Teaching survival skills to endangered wildcats

Discussions on the interactions between components of the environment and their effects on all types of organisms.

Teaching survival skills to endangered wildcats

Postby caters on July 2nd, 2015, 11:30 am 

Wildcats are getting more and more endangered every day. The ones suffering the most are the cheetahs with only 10% of cheetah cubs on average surviving to adulthood and then who knows what % of adult cheetahs die from non-human predation.

The least endangered are the smaller wildcats like lynx.

Also cheetahs have been successfully taught survival skills by humans and then let back into the wild. This is true for both captive cheetahs and orphaned cheetahs. And in africa there are special dogs that keep cheetahs away from livestock.

So we are already making major progress towards cheetahs becoming Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. They aren’t critically endangered like they once were as a species. But 2 subspecies, the asiatic cheetah and the northwest african cheetah are still critically endangered.

Lions, Tigers, Snow leopards, and Clouded leopards are also endangered.

If we could teach these cats survival skills and then let them back into the wild like we are already doing with the cheetahs then we would be making major progress.

Unfortunately we aren’t and if we continue like this, the lions, tigers, snow leopards, and clouded leopards might become extinct before the cheetahs become extinct.

So we need to teach these cats survival skills instead of keeping them captive or leaving orphaned cubs in the wild, defenseless against predators, including cheetahs. I mean yes there is a reason for some to be captive in zoos but poaching while it is going down in terms of animals hunted per year it is not going down fast enough. So if we let some captive and orphaned wildcats back into the wild after teaching them survival skills they will still have a chance of surviving when poaching rates get close to 0.
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Re: Teaching survival skills to endangered wildcats

Postby zetreque on July 2nd, 2015, 12:19 pm 

caters » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:30 am wrote: So if we let some captive and orphaned wildcats back into the wild after teaching them survival skills they will still have a chance of surviving when poaching rates get close to 0.


Just a comment to expand on your post. I wonder if you said that last part because one downside to teaching wildlife is that they become accustomed to humans. This is or can be bad not only for poaching but everything to do with wildlife human interaction. Dangerous wildlife that is accustomed to humans can influence humans to approach them easier which can result in injury or death to humans can give bad publicity to wildlife. I don't know the actual data behind it and it varies from species to species (California Condors are very susceptible to it being a social species) so I use the word "can", but something to consider.

I have had thoughts in the past however to the opposite effect that the large "dangerous" animals that will survive (not go extinct) will be the ones that form some sort of relationship with humans. If they somehow become domesticated and mostly harmless, humans will find them cute and friendly so as to allow them around settlements etc.

I am back from a recent trip to yellowstone where humans get injured seemingly on a weekly basis by wildlife, BUT the wildlife (bears, bison, big horn sheep, elk, etc) there is so accustomed to humans that it will just walk down the roadways while people stop and stare at it. Could we call these animals partially wild/domesticated since some of them are at least several generations born into close proximity of human gawkers.

PS: California Condors are a great case study having been so close to extinction, complex social behavior, intelligent, long lived, and a lot of research and money spent on them for reintroduction to the wild.
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Re: Teaching survival skills to endangered wildcats

Postby zetreque on July 16th, 2015, 2:19 pm 

This documentary might be of interest.

Blood Lions: The film that blows the brutal lid off the canned hunting industry
http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2015-07-14-blood-lions-the-film-that-blows-the-brutal-lid-off-the-canned-hunting-industry/#.Vaf0h_lVikq

“Until such time as the voice of the lion is heard, history will be written to glorify the hunter.” This powerful African proverb reversed out of a plain black screen grips the audience’s attention from the first frames of a riveting documentary. To be premiered on 22 July at the Durban International Film Festival, Blood Lions uncovers the ugly story behind South Africa’s predator breeding and canned lion hunting industry, and a team of filmmakers and conservationists who, with single-minded determination, are campaigning to have it banned. By PETER BORCHERT.


In South Africa there are some 10,000 lions and the numbers are increasing all the time. A conservation success some might aver. But the lie behind this statistic is revealed in the fact that South Africa is the only lion range state that has three separate classifications for these great cats: captive, managed and wild. And so we find that only 3,000 – less than a third – are truly wild and living in designated conservation areas.
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