conservation Society
Please take a few minutes to visit as many of the above links as you can, and learn more about these worthy non-profits. If you find a group that you particularly like, why not make a donation? Every gift helps.
For my part, on this #GivingTuesday I have chosen to donate to Panthera. There are several reasons why. First, their late co-founder, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, was largely responsible for inspiring me to start trying to find ways to get involved in big cat conservation. Here is an excellent video about Dr. Rabinowitz that Panthera released for #GivingTuesday:
Another reason I have chosen to support Panthera is that while I was in Belize, their in-country staff (Dr. Bart Harmsen and Yahaira) were exceptionally generous with their time: educating me about the Central Belize Corridor (CBC) and other crucial aspects of jaguar conservation. Donating to their organization is thus a way to say, “Thanks.”
Lastly, I love the ambitious scale of some of Panthera’s conservation projects, including the Jaguar Corridor Initiative.
Despite ever-increasing habitat loss and fragmentation throughout their range, jaguars (Panthera onca) have somehow been able to move through the human matrix and mate with unrelated members of their species, thus maintaining their genetic fitness. This increases jaguars’ adaptability and reduces the prevalence of potentially harmful recessive alleles (groups of genes), making genetic fitness a vital element of the cats’ long-term survival.
Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative is all about identifying, preserving; and, in some cases, restoring the pathways that jaguars are using to find one another – across their entire range. Bold, even audacious projects like the Jaguar Corridor Initiative are exactly what wide-ranging species like jaguars need.
Of course, you are free to donate to any group you wish. No matter who you give to, know that your contribution matters.