New DNA Test Could be a Game Changer for Snow Leopards

There has been considerable drama surrounding snow leopard (Panthera uncia) conservation lately. In September, the snow leopard’s threat status was downgraded from Endangered to Vulnerable. This move sparked considerable controversy, mostly due to uncertainties surrounding the cat’s population status. Conservation geneticist Dr. Natalie Schmitt has devised a unique way to help address this problem. She … More New DNA Test Could be a Game Changer for Snow Leopards

Groundbreaking new Study Finds that Pumas may not be as Solitary as they Appear

A landmark study has just been released by scientists from the big cat conservation group Panthera. It describes repeat observations of relatively peaceful, social interactions between a supposedly solitary carnivore: the puma (AKA mountain lion, cougar, Florida panther, Puma concolor). The study, led by Dr. Mark Elbroch, took place in northwestern Wyoming. Elbroch and his … More Groundbreaking new Study Finds that Pumas may not be as Solitary as they Appear

What the Snow Leopard’s new Threat Status, and the Controversy Surrounding it, Mean

This has been a crazy week for snow leopard (Panthera uncia) conservation. Seven days ago, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reclassified snow leopards from Endangered to Vulnerable. This has produced strong reactions – and not all of them have been positive. Among other services, the IUCN manages the Red List: the most … More What the Snow Leopard’s new Threat Status, and the Controversy Surrounding it, Mean

Journey to Belize: Granite, Talks, and Doubt

This post continues the retelling of my recent time in Belize: participating in archaeological excavations on Mayan ruins and learning about jaguar conservation. Entering “Belize” in the search bar to the right will reveal the rest of the entries in this series. On Wednesday, May 31, I continued excavating at Structure 130. But before the Humboldt State crew and … More Journey to Belize: Granite, Talks, and Doubt

“Savage Jaguars:” New Paper Explores Portrayals of Jaguars in 20th Century Nature Writing

How we talk about wildlife matters. The words we use to describe a species can provide insight on how we feel about it – which in turn can reveal clues about how our cultures view such creatures. But it is not a one-way street: our words can also change how our societies conceptualize wildlife. A … More “Savage Jaguars:” New Paper Explores Portrayals of Jaguars in 20th Century Nature Writing

New Study Released About the Human Dimensions of Jaguar and Puma Conservation

A new study has recently been completed by Monica Engel, Jerry Vaske, Alistair Bath, and Silvio Marchini. It describes research conducted in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one of the most threatened forest ecosystems in the world, and it examined the relationship between two important factors: attitudes towards jaguars and pumas and the acceptability of killing … More New Study Released About the Human Dimensions of Jaguar and Puma Conservation

Genetic Analysis Reveals Three Subspecies of Snow Leopard

A new study has been released in the Journal of Heredity. Using samples of snow leopard scat (poop) from across the cat’s range, a team of 26 scientists performed genetic analysis to better understand the species’ population structure. They determined that there are three distinct subspecies of snow leopards (Panthera uncia). The possibility of the existence … More Genetic Analysis Reveals Three Subspecies of Snow Leopard

Survey Finds Rare Himalayan Wildlife in Northern India

The Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) has launched an impressive campaign to determine how many snow leopards (Panthera uncia) remain in the wild. As part of this effort, they teamed up with local partners to survey Kinnaur – a rugged landscape in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The results were more than satisfying. The SLT, Nature … More Survey Finds Rare Himalayan Wildlife in Northern India