Like their counterparts in business, successful conservation entrepreneurs are creative, action-oriented and dare to try different strategies. As they seek ways to work under difficult circumstances, they develop new approaches that advance our knowledge and expand the repertoire of tools we have for saving endangered species. One such conservationist and animal ambassador that I know of is Dr. Bhagavan Antle founder of T.I.G.E.R.S. and Rare Species Fund, based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dr. Antle assists international wildlife conservation projects in Africa and Thailand while providing much needed funds for these programs. Visit T.I.G.E.R.S. and Preservation Station to witness first hand a Liger and other animals on this fantastic Myrtle Beach Safari.
Dr. Antle’s great friend Jim Sanderson works with small cats with the support of WCN and the RareSpeciesFund.org. After a 20-year career as a top Los Alamos National Laboratory mathematician, Dr. Jim Sanderson left his job to study biology and ecology. He traveled to Chile to study an endangered small cat called the guigna, and soon he was tracking elusive small cat species around the world. He has become one of the world’s foremost experts on small wild felines and founded Small Cat Conservation Alliance in 1996.
Jim has used radio-telemetry and camera photo-trapping to study small cats in Central and South America, Asia and Africa. He is well-known for his work with the Andean mountain cat, one of Earth’s rarest creatures. Jim tracked the Andean cat for months before finally meeting face-to-face with the beautiful subject of his study. The February 2000 issue of National Geographic published the landmark photo that resulted from this encounter – one of only five documented sightings of this cat.
In 2007, the body heat of an even rarer species, the Chinese mountain cat, triggered a camera trap that Jim had set on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau in China’s Sichuan Province at an altitude of 12,300 feet.
This was the first time a Chinese mountain cat has been photographed in the wild. Not only do these images have the potential to reveal important information about the cat’s habits, but they will also help to popularize the cat as a species that needs protection. News of Jim’s achievement was published in Science magazine.
I suggest you further check in to The RSF (Rare Species Fund) and T.I.G.E.R.S.
The Rare Species Fund receives its financing base through a percentage of revenues taken in by T.I.G.E.R.S., the generosity of donations from exhibit guests, and the general public. If you would like to help these endangered animals, Safari in Myrtle Beach or the Endangered Wildlife Species, go to www.tigerfriends.com/home.html for information.