-Funds donated to help animal organizations with disaster relief efforts-
New York, NY –In support of the people and pets affected by the recent natural disasters around the country, the AKC Humane Fund has donated $40,000, through its “Sandy Fund,” to four separate animal organizations. The donations of $10,000 each were made to The Sato Project, The Houston SPCA, Napa Humane, Sonoma Humane Society.
The AKC Humane Fund’s “Sandy Fund” allows AKC clubs and affiliated organizations to provide assistance for pets and their owners in their own communities during a time of disaster and in the aftermath.
“The recent natural disasters have left several animal organizations with significant needs to keep pets housed and safe,” said Doug Ljungren, President of the AKC Humane Fund. “These four organizations have been working diligently to protect the welfare of pets during these disasters. We at the AKC Humane Fund, will continue to do everything we can to support relief efforts in the aftermath of these events.”
The Sato Project
The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico. They have rescued over 1,600 dogs, rehabilitated them to the highest veterinary standard possible, and found them loving homes. In 2016, they launched an ambitious Spay, Neuter, Vaccine, and Microchip program and are working to bring systemic change to Puerto Rico through education and partnerships on the Island. Following Hurricane Maria, the Sato Project is mobilizing to provide supplies and support to their team on the ground in Puerto Rico, and to transport as many dogs as they can to safety in the coming days and weeks.
The Houston SPCA, founded in 1924, is Houston’s first and largest animal protection organization and shelter. Their mission is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation. They provide the most comprehensive array of animal adoption, shelter, rescue, rehabilitation and other programs and services in the Gulf Coast area. The Houston SPCA is the lead nonprofit agency for animal-related disaster rescue, relief and resources in the region.
Napa Humane, recognizing the need for a higher standard of animal care in Napa County, worked closely with municipal animal services agency to advocate for better treatment of homeless animals in their care. Napa Humane believes that the answer to the problem of homeless, abandoned, and neglected companion animals lies in changing attitudes and practices that lead to irresponsible pet ownership. Their programs and services are designed to address the needs of companion animals – but also to provide support, education, and assistance for the people who care for and about them.
Sonoma Humane Society
Serving the community since 1931, the Sonoma Humane Society is a donor supported safe haven for animals. They are dedicated to bringing people and companion animals together for a lifetime of love. The animals in their care receive medical treatment, training services, and adoption assistance. Most recently, they assisted during the devastating wildfires in California.
To donate to the AKC Humane Fund’s Sandy Fund or any other programs, visit www.akchumanefund.org.
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
NEW YORK – November 2, 2017 – Siestas are key, especially in the fast-paced lives of some of the world’s most active animals. The fascinating sleeping habits of the animal kingdom hint at a complexity humans are only just beginning to unlock. From birds that take micro-naps mid-flight to dolphins who half-snooze while underwater, Smithsonian Earth examines the myriad ways animals sleep with the new animated, short-form series, THE SECRET WORLD OF ANIMAL SLEEP. Narrated by journalist and science communicator Cara Santa Maria, this new series offers a captivating glimpse into the way animals restore energy and get ready for their next day or night on the prowl – all through a series of beautiful picture-book, hand-drawn animations. The premiere episode, SLEEPLESS ON THE SAVANNA, is now available for free at SmithsonianEarthTV.com/Sleep. The five additional episodes will be available on Smithsonian Earth tomorrow, November 3rd. Smithsonian Earth is available on Apple®, Roku®, Amazon, Android™ and SmithsonianEarthTV.com.
Episodes of THE SECRET WORLD OF ANIMAL SLEEP are:
SLEEPLESS ON THE SAVANNA
The higher up on the food chain you are, the more sleep you get. That’s why prey species like giraffes can only afford mere minutes of sleep at a time, while lions revel in over 20 hours of luxurious slumber a day. Take an eye-opening look at sleep as a survival strategy.
Marine mammals like dolphins need air to breathe, but what happens when they rest? The solution is a fascinating form of half-sleep that allows them to emerge for air without waking up. Dive into the weird world of underwater slumber.
ASLEEP ON THE WING
When birds need sleep, they do it on the fly – quite literally. They’re able to enter a special kind of half-sleep state that lets them rest midair, which is especially important for migratory birds, like the Alpine swift, clocking thousands of miles at a time. Glide into the astounding world of avian sleep.
SLEEPING LIKE A BABY
Owls and foxes are born with undeveloped brains. To grow, they need a special kind of deep sleep known as REM, or rapid eye movement – a state marked by brain regeneration, memory development and a lot of movement. Take an intriguing look into the role of sleep in helping different species develop into adults.
MYSTERIES OF HIBERNATION
Arctic ground squirrels survive harsh Canadian winters through skilled hibernation. Entering a state of controlled hypothermia, their body temperatures drop to 27°F – the lowest ever recorded in a mammal. This suspended animation isn’t sleep exactly, but it’s an equally vital part of their unique survival plan.
All animals sleep – but few do so in exactly the same way. Horses snooze standing up and snakes sleep with their eyes wide open. As for some species of jellyfish, they sleep despite lacking a brain. Uncover some of the more unusual features of animal slumber, many of which still remain a mystery.
Cara Santa Maria is a Los Angeles Area Emmy and Knight Foundation Award winning journalist, science communicator, television personality, producer and podcaster. She is the creator and host of a weekly science podcast called Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria and cohosts the popular Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She is a founding member of the Nerd Brigade and cofounded the annual science communication retreat #SciCommCamp.
Smithsonian Earth is a subscription streaming video service specializing in original nature and wildlife programming shot in stunning 4K Ultra HD resolution that’s available through Apple®, Roku®, Amazon, Android™ and at SmithsonianEarthTV.com.
Smithsonian Networks™ is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Networks operates Smithsonian Earth, through SN Digital LLC. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Channel, the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. To learn more, go to www.smithsonianchannel.com, or connect with us on Facebook, //twitter.com/@SmithsonianChan">Twitter, and Instagram.
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
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.
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.
Meet our Executive Director, Aimee Gilbreath
Aimee Gilbreath joined Found Animals in March 2008 as its first full-time employee and Executive Director. She has been responsible for developing and implementing the Foundation’s wide range of innovative programs. Under her leadership the Foundation has grown to over 70 staff members and 500+ volunteers. Found Animals’ programs focus on sterilization, microchipping, and adoption as key levers to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia and span from traditional philanthropy to social enterprise. In addition to providing funding to local spay/neuter non-profits, the Foundation also administers the Michelson Prize and Grants program to encourage development of non-surgical sterilization products. Found Animals provides affordable microchips and scanners, along with a state of the art universal registry, to shelters and clinics nationwide. In Los Angeles, the foundation operates two retail adoption centers that adopt 3,000 shelter pets per year as well as a kitten foster program. Aimee is a former management consultant with significant experience leading teams to solve business problems for Fortune 500 clients. She holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology and an MBA. Aimee lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband and their beloved pit bull Rufus.
Alley Cat Allies Deploys Resources to Gulf Coast for Hurricane Recovery
HOUSTON – Sept. 3, 2017 – Alley Cat Allies has deployed an expert, bilingual disaster response team and is sending additional resources to help Texas and Louisiana organizations rescue cats and other animals whose lives continue to be in peril because of Hurricane Harvey.
“Many people and animals have been displaced, shelters are overflowing and families were forced to make difficult decisions about what to do with their animals,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “There are many cats and other animals who haven’t eaten for days and may be lost from their homes. We are eager to help the courageous people who are finding and saving these animals.”
In many cases, community cats, sometimes called feral cats, were left on their own when their human caregivers evacuated as floodwaters rose. The Alley Cat Allies team will help shelters and caregivers throughout Texas and Louisiana to rebuild programs that were in place to help community cats, including Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). They will also be forming a network of people to check on colonies, resume feeding them and place new cat houses and shelters as necessary.
The Alley Cat Allies disaster response team is starting its work in Spring, a Houston suburb, by assisting the Texas Litter Control (TLC) organization. TLC requested help as a member of the Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network. Alley Cat Allies has brought truckloads of traps, dens and cat carriers, which will all be in high demand. Additional supplies such as leashes, cat food, kitty litter, water, blankets and towels are also being delivered.
In Texas and Louisiana, Alley Cat Allies is offering emergency funds to overwhelmed shelters and organizations. In one such case, the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA) has used these funds for two disaster-ready transportation vehicles that are facilitating the rescue of hundreds of animals stranded by floodwaters. Jeff Dorson, executive director of HSLA, thanked Alley Cat Allies for helping in a second consecutive year, after the organization previously responded to extreme flooding in 2016.
“Once more, Alley Cat Allies has come to our aid in a time of need,” Dorson said. “This critical support is helping us to save cats and other animals who need our help. The generosity, partnership and good-will are helping us to get through some very challenging days as we try to do as much good as we can.”
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve cats’ lives through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 650,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.
Hurricane Preparation Tips for Pet Owners, Cat Caregivers in Path of Irma
BETHESDA, Md. – Sept. 6, 2017 – As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida and the Southeastern United States, Alley Cat Allies, the international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting cats, has assembled a set of Disaster Preparation Tips for community cat caregivers, pet owners, and others involved with animals. These tips will help community cat caregivers and pet owners in the path of Irma weather the storm and keep their cats safe. Among the tips:
- Make sure to have descriptions of your pets and the community cats (sometimes called feral cats) you care for, along with photos. If you need to look for displaced cats in shelters or other rescue areas, this will help accurately identify them. Make sure all pet tags and animal microchips have up-to-date information.
- Enlist a back-up caregiver who is responsible for the community cats in your absence, and network with other community cat caregivers in your area to set up a ‘buddy system.’ This will create a safety net of care for the cats. You may be able to find other cat caregivers in your area through our Feral Friends Network.
- Create an emergency contact card for your pets and community cat colonies in case you are not immediately available. Include all contact information for your substitute caregiver. Carry this card in your wallet and your car, give copies to your backup caregiver, and post it somewhere visible in your home like on the refrigerator.
- Make a list of local shelters and their contact information. You will need this information in case you need their help or resources.
- Keep an emergency supply kit on hand and know where to find it quickly. Disaster kit basics for pets include a pet first-aid kit, a supply of prescription medications for pets, veterinary and microchip ID records, three to seven days of pet food and dishes, a seven-day supply of bottled water per person and per pet, a litter box and litter, a leash and collar, crate or carrier, blankets, and photos of pets and cats in colonies.
It’s not possible to bring community cats with you when evacuating from disasters, so they need their own special disaster plan. Read our Disaster Proofing a Community Cat Colony resource for guidance.
Finally, you can always reach out to Feral Friends Network members in your area for help in preparing community cats for a disaster or finding them after the danger has passed.
With an active Atlantic hurricane season now under way, it’s important to have a disaster readiness plan in place.
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