Animal Defenders International (ADI) President Jan Creameristo be honored at TheWIFTS International Visionary Awards 2017 in recognition of ADI’s life-saving work for animals under her leadership. At an exclusive event in Los Angeles on December 10th, Jan will be presented withTheOtiliaAnimal Advocacy award inaugurated by TippiHedren in 2014.
Jan Creamer, ADI President said “It is an honor to be chosen for this special award. As a species, we are having a devastating effect on the lives of animals and our shared environment, they need our help. Humanity can be a force for good, protecting our planet and the other species who call it home.”
Celebrating its 10th year, The Women’s International Film & Television Showcase and TheWIFTS Foundation is dedicated to increasing awareness of ‘singular women as individuals’.TheWIFTS Foundation selected Angela Merkel as TheWIFTS Woman of The Decade (Society) & Gal GadotWoman of The Decade (Film). Often unrecognized for their passion and integrity in their chosen field,fellow honorees include actressElaine Partnow; Cassini Project Lead Scientist LindaJ Spilker;documentary filmmakers Gina Abatemarco and Taira Akbar; Mayes C. RubeoCostume Designer for Thor: Ragnarok, currently in cinemas worldwide.
A short film showcasing ADI’s work for animals led by Janwill be screened at the awards ceremony,and feature the organization’s latest rescue mission, the epic Operation Spirit of Freedom inwhich more than 100 animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade were saved.AsADI assisted the government of Peru with enforcement of a ban on wild animal acts, over 30 lions were flown home to Africa and more than 50 indigenous wild animals, including six different species of monkey and bears, homed in ADI sanctuary facilities in the Amazon.
Jan co-founded ADI in 1990 with her husband and Vice President Tim Philips, and leadsfrom the front, going toe to toe with circus owners refusing to hand over animals; writing reports;filming in animal laboratories, factory farms, animal dealers, slaughterhouses and circuses; spearheading prosecutions, or addressing national legislators and governments.
ADI’s highly committed team gathers evidence on industries such as circuses, performing animal trainers, animal laboratories and fur farms. Sustained awareness campaigns have been the catalyst for legislation protecting animals, including ending circus acts in over 40 countries, animal cruelty convictions, the EU ban on use of wild caught primates or their offspring in experiments,bans on cosmetics tests on animals in the UK and Europe and restrictions in over 180 countries on cross-border movements of endangered species in traveling exhibitions.
A major element of this work is the production of short and feature documentaries, television work and online productions. Film and television has a major impact on public understanding of animal and environmental issues and ADI has ensured that the animals are represented in film, television and online productions. The ADI’s large-scale rescue work is showcased in the multi award-winning feature documentary, Lion Ark, produced by Jan Creamer, directed by Tim Phillips. The film tells the story of the rescue of 25 lions from Bolivian circuses, in a joint ADI-Bolivian Government law enforcement operation.
Jan is one of 100 visionaries nominated by the Albert Einstein Foundation to mark 100 years of Einstein’s theory of relativity. The “world’s greatest minds” are presenting their visions of the future in the world’s first 3D-printed bookGenius. The Genius: 100 Visions of the Future, include director Sir Ridley Scott, former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Barbara Streisand, former commander of the international space station Colonel Chris Hadfield, author Salman Rushdie, Nobel laureates, billionaire entrepreneurs and spiritual leaders. The global project honors the life and legacy of Albert Einstein, recognizes living visionaries, and seeks to “inspire the next generation of brilliant minds on the planet.”
Jan and Tim are also recipients of The Drury University Forum on Animal Rights ‘Bob Barker Award for Extraordinary Achievement for Animal Rights’, Legendary TV presenter and philanthropist, Bob Barker, a funder of ADI’s work, said,"I am proud to be on ADI's list of donors! In my opinion Animal Defenders International is one of the world's most productive animal protection organizations."
To support Animal Defenders International’s life-saving workwww.ad-international.org/donate
Animal Defenders International (ADI):Los Angeles – London – Bogota
Ending the suffering of animals in captivity and protecting wild animals and their environments
Active worldwide to end the suffering of animals: animals in entertainment – film, television, advertising, circuses and sport or leisure; animals used for food or fur; protection of wildlife and the environment; trade in animals zoos, pets, entertainment and laboratories. Funding and promotion of advanced scientific methods to replace the use of animals in research. ADI investigates, produces evidence and reports on the scientific, legal and economic issues for each case study, recommending solutions. Education and awareness to public, media and officials. Where ADI’s evidence has been a catalyst for change, we collaborate with governments to conduct large-scale seizures of wild animals in captivity and relocate them to forever homes – back to their natural habitat wherever possible.
ADI government-backed rescues:
Operation Spirit of Freedom – Over 100 wild animals, seized from illegal circuses andwildlife trade, rehomed to natural habitats.
In 2016, part of this operation included an airlift of 33 ex-circus lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia, home to Africa.
In 2015, ADI relocated over 40 monkeys of six different species and other animals to their natural habitats in Peru as well as spectacled bear, 25-year-old Cholita, driven three days across the Andes, to her new home at the foot of her natural cloud forest range; a specially built oxygen tent was built to help the elderly bear at high altitudes.
Operation Lion Ark in Bolivia in 2011; ADI assisted officials with the seizure of 25 African lions and relocated them to a sanctuary in the US, this story is told in the feature documentary, Lion Ark (www.lionarkthemovie.com)
(Washington, D.C., Dec. 1, 2017) Conserving Greater Sage-Grouse requires more habitat protection, not less. That’s the message conservation groups are delivering to the administration as it considers potentially devastating revisions to the landmark 2015 Greater Sage-Grouse conservation planning initiative. The revisions, if enacted, would come at too high a cost to the sage-grouse and the remaining sagebrush habitat on public lands, sending the future of both the bird and its iconic landscape back into uncertainty.
“Because of these proposed backward-looking changes and new development plans for public lands in the region, the grouse is once again at risk of extinction and in need of stronger protection,” said Steve Holmer, American Bird Conservancy’s Vice President of Policy. “The stability and certainty provided to local communities and land users by the federal management plans and other grouse conservation measures are also now at risk of being lost if these changes are put into place.”
Instead of changing direction, the federal government should live up to promises it made in 2015 to ensure sage-grouse protection — promises that formed the basis for not listing the sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act. The coalition of conservation groups, which includes those most focused on sage-grouse protection over the past decade, are gravely concerned about the recommendation made in the Interior Department’s Sage-Grouse Report to roll back those vital protections and eliminate Sagebrush Focal Areas.
“We oppose the administration's plan to roll back these protections, and also oppose efforts to reduce sage-grouse habitat by further reducing protected habitats, reversing adaptive management that occurs when habitat or population triggers are tripped, or eliminating general habitat management areas in Utah,” said Rebecca Fischer of WildEarth Guardians. “It's also appalling that the planning effort is occurring on a state-by-state basis. This ignores the need to consider the species’ needs at a range-wide scale and will result in the failure to apply strong and consistent protections.”
The Greater Sage-Grouse has become a wildly popular and iconic symbol of the American West and its wide-open sagebrush basins. Year after year, sage-grouse gather in the spring at small arenas in the sagebrush called leks to dance, display, and mate. Their mating dance is one of the great natural spectacles of the West.
“The protections which the administration appears ready to eviscerate are essential, not just for sage-grouse but for a broad diversity of wildlife and the health of public lands in the West,” said Erik Molvar of Western Watersheds Project. “Sagebrush Focal Areas are the only habitats where the land-use plans even come close to the protections recommended by scientific experts, so at minimum all of the priority habitats should receive this level of protection.”
The groups are urging Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to adopt the scientific recommendations of the Bureau of Land Management’s own science team on sage-grouse. Those recommendations include refraining from fluid-mineral leasing in priority habitats, buffering leks by four miles to prevent any impacts from known disturbances, ensuring that all grazing allotments are meeting science-based standards for sagebrush habitat integrity, ceasing vegetation treatments that degrade sagebrush habitat, preserving winter habitats, limiting disturbances to one per section and 3 percent of each square mile of priority habitat, and withdrawing sagebrush habitats from mining. The agencies’ analysis should preserve priority habitats through a network of areas of critical environmental concern and zoological areas managed to protect sage-grouse, according to the groups.
John Fitzpatrick, Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, said: “This ill-timed revision of federal sage-grouse management plans, before they have had a chance to work, runs counter to the best available science.”
Instead of balancing development with conservation, the administration has adopted a policy of “energy dominance,” prioritizing fossil fuel development over other uses on western public lands.
“This attack on sage-grouse conservation is part of a larger trend of plundering public lands and resources,” said Michael Saul of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Secretary Zinke’s proposed gutting of the sage-grouse plans reads like an oil and gas industry wish list, and is a recipe for accelerating the decline of Greater Sage-Grouse across the West.”
Photo of Greater Sage-Grouse by Warren Cooke
American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.
Western Watersheds Project works to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives, and legal advocacy. WWP works to influence and improve public lands management throughout the West with a primary focus on the negative impacts of livestock grazing on 250 million acres of western public lands.
WildEarth Guardians is a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West. Guardians has worked for years and continues to work to protect the Greater Sage-Grouse and the Sagebrush Sea so that future generations might continue to enjoy this spectacular species.
For over three decades, Chris DeRose has been a leader in the animal rights movement, and an inspiration and consultant to countless individuals and groups dedicated to the animal cause. In 1984, he founded Last Chance for Animals (LCA), an international, nonprofit animal advocacy organization focused on investigating, exposing, and ending animal exploitation.
Chris had a promising future as an actor, a profession he eventually turned his back on; instead he chose to devote 100% of his time to saving animals and educating people about animal abuse. For ten years, using the power of the media, he worked as a reporter and special correspondent for TV’s Hard Copy. By the time Hard Copy left the air in 1999, Chris had contributed to more than 150 animal stories on the show that reached millions of people.
Since his youth in New Jersey, Chris has committed his life to ending oppression – wherever he finds it. As a Big Brother to street kids, he supported and encouraged a number of young men who, as a result, have built better lives for themselves. Through his experience as a police officer, Chris gained the necessary skills to investigate criminal activity, pursue the perpetrators, and see them brought to justice. He organized the Los Angeles Sunset Green Party, aimed at combining environmental and animal issues, and founded a spay/neuter program called New Hope for Animals.
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., Chris has fought all of his battles non-violently and has spent time in jail, including solitary confinement, for his peaceful actions. One tactic that rocked the foundation of animal experimentation was a daring daytime break-in at UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, documented by a film crew that showed the shocking truth of animal “research.” This first ever live-action footage clearly demonstrated that animal rights activists do not fabricate laboratory horrors, as they had been accused of for years. The 1988 UCLA break-in footage aired around the world on CNN and on the national television show 48 Hours.
Chris was also the driving force behind the first animal rights television show designed for the mainstream public, Hollywood Animal Crusaders, which aired nine times in 1999 on the cable channel Animal Planet. This remarkable achievement opened the door for other shows that introduced animal rights into American homes.
Through his investigative work, Chris and LCA gathered evidence that resulted in the nation’s first state prison sentences for multiple-count animal cruelty cases. He spearheaded an undercover investigation and won a lawsuit against the Gettysburg National Park Service to halt the slaughter of deer in national parks. LCA’s frontline campaign to save the Coulston primates came to fruition in 2002, when the Coulston Foundation shut its doors for good after years of total disregard for the lives and welfare of the primates in its care.
In August 2003, LCA’s 15-year investigation of Class “B” animal dealers cumulated in the bust of C. C. Baird, America’s largest and most notorious Class “B” dealer. Baird’s license was permanently revoked and he received the largest fine ever imposed by the USDA. This was the largest multi-agency investigation (federal, state and local) on any animal issue in U.S. history. The 2006 HBO America Undercover’s documentary Dealing Dogs, profiles this groundbreaking undercover investigation into the world of pet theft.
In September 2006, Chris DeRose played Mob Boss Joey Gamarra in Desire, the premiere show of MyNetworkTv. This nightly primetime drama gave Chris the chance to reach a whole new audience and recruit a new generation of animal activists.
In 1997, Chris released his autobiography, In Your Face, reporting on his life and his values on compassion. The book was the final achievement that earned him the prestigious Courage of Conscience International Peace Award – an honor he shares with previous award winners Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Learn more about: LCA 1980's to Present
The Irwin family - Terri, Bindi and Robert – are returning to Animal Planet, it was announced today at MIPCOM by David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications. Animal Planet will work together with the Irwin family to develop and produce the television projects that will bring them back to Animal Planet across the network’s platforms. The Irwin family will also serve as global ambassadors for Discovery Communications.
The Irwin family has a long and meaningful history with Animal Planet. Steve Irwin helped create a distinctive new style of wildlife documentary and The Crocodile Hunter featured both Steve and Terri as co-hosts along with the animals of Far North Queensland. Steve's boisterous charm, unconventional style and extraordinary daring, combined with Terri's wit and composure and their amazing encounters with crocodiles, venomous snakes and spiders, made The Crocodile Hunter a worldwide hit. The Crocodile Hunter aired on Animal Planet from 1996 through 2007 and also featured Terri and Steve’s children, Bindi and Robert.
"Steve Irwin was a champion for all wildlife and he and Terri’s excitement and enthusiasm brought viewers from around the world in touch with nature. Their passion for animals, love for their family, and leadership in conservation awareness left a strong legacy that continues today. We are thrilled to have Terri, Bindi and Robert back in the Animal Planet family,” said Patrice Andrews, General Manager of Animal Planet.
“We’re excited to be returning home to Animal Planet and our Discovery Communications family,” said Terri Irwin. “We look forward to the year ahead as we embark on new projects and adventures with Animal Planet.”
Terri is a passionate wildlife spokesperson and conservation icon around the world. She actively speaks out and supports conservation issues, including the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, a 135,000-hectare property in Cape York dedicated to Steve. In 2015, Terri won the Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership in Queensland and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from The University of Queensland in recognition of her outstanding contributions to conservation and environmental management efforts.
The Irwin family kids have not been left idle since they graced our screens near some of the most formidable reptiles on the planet on The Crocodile Hunter. Bindi has dedicated her life to wildlife conservation and inspiring the next generation to make a difference in the world. She received a Daytime Emmy Award in 2009 for her Discovery Kids series, Bindi, the Jungle Girl; co-created a series of books, Bindi Wildlife Adventures; and most recently in 2015 captivated the Dancing with the Stars audiences with her heartfelt performances and won the championship, taking home the coveted Mirrorball Trophy.
Robert, has a natural curiosity and loves learning about wildlife and the Australian bush. He earlier co-hosted the Discovery Kids series, Wild But True, which allowed him to share his passion for wildlife and conservation with the world. Robert also has recently made several memorable appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that have left people in awe of his talent and enthusiasm for animals.
The entire Irwin family strives to make Queensland, Australia-based Australia Zoo, a global zoological destination and leader in conservation relating to both wildlife and their habitat, the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility. Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors was established in 2002, initially by Steve and Terri, as a way to include and involve other caring people to support the protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife - from the individual animal to an entire species. Terri remains involved as the patron of Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors which runs the busiest wildlife hospital of its kind in the world which has treated almost 72,000 animals in the 12 years the hospital has been open. Additionally, the Irwin family continues the important work of Steve Irwin, through research, educational programs, conservation projects, and much more.
About Animal Planet
Animal Planet, a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the network of hit franchise series and special programming dedicated to animals and the natural world that includes RIVER MONSTERS, DR. JEFF: ROCKY MOUNTAIN VET, PIT BULLS & PAROLEES,TANKED, TREEHOUSE MASTERS, THE VET LIFE and PUPPY BOWL, the largest non-sports TV event on Super Bowl Sunday. Animal Planet is the premiere TV, digital and social community for all things animal, providing immersive, engaging, high-quality content across all Animal Planet platforms including: Animal Planet television network, available in more than 90 million homes in the U.S., that is complimented with a deep Video On Demand offering; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for animal lovers and pet owners; the Animal Planet Go app that allows viewers to catch up on full episodes of their favorite shows anytime anywhere; Animal Planet L!VE, the go-to digital destination for round-the-clock, unfiltered access via live cameras around the globe in a variety of animal habitats; Animal Planet Social including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via @AnimalPlanet and on Snapchat as AnimalPlanetTV.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) satisfies curiosity and engages superfans with a portfolio of premium nonfiction, sports and kids programming brands. Reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers across pay-TV and free-to-air platforms in more than 220 countries and territories, Discovery’s portfolio includes the global brands Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports content across Europe. Discovery reaches audiences across screens through digital-first programming from Discovery VR, over-the-top offerings Eurosport Player and Dplay, as well as TV Everywhere products comprising the GO portfolio of TVE apps and Discovery K!ds Play. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
Photo credit for the Irwin family picture to Russell Shakespeare
Ventura County, CA – Oct. 15, 2017 – Staff at the Turtle Conservancy are celebrating the hatching of three Critically Endangered Pan’s Box Turtles (Cuora pani) this week at their conservation center in California. It is the first time the Turtle Conservancy has hatched this species and the first second generation breeding of this species in the United States. Pan's Box Turtles are understood to be effectively extinct in its native China due to over-collection for the medicinal and pet trade.
“This is a critical step forward for Pan’s Box Turtle, a unique and little-known species that really needs more attention,” said Dr. Peter Paul van Dijk, Field Conservation Programs Director at the Turtle Conservancy. “Our efforts, along with those of our global partners, will contribute to ensuring their future on this planet.”
This hatching success was years in the making. The parents hatched at the Fort Worth Zoo and Zoo Atlanta as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP). They came to the Turtle Conservancy in 2010 where they grew to adulthood and bred for the first time this spring. The Turtle Conservancy is home to one male and four female adult Pan’s Box Turtles, along with dozens of other species of threatened turtles and tortoises.
These animals represent a part of the North American “assurance colony” that is a last line of defense against extinction, with the ultimate goal of restoring wild populations. The Turtle Conservancy was the first organization in the world to return captive-born turtles to their native country for conservation when they sent young Golden Coin Turtles back to Hong Kong in 2012.
“We’ve been successful returning animals back to their native country in the past,” said Turtle Conservancy co-founder and president Eric Goode. “With this species that will be a much more daunting task, but my dream is to let all wild animals be exactly that, wild.”
The species is endemic to a small area of Central China, and may have been relatively common locally until the 1990s, when turtles increasingly became the focus of the traditional Chinese medicine markets. Now, China has grown into the largest market for turtles and tortoises in the world. Turtles and many other animals are collected and sold into the traditional medicine and food trade in massive quantities, while the exotic pet hobby is growing rapidly. The Pan’s Box Turtle can fetch prices upwards of $10,000 in the animal trade.
The Conservancy protects more than 45,000 acres world-wide of wild land for endangered turtles and tortoises, along with other threatened species including jaguars, macaws and antelope, and native flora. It is their hope they can continue to protect viable habitat for other species, including the Pan’s Box Turtle
- Pan’s Box Turtle is classified as Critically Endangered in the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species [http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/5956/0].
- Turtles and tortoises are the most endangered group of vertebrates on the planet. Over half of the 365 species of turtles and tortoises are threatened with, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- The Turtle Conservancy works to alleviate threats to highly threatened turtles around the world by protecting land and captive breeding endangered species
- Asia is the world’s largest consumer of turtles – for the food, traditional medicine and pet trade
- The Chinese turtle industry has surpassed $1 billion annually in gross revenue
- The Turtle Conservancy is the only AZA-certified facility dedicated solely to the conservation of turtles and tortoises.
- Zoos in North America and elsewhere maintain Studbooks of captive animals to ensure long-term genetic diversity and maintain records of endangered species reproductive success
Photo: A Critically Endangered Pan’s Box Turtle breaks through its egg and takes its first breath at the Turtle Conservancy in California. (Photo by Max Maurer/Turtle Conservancy)
The Turtle Conservancy is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to protecting threatened turtles and tortoises and their habitats worldwide. The Conservancy's Conservation Center in Southern California is a premier facility for breeding Critically Endangered turtles and tortoises in the world. Since 2005 the Conservancy has combined this highly successful breeding program with protecting land in Africa, Asia, and North America.
Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a Web link where they can learn more about turtle conservation and perhaps make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to www.turtleconservancy.org
Visionary Philanthropist Madame He Qiaonyu Pledges
US$20 Million For Wild Cat Conservation as the Newest Member of Panthera’s Global Alliance
October 13, 2017
Monaco – In a move indicative of China’s growing influence as a leader in environmental protection, visionary philanthropist and entrepreneur Madame He Qiaonyu, through her Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation, has joined forces with Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, and WildCRU, Oxford University’s conservation research unit, to protect big cats and their vast landscapes within China and beyond. It is the first international partnership for the Foundation, which envisions establishing the largest collaboration for biodiversity conservation in the world.
Starting with the apex carnivores, Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation will invest
$20 million over the next 10 years to fund conservation programs devoted to the protection of big cats both inside China and around the world, focusing on 10 “at-risk” areas to be determined by Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation with Panthera and WildCRU.
The partnership will be announced tomorrow in Monaco in conjunction with a meeting of IUCN’s Patrons of Nature, of which Madame He is a member.
Madame He is Founder and Chairman of Beijing Oriental Landscape and Ecology Co. Ltd., the largest landscape architecture company in China. Since establishing Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation in 2012, Madame He has become a force in Chinese philanthropy, investing in such areas as female entrepreneurship, ecological education, and climate change, and is setting the standard in China for emerging philanthropists.
In 2017, Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation introduced an ambitious vision for nature conservation, unveiling an accelerated seven-year plan to protect 28 critical habitat areas within China and conserve dozens of flagship animal and plant species. The Foundation plans to leverage its investments through high-profile partnerships within China and beyond, adopting and applying best practices to achieve its objectives and developing models for conservation worldwide.
Madame He stated, “I feel fortunate to have met Thomas and to be working with Panthera. This partnership enables us at Qiaonyu Foundation to utilize the most professional and experienced team in cat conservation as we begin to protect and preserve these beautiful but fragile species. It is an extraordinary undertaking, and to achieve the ambitious outcomes we seek, we are going to mobilize all the passion and intelligence we utilized when starting our businesses.”
She continued, “I would also add that there are a large number of entrepreneurs in China who are actively paying attention to environmental issues. They would love to share their wealth, knowledge, and vision to search for more and effective solutions for conserving nature. Qiaonyu Foundation is calling on potential partners in China and indeed across the globe to unite together to protect our only homeland and promise a better future for this planet!”
As the newest member of Panthera’s Global Alliance for Wild Cats, Madame He joins Thomas S. Kaplan and Daphne Recanati Kaplan, His Highness Mohamed Bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Hemendra Kothari—among the world’s leading environmental philanthropists—in an international collaboration to preserve large-scale wildlife habitat and biodiversity around the globe by protecting the big cats.
Panthera Founder and Chairman of the Board Thomas Kaplan stated, “Madame He’s vision for species conservation is big and bold, befitting China’s enormous potential to change the trajectory for threatened big cats at home and around the world. Madame He is herself a force of nature, and I have no doubt that she will galvanize a new homegrown movement to join her in sustaining our planet’s most precious and vulnerable wildlife.”
Dr. Kaplan continued, “We are humbled to be among the first partners aligned with Madame He and the Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation in this game-changing moment and look forward to working together under the auspices of the Global Alliance to realize our shared conservation goals.”
Phase One Will Focus on China’s Snow Leopards and African Lions
With a grant from the Recanati-Kaplan Foundation, in conjunction with Panthera and WildCRU, the Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation will invest
US$1 million to build out their comprehensive snow leopard conservation program in China, now in the early stages of development. The program will focus on two pilot sites to be determined, with the goal of expanding over time into the larger geographical range critical for the species’ survival.
Addressing one of the most pressing cat conservation crises globally, Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation will also contribute US$1 million to lion conservation in Africa with a focus on the geographies and populations most at risk. Due primarily to bushmeat poaching and conflict with humans, lion populations have plunged by more than 40% in the past two decades. Today, just 20,000 lions remain, occupying only 8% of their historical range. However, research shows that lions can thrive in large, well-protected landscapes with secure buffer zones, providing hope for the future.
And, in a third component of the partnership, Panthera, WildCRU and Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation will design and implement a joint wildlife management training program for Chinese conservationists working in the newly formed conservation areas in China. The training courses will be tailored for application both in the classroom and in the field.
Dr. Frédéric Launay, who will assume the CEO role at Panthera on November 1, stated, “Panthera is immensely pleased and proud to have the opportunity to work with Madame He and the Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation as partners in large-scale conservation. We see enormous opportunity to share knowledge, as well as to break new ground in creating a world in which humans and wild cats can thrive together.”
The Global Alliance for Wild Cats
The Global Alliance for Wild Cats was formed in 2014 to convene the world’s most visionary conservation thinkers across borders and cultures in a shared commitment to protecting big cats and their ecosystems. The Global Alliance invests in deploying at scale the most effective solutions for mitigating their primary threats: poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, human-cat conflict, loss of prey species, and the loss and fragmentation of habitat.
Her Excellency Razan Khalifa al Mubarak, Managing Director of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and Secretary-General of the Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi, said, “On behalf of His Highness Mohamed bin Zayed, we welcome Madame He to the Global Alliance. How fortunate we are to have such a bright light as Madame He focused on the big cats. Only with such grand vision can we hope to achieve conservation on the scale needed to save them.”
“We are looking forward to working alongside Madame He and the Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation,” said Hemendra Kothari, Founder and Chairman of India’s Wildlife Conservation Trust. “This is truly an extraordinary example of international cooperation. Together, we can hope to recover tigers, snow leopards, lions, and all of the iconic cats upon which the delicate balance of nature depends, particularly forest and water protection and climate change mitigation.”
A New Wave of Chinese Philanthropy
Madame He is pioneering a burgeoning philanthropic movement in China, providing inspiration to a new generation of philanthropists across a broad spectrum of interests, including many focused outside of China for the first time.
She is a founder with Bill Gates, Ray Dalio, Niu Gensheng, and Ye Qingjun of the Chinese Global Philanthropy Institute, an organization dedicated to cultivating the development of philanthropy in China and around the world.
Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. Panthera’s team of leading biologists, law enforcement experts and wild cat advocates develop innovative strategies based on the best available science to protect cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards, and tigers and their vast landscapes. In 36 countries around the world, Panthera works with a wide variety of stakeholders to reduce or eliminate the most pressing threats to wild cats—securing their future, and ours. Visit panthera.org.
About Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation
The mission of BQF is simple and straightforward: to protect the earth and nature, and conserve biodiversity. We aspire to become one of the most influential Nature Conservation Agencies in the world.
David Macdonald founded the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) in 1986 at the University of Oxford. Now the foremost University-based centre for biodiversity conservation, the mission of the WildCRU is to achieve practical solutions to conservation problems through original research. WildCRU is particularly renowned for its work with wild carnivores, especially wild cats, including its long-running studies on lion and clouded leopard. Its training centre for early-career conservationists, so far from 32 countries, produces experts and future leaders in global conservation. Visit wildcru.org.
WILD WEDNESDAYS ARE BACK ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™ WITH PREDATORS ON THE PROWL IN THREE NEW SPECIALS
PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 AT 8 PM ET/PT LIONS UNLEASHED
PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8 AT 8 PM ET/PT TIGER ON THE RUN
PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15 AT 8 PM ET/PTNEW YORK – October 11, 2017 – In the wild, survival of the fittest is the only strategy that prevails, proving across all species who is most fit to be on top. Smithsonian Channel’s new Wild Wednesday lineup showcases the battles these animals must face to prove their dominance and protect themselves, their family and the land that they live on. Whether on the outskirts of the Ethiopian highlands or navigating through villages of India, all three predators learn how to adapt in the new environments where they are placed. Explore these incredible stories on Smithsonian Channel with the premieres of BABOON KING on Wednesday, October 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, LIONS UNLEASHED on Wednesday, November 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and TIGER ON THE RUN on Wednesday, November 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. In Ethiopia’s highlands, one male’s power is being challenged by a handsome young Turk. BABOON KING unveils the story of Braveheart, an old and tired baboon, who is battling to stay on top of his many responsibilities. The breeding season is coming and his harem is watching him closely – can he rise above the odds to fight off the bachelors and win his females’ respect in time for the breeding season? Everything is at stake for Braveheart – his authority, his mating rights and, above all, his legacy. If he doesn’t prove that he is a capable leader and protector, he will lose the throne and everything he has ever fought for. LIONS UNLEASHED reveals a new era dawning in the heart of Africa. Twenty-five years ago, a brutal civil war stripped Rwanda of its most iconic wildlife. The Rwandan people have worked hard to restore their pride and rejuvenate the land, but there’s still one piece of the puzzle missing – lions. Leaving their native home in South Africa, seven lions are being transported to Akagera National Park, covering thousands of miles to the heart of Africa, in order to revive the local lion species. To survive in this foreign land, they will have to master a barrage of challenges. For the new lions, it should be a cinch to thrive in this new habitat, but this strange new land is anything but predictable. TIGER ON THE RUN explores the life of Kumal, a young Indian tiger who is forced out of his father’s territory by a rogue male and sets out on a remarkable journey to adulthood in the wilds of central India. Time and space are running out, and to continue his legacy, he must find a territory of his own and a mate. Harassed by local villagers and hampered by his poor hunting skills, Kumal is left on the brink of starvation. He must adapt quickly to a life on his own or his very survival will be at stake. BABOON KING is produced by Julie King and Graeme Duane for Earth Touch. John Cavanagh and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel. LIONS UNLEASHED is produced by Kira Ivanoff and Graeme Duane for Earth Touch. John Cavanagh and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel. TIGER ON THE RUN is produced by Graeme Duane for Earth Touch. Joy Galane and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.
Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial America, Million Dollar American Princesses, Polar Bear Town, The Weapon Hunter, The Lost Tapes, Mighty Ships, Mighty Planes and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include Building Star Trek, The Unknown Flag Raiser of Iwo Jima, MLK: The Assassination Tapes and The Day Kennedy Died. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Earth(TM), through SN Digital LLC., a new subscription video streaming service delivering spectacular original nature and wildlife content. To learn more, go to www.smithsonianchannel.com, or connect with us on Facebook, //twitter.com/@SmithsonianChan">Twitter, and Instagram.
Findings Could Raise Questions About All Solitary Carnivores
October 11, 2017
Jackson, Wyoming – Pumas, long known as solitary carnivores, are more social than previously thought, according to a new Panthera study published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances. The findings provide the first evidence of complex social strategies in any solitary carnivore—and may have implications for multiple species, including other wild cats around the world.
“It’s the complete opposite of what we’ve been saying about pumas and solitary species for over 60 years,” said lead author and Panthera Puma Program Lead Scientist Mark Elbroch, Ph.D. “We were shocked—this research allows us to break down mythologies and question what we thought we knew.”
Usually termed “solitary carnivores,” pumas have been assumed to avoid each other, except during mating, territorial encounters, or when raising young. The population studied interacted every 11-12 days during winter—very infrequently compared to more gregarious species like meerkats, African lions, or wolves, which interact as often as every few minutes. So to document social behavior, Dr. Elbroch and his field research team had to follow pumas over longer time spans.
Using GPS technology and motion-triggered cameras in northwest Wyoming, the team collected thousands of locations from GPS-equipped collars and documented the social interactions of pumas over 1,000 prey carcasses (242 with motion-triggered cameras that filmed interactions). Then, they used cutting-edge analyses of puma networks to reveal that the species exhibits social strategies like more social animals, just over longer timescales. The research is the first to quantify complex, enduring, and “friendly” interactions of these secretive animals, revealing a rich puma society far more tolerant and social than previously thought.
"Our research shows that food sharing among this group of pumas is a social activity, which cannot be explained by ecological and biological factors alone,” said study co-author Mark Lubell, director of the UC Davis Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior.
Here’s a breakdown of the most surprising findings:
- Every puma participated in a “network” of individuals sharing food with each other. Each puma co-fed with another puma at least once during the study, and many of them fed with other pumas many times.
- Choosing individuals with whom to share meals was not random or reserved for family members. The pumas seemed to recall who shared food with them in the past—and were 7.7 times more likely to share with those individuals. This is usually only documented with social animals.
- Males received more free meat than females, and males and females likely benefited differently from social interactions. Males got meat, while females likely received social investments facilitating mating opportunities.
- Territorial males acted like governors of “fiefdoms,” structuring how all pumas across the landscape interacted with each other. All pumas living inside each male territory typically formed a single network, and were more likely to share their food with each other. Social interactions occurred across these borders, but much less frequently than among cats within the same male territory.
The study emphasizes that puma populations are actually composed of numerous smaller communities ruled by territorial males. The loss of males, whether by natural or human causes, potentially disrupts the entire social network.
Videos and images captured during the study served as “irrefutable” evidence of social behavior, Dr. Elbroch said. “Suddenly, I was able to see what was happening when these animals were coming together. By stepping back, we captured the patterns of behavior that have no doubt been occurring among pumas all along.”
Except for lions and cheetahs (whose males form long-term social groups), all wild cats are typically described as solitary—a strategy characteristic of species living in complex habitats where predators compete for dispersed prey. This study should encourage researchers to study the social behavior of other solitary carnivores.
“This work goes against convention for solitary carnivores, but our evidence is supported by both behavior and genetics,” said co-author Anthony Caragiulo, Assistant Director of Genomic Operations at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Elbroch stated, “This opens the door to enormous possibilities. Are pumas everywhere behaving the same, or only in areas with large prey? Are other species like leopards and wolverines and so many others acting the same way? There is so much more to discover about the rich, secret social lives of wild creatures.”
Read the full study here.
Read Dr. Elbroch’s first blog about this paper.
Learn more about Panthera’s Puma Program here.
Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. Panthera’s team of leading biologists, law enforcement experts and wild cat advocates develop innovative strategies based on the best available science to protect cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers and their vast landscapes. In 36 countries around the world, Panthera works with a wide variety of stakeholders to reduce or eliminate the most pressing threats to wild cats—securing their future, and ours. Visit panthera.org.
Leading animal advocacy non-profit releases 2017 Trapping Report analyzing animal trapping laws
WASHINGTON – September 22, 2017 – Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, today released its 2017 Trapping Report, which assigns a letter grade to each of the 50 U.S. states based on the existence and effectiveness of the state’s animal trapping regulations on animal welfare, wildlife conservation and public safety.
“Indiscriminate body-crushing traps are used to capture or kill furbearing animals who are deemed a ‘nuisance’ or who are valued only for the fur on their backs,” said Prashant K. Khetan, CEO and general counsel for Born Free USA. “In many instances, animals are caught in these brutal traps, but remain trapped for days, slowly dying while subject to the elements, other animals, physical pain and emotional torture. And both targeted and non-targeted animals—including household pets and endangered species—fall victim to these traps. While our report card applauds the states that are leading the way to end trapping, we must also ask ourselves, ‘what kind of a society allows this senseless butchering of our beloved wildlife to continue year after year?’ It must end. And end now.”
The report card is compiled by reviewing the laws of each individual state on a variety of different trapping-related topics and then, using a weighted point system, assigning individual letter grades and a final weighted grade to each state. Grades also include positive marks for prohibiting the trapping of bobcats and otters, two species native to most states but vulnerable to overexploitation.
According to Born Free USA’s analysis, only four states received an “A” grade or better:
Conversely, 14 states received an “F” grade:
9. North Carolina
10. North Dakota
11. South Dakota
“As the report clearly shows, most states don’t have good laws on trapping,” Khetan said. “We’re working to shed light on the issue and help the states who are most interested in turning around their legislation.”
For those who are interested in standing up against trapping, Khetan recommends that they:
- Learn more about the anti-trapping and anti-fur movement here
- Write their government representatives to encourage them to enact and enforce better laws, including to prevent trapping on public lands
- Support fur free products/retailers
About Born Free USA
Born Free believes that every animal matters. Inspired by the Academy Award-winning film, Born Free, we work locally, nationally and internationally on the conservation frontlines, in communities, classrooms, courtrooms and the halls of Congress, to end wild animal cruelty and suffering, and protect threatened wildlife. Born Free USA also operates one of the country’s largest wildlife sanctuaries, which provides a permanent home for 600 primates. Many are retired from research facilities, some rescued from inhumane conditions at circuses, zoos and private ownership. They have often endured a lifetime of abuse, neglect and cruelty. But at our sanctuary in Dilley, Texas, they are safe and live free.
Launched in 2002, Born Free USA is inspired by Virginia McKenna and her (late) husband Bill Travers, who, along with their son, Will, founded The Born Free Foundation (UK) in 1984. Their experience in Kenya filming the classic 1966 Academy Award-winning film Born Free, the story of Joy and George Adamson’s fight to successfully return Elsa the lioness to a wild and free life, launched the couple’s Compassionate Conservation movement, aimed at keeping wildlife in the wild. This movement continues to motivate millions of followers and activists across the globe. In 2007, Born Free USA merged with the Animal Protection Institute.
Talkin' Pets News
September 23, 2017
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Karen Vance
Producer - Daisey Charlotte
Network Producer - Quin McCarthy
Executive Producer - Bob Page
Special Guests - Pet Expert and Trainer Travis Brorsen will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/23/17 at 5pm EST to discuss his new series My Big Fat Pet Makeover on Animal Planet
Becky Robinson, President and Founder of Alley Cat Allies will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/23/17 at 630pm EST to discuss their organization and their efforts in hurricane relief