In the relentless war on our planet’s wildlife, the big cats are a critical battleground. Ecologically, culturally, economically, and politically, there is no other fight where we have as much to gain—or to lose.
Our existence and that of the big cats are inextricably linked. A landscape that sustains healthy populations of big cats is abundant with wildlife, rich with carbon-absorbing forests and fertile grasslands, and thriving with the clean air and water that we need to live.
Yet the human assault on big cats continues—illegal killing for their parts, illegal killing to protect livestock, illegal killing of their prey.
But, there is hope. In small but replicable ways, we are seeing progress: increased law enforcement and prosecutions for criminals, cross-border cooperation, governments investing in their wildlife and building tourism economies, local communities engaging in conservation, and new national and international polices to combat the illegal trade in wildlife products.
We see it on the ground: where we are stopping poachers before they kill and protecting big cats, they and their landscapes are recovering. Far from being too late, the time is now to double down.
This World Wildlife Day, we ask those who love big cats to stand with Panthera, CITES, and leading governments and organizations around the world to fight for their future. Big cats need us as much as we need them.