Africa's predators cats nearing extinction?

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Apr 21st, 2004, 08:42 AM
  #1
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Africa's predators cats nearing extinction?

Not too long ago, Rocco started a bit of a firestorm regarding hunting safaris (and rightfully so!) I've just come across some recent BBC News articles that reveal just how serious the problem has become. The population of all predator cats in Africa is plummeting...imagine, only 20,000 lions remaining in all of Africa! Further, it's estimated that 90% of Botswana's lion population is infected with feline aids. If anyone is interested in reading the articles, just go to www.bbcnews.com and type in 'safari'. The articles are disturbing, but important to read. I'm hoping to volunteer at the Cheetah Conservation Project in Namibia in 2005 as a way to help the situation in some small way. As many of us travel to Africa this year, do treasure your sightings of the predator cats...in 10 years, it might be difficult to sight any.
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Apr 21st, 2004, 11:39 AM
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sandi
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Very interesting and most depressing.
 
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Apr 21st, 2004, 12:03 PM
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Those news articles on BBC's website are pretty disturbing. And it anyone else saw it, there was a show on PBS last night about the world's growing population and how it should "stabilize" at 9 BILLION by the middle to end of this century.

Unfortunately, at that point, they don't know to what extent the over-population will have on the environment, global warming, and more importantly for all of us Africa lovers, wilderness areas and wildlife.

It is a shame that we lose so many of these animals to hunting, poaching and disease already and until humans can get the over-population issue under control, we will continue to lose species at alarming rates.

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Apr 21st, 2004, 06:37 PM
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girlpolo,
thanks so much for posting this...very, very disturbing. If you are interested in cheetahs, you should also check out Cheetah Conservation Botswana's website: www.cheetahconservationbotswana.com (for some reason they didn't grab the .org!). It is an EXCELLENT new organization, and they can really use volunteer help. Botswana is one of the few remaining hopes for a sustainable wild population... and until CCB organized in 2003, nothing was being done to protect them outside the national parks (and as you probably know, most cheetahs live on private ranch

There is also a very interesting recent report from a CCB volunteer posted on the google group (rec-travel-Africa). I'm sure you can find it if you do a search within this group.

These cats are magnificent, and since the cats are also at the apex of the natural food chain, they are an indication of the health of these eco-systems as a whole. The situation is dire, and I hope that those who love Africa, wildlife and big cats will be motivated, as you are, to help...
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 03:56 PM
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Tashak: Thank you for the Cheetah Conservation Botswana web link; I appreciate it a great deal. The Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia allows volunteers to stay for two weeks (the fee is around $3,000). I've decided to give up the luxury safari routine and rough it a bit...thereby giving something back to the animals.
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