clockwise from top left ÂŠ Steve Winter/Panthera; Christian Sperka; Andy Rouse; Philip J. Briggs
Ensuring the Future of the Great Cats | 2012 year in review
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2cover ÂŠ Steve Winter / National Geographic; this page ÂŠ www.jameswarwick.co.uk PAN annual brochure 2012.indd 2
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Ensuring the Future of the Great Cats 2012 year in review
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Bringing Tigers Back From the Brink PANTHERA LAUNCHED TIGERS FOREVER IN 2006 TO FOCUS EXPERTISE AND RESOURCES ON A UNIFIED VISION AND STRATEGY: ADDRESSING THE GREATEST THREATS TO TIGER SURVIVAL IN KEY SITES ACROSS THEIR RANGE. IN 2012, BACKED BY SAVE THE TIGER FUND, THIS INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED PROTOCOL WAS ESTABLISHED IN FIVE IMPORTANT NEW SITES. AS OUR INFLUENCE IN TIGER RANGE INCREASES, WE ARE GROWING OUR TIGER TASK FORCE AND ARE NOW WORKING WITH MORE PARTNERS THAN EVER IN OUR QUEST TO SAVE TIGERS IN THE WILD FOREVER. While fewer than 3,200 tigers remain in the wild today, Panthera’s Tigers Forever program offers the best chance of recovery. Our ultimate goal is very simple: to increase tiger numbers in key sites by at least 50% over ten years. To accomplish this, Panthera is working with a growing suite of partners to aim a blowtorch on the most immediate threats: poaching of tigers and their prey. Invariably, we focus on law enforcement activities in and around protected areas, coupled with measuring and monitoring tiger populations to determine our successes and avoid failures. In 2012, Panthera and Save the Tiger Fund, along with critical support from the Robertson Foundation, expanded the Tigers Forever program to five new sites and brought on six additional partners. This significant increase in range-wide impact embeds Panthera in 13 Tiger Conservation Landscapes that contain 30%
of the world’s most critical breeding populations. In the past year alone we have seen some impressive results across these sites. In Sumatra, informant networks have been set up among rural villagers to help authorities quickly apprehend poachers. Specialized Tiger Protection Teams have been recruited, increasing patrol activities over larger areas where they have been removing snares and arresting poachers. In one site alone, almost 30 tiger and deer poachers were arrested and successfully prosecuted. These partners will soon pilot new software called SMART that tracks evidence of illegal activities and helps to better evaluate and target law enforcement efforts. In the Corbett-Rajaji Landscape, Northwest India, Panthera is working with Operation Eye of the Tiger to establish Special Operations Groups. These teams are mobilizing to tackle wildlife OTHER 2012 HIGHLIGHTS • Expanded Tigers Forever to five new tiger sites encompassing 30% of the world’s most critical tiger populations. • Held our sixth annual Tigers Forever meeting in Bangkok, Thailand where 13 tiger sites were represented with nine partner organizations to assess progress and challenges to date. • Captured the first photos of a tiger in India’s Namdapha Tiger Reserve through a multi-agency camera trap survey, garnering critical support for increased security in the park. • Established an agreement between Panthera and Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo to each commit $50,000 per year for ten years to conserve wild Malayan tigers.
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crimes and human-wildlife conflict in and around this tiger stronghold. In South Central India, we helped train more than 200 park staff in tiger and prey monitoring techniques and in cataloging evidence of illegal activities. In India’s largest tiger reserve, Nagarjunsagar Srisailam, Panthera’s local partner - HYTICOS - worked closely with the Forest Department to produce this site’s first tiger population estimate from camera traps. These population data provide the means to chart conservation success in terms of the only metric that really counts - tiger numbers. In Kawwal Tiger Reserve, HYTICOS field teams also work tirelessly with Forest Department staff to remove snares and other traps, ensuring important tiger prey are protected from poachers. In Endau Rompin National Park, Malaysia, our partners at the Wildlife Conservation Society saw evidence that this small but important core tiger population remains stable, and photographic evidence of breeding reaffirmed that the team on the ground is providing safe areas in which tigers can rebound. Anti-poaching activities in this site have led to almost 70 pieces of poaching equipment, traps and hunting camps being found and destroyed. Thanks to support from the Robertson Foundation, Panthera also scaled up production of our own V4 PantheraCam, and delivered 1,780 new cameras to tiger sites for population monitoring. Camera trapping remains the best tool to count and monitor tiger numbers over time, which is critical for determining success. Panthera also grew our Tiger Task Force this year - a team of specialists which comprises leading experts in tiger ecology, population monitoring, environmental policy, conservation technology, law enforcement and human-tiger conflict mitigation. As
one of the world’s most accomplished tiger biologists, Dr. John Goodrich, Panthera’s Senior Tiger Program Director, brings over 25 years of experience to the team. Sanjay Gubbi was also recruited, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience in Indian tiger conservation, and significant expertise in conservation science and policy. As a direct result of Tigers Forever, critical infrastructure and processes have been implemented in sites where measuring and monitoring, as well as direct interventions, were absent or not effective. Across all of our sites, Panthera has been facilitating multi-stakeholder cooperation and enhancing local conservation efforts to ensure long-term sustainability. In 2013 and beyond, Panthera will continue to engage partners and help train local teams to utilize the successful Tigers Forever Protocol in the most critical sites for tigers. These efforts can only continue with the financial support from our donors, together with our proven ability to find and invest in the best people and partners on the ground to turn the tide for tigers.
FROM TOP © PANTHERA; STEVE WINTER/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
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Sanjay Gubbi India Tiger Program Coordinator Sanjay Gubbi draws on his strong scientific background to work with key decision makers and influence conservation policy. He was one of 25 young people selected by the Times of India as a “Leader of Tomorrow” for his contribution to wildlife conservation in India and his unique focus on the socio-economic and political aspects of tiger conservation.
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Saving Africa’s Imperiled Lions PANTHERA EXPANDED OUR WORK WITH COMMUNITIES IN 2012 – ENGAGING LOCAL PEOPLE AND FINDING PRACTICAL, LOW-COST SOLUTIONS TO PREVENT HUMAN-LION CONFLICT – AND WORKED WITH PARTNERS TO IDENTIFY AND ADDRESS THE MOST SEVERE THREATS FACING LIONS AND OTHER WILDLIFE IN AFRICA. Though synonymous with Africa, lion prides are vanishing across the continent. A century ago, approximately 200,000 lions lived across 54 countries in Africa. Today, lions are extinct in 26 countries and there are fewer than 30,000 left in the wild. Through Project Leonardo, Panthera is ensuring the long-term survival of lions across the African continent by conducting the most comprehensive lion conservation projects ever undertaken across their range. In 2012, Panthera worked with partners to expand the highly successful Lion Guardians program to Ruaha National Park, Tanzania, and Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe—both parks have globally significant lion populations and high levels of human-lion conflict. The Lion Guardians program trains local individuals to respond to and reduce human-lion conflict, turning former lion-hunters into custodians for the species, and their best line of defense. Only a handful of lions have been killed in areas in southern Kenya where Lion Guardians are active, compared to hundreds of killings before the program was initiated.
OTHER 2012 HIGHLIGHTS • Completed preliminary surveys in several unstudied protected areas in West Africa to obtain estimates of lion populations and inform 2013 conservation strategies. • Initiated programs with partners to monitor the effects of trophy hunting on lion and leopard populations in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Tanzania. • Released a report —in conjunction with the Zoological Society of London, Wildlife Conservation Society, FAO and TRAFFIC— on the impact of the bushmeat trade and snares on wildlife in the savannas of southern and East Africa.
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In Ruaha National Park, lion deaths are already decreasing following a recent pledge by the Barabaig tribe—the tribe most responsible for lion deaths—to stop lion hunts. Panthera will continue to work with the Barabaig to firmly establish Lion Guardians in this region. In Zimbabwe, Panthera and the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit from Oxford University have been inundated with requests for Long Shield (the Zimbabwean equivalent of Lion Guardians) positions. We are currently recruiting and training Long Shields to work in the border regions of Hwange National Park. Panthera has been working with the Niassa Carnivore Project since 2008 to expand the innovative Living Fences project in Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique. Living Fences is now operational in four villages with plans to expand to two more by the end of 2012. This project helps local communities plant thick bushes, or “living fences,” to prevent warthogs and bush pigs—key lion prey—from entering crops, and teaches villagers how to avoid wildlife conflicts. Ever focused on results, Panthera has undertaken an extensive park survey to ensure lion populations are growing or stabilizing in Niassa Reserve as a result of these efforts. In 2013, Panthera will continue to expand the successful Lion Guardians and Living Fences programs, and to take the lead in addressing complex issues such as trophy hunting and the bushmeat trade. Panthera’s ability to garner sustainable local support for lion conservation, and to provide the best possible science to inform and shape government conservation policies is ensuring that the African lion will have a fighting chance of persisting long into the future. FROM TOP LEFT © NICK GARBUTT; STEVE WINTER/PANTHERA
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Dr. Guy Balme Lion Program Director Once the first recipient of Panthera’s Kaplan Graduate Awards Program, Panthera’s Lion Program Director Dr. Guy Balme was featured as one of the “Top 200 Young South Africans” by Mail & Guardian for his work to conserve leopards and lions in Africa. Dr. Balme’s field work was instrumental in driving legislation that led to a dramatic increase in leopard populations in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
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Panthera’s Global Footprint
Panthera’s work in 2012 included over 75 projects
covering more than 40 countries on 5 continents.
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Illuminating the World of the ‘Mountain Ghost’ PANTHERA’S GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH IN 2012 SHED NEW LIGHT ON THE MYSTERIOUS LIVES OF SNOW LEOPARDS, WHICH IS PROFOUNDLY IMPACTING OUR CONSERVATION EFFORTS. PANTHERA ALSO ADVANCED INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS WITH REMOTE VILLAGES IN TAJIKISTAN AND MONASTERIES IN CHINA TO PROTECT THIS RARE AND HIGHLY REVERED SPECIES. ‘Mountain Ghosts’, the endearing local term used to describe snow leopards, are one of the most endangered and elusive cats in the world, with only 3,500-7,000 living in 12 countries in Asia. Panthera is working to illuminate the world of the Mountain Ghost and fill critical knowledge gaps in our understanding of the species in order to effectively protect them. This year Panthera concluded the longest and largest study of snow leopards ever undertaken in Mongolia, collecting invaluable data about their home ranges and habitat needs. There were a number of firsts for this project, including the first ever videos of a snow leopard mother and cubs in birthing dens in Mongolia, and the first den visits by snow leopard researchers to weigh, sex, and microchip cubs. These rare images and experiences were profoundly engaging—our pictures of the birthing den galvanized public support and inspired at least 32 news stories— and have been critical to our understanding of snow leopard ecology. Snow leopard research and conservation in Mongolia will continue through Panthera’s long-time partner, the Snow Leopard Trust. Panthera will now focus on establishing and expanding snow leopard conservation programs in other critical sites in Tajikistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan.
OTHER 2012 HIGHLIGHTS • Panthera and our NGO partner in China, Shan Shui, initiated a study of carnivore-community interactions on the Tibetan Plateau to prevent human-wildlife conflict and poaching of snow leopards. • Completed the most extensive camera trapping survey of snow leopards ever undertaken in the Gilgit-Baltistan (northeast) region of Pakistan to prepare for program expansion there, and shared best practices in wildlife research methods with the Pakistan government and NGO professionals during a week-long training in Islamabad. • Jointly developed a snow leopard action plan for Kyrgyzstan with Fauna and Flora International. • Dr. Byron Weckworth joined Panthera in May as our new Snow Leopard Program Regional Coordinator based in China.
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FROM LEFT © STEVE WINTER/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC; SNOW LEOPARD FOUNDATION – PAKISTAN
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Dr. Tom McCarthy Snow Leopard Program Executive Director “We have spent years trying to determine when and where snow leopards give birth, the size of their litters, and the chances a cub has of surviving into adulthood. This is one of those exceptional moments in conservation where after years of effort, we get a rare glimpse into the life of an animal that needs our help in surviving in today’s world. These data will help ensure a future for these incredible animals.” – on the first video of a snow leopard and her cubs in a birthing den
Panthera has identified poaching and unsustainable hunting of snow leopard prey— ibex and Marco polo sheep—as a major threat to snow leopard survival in Tajikistan. In 2012, Panthera worked with local villagers and a trophy hunting expert to analyze the infrastructure and training needed to establish a community based hunting program of prey species in the Pamir Mountains. Such a program would better regulate off-take of ibex and Marco polo sheep, while also bringing direct economic benefits to local villagers through tourism. This innovative program is scheduled to begin in 2013 and will be tested for replication elsewhere in Central Asia. China contains 60 percent of the world’s remaining snow leopards and their habitat, making conservation work there of the utmost importance. Panthera has partnered with monks from three Buddhist monasteries in the Yushu Prefecture of Qinghai Province to conduct snow leopard research and educate local people about the snow leopard’s conservation value. Through village programs and festivals, these monks have reached at least 10,000 people with their message, and there have been no documented snow leopard deaths since this unique partnership began. Panthera finds effective and innovative partnerships like these wherever we work, and we are expanding this program to other regional monasteries this year and next.
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE © SHAN SHUI; PANTHERA/SLT; STEVE WINTER/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
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Securing a Future for Jaguars 2012 WAS AN EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR PANTHERA’S FLAGSHIP JAGUAR CORRIDOR INITIATIVE. ALMOST ALL CRITICAL JAGUAR CORRIDORS IN CENTRAL AMERICA WERE VERIFIED, THREE ADDITIONAL GOVERNMENTS ENDORSED THE CORRIDOR IN THEIR COUNTRIES, AND WE CONTINUED TO ENACT EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS TO COUNTER THE JAGUAR’S MOST URGENT THREATS. THROUGH THESE EFFORTS, PANTHERA IS ENSURING THAT JAGUARS HAVE ROOM TO ROAM AND THRIVE LONG INTO THE FUTURE. The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas, ranging from Mexico all the way to Argentina. In this rapidly developing region, the jaguar’s future is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, decimation of prey populations, and persecution stemming from increasing conflicts with humans and livestock. Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative (JCI) seeks to address all of these threats in the most comprehensive, range-wide carnivore conservation program of its kind, taking into account both the needs of the jaguar and the humans who share its landscape. At nearly six million square kilometers, the Jaguar Corridor is the largest conservation network in the world. In the past year, Panthera completed ‘ground-truthing’ efforts in Honduras — confirming jaguar presence and landscape use through rigorous
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field surveys — leaving only Guatemala and Panama with jaguar corridors left to verify in all of Mesoamerica. Now that we have confirmed which corridors are most critical between core jaguar populations in Mesoamerica, Panthera is focused on securing lasting protections for jaguars in each of these areas both on the ground and at the policy level. In 2012 Panthera worked with local partners in Honduras, Costa Rica, and Colombia to develop wildlife-friendly road designs to offset the negative impacts roads and vehicles cause to wildlife and corridors. Also in Honduras, we trained 30 park rangers for the first time at the government’s request; developed a nationwide protocol for monitoring jaguars; and hired one-time jaguar hunters to collect scat for genetic analysis and set camera traps, utilizing their field skills to benefit conservation and providing an economic incentive to stop illegal hunting of jaguars and their prey. Panthera also solidified important new partnerships in 2012, from indigenous communities and cattle ranchers to the highest levels of government. We signed historic agreements with the governments of Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama, establishing the first official jaguar conservation strategies in these countries. Panthera now has formal partnerships with four Latin American countries and three more under way, and we operate active jaguar conservation initiatives in 13 of the 18 jaguar range countries. Provided we can secure the necessary funding for these critical efforts, Panthera is poised to significantly expand the geographic scope and impact of the JCI, at a very important juncture in Latin American land development. Our goals for 2013 are to finish ground-truthing four jaguar corridors in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, and Colombia, and to start ground-truthing three critical corridors in Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina, while continuing to initiate new conservation partnerships and projects in highlythreatened corridors throughout the jaguar’s range. FROM TOP © STEVE WINTER/PANTHERA; PATRICK MEIER
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Dr. Rebecca Foster Belize Jaguar Program Director Dr. Becci Foster is leading Panthera’s tremendous progress in Belize, from survey efforts to working with the Belize Livestock Producers Association and the Ministry of Agriculture to reduce human-jaguar conflict, one of the jaguar’s greatest threats.
OTHER 2012 HIGHLIGHTS • Thanks to generous support from the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, Panthera is increasing our conservation footprint through our Jaguar Research Grants Program – we issued 28 grants totalling $220,742 in 2012 for research projects in support of the JCI. • Expanded our livestock-jaguar conflict outreach programs in four countries, conducting five workshops and working with agricultural ministries and cattlemen’s associations. • Recorded the first photographic evidence of a female jaguar and her cubs in an oil palm plantation in Colombia, FROM LEFT © PANTHERA; BART HARMSEN
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as well as of jaguars in a key corridor in Nicaragua and near Costa Rica’s Reventazón dam project - all are aiding our efforts to collaborate with officials to mitigate development impacts on jaguars. • Sponsored and led a symposium on unsustainable game hunting in Latin America and developed a strategy to work with local communities to reduce this threat to jaguars. • Received permission from an indigenous community in Panama (after months of outreach) to work in an important jaguar corridor in their territory. The community has been historically wary of outsiders,
but is excited that Panthera’s work may aid their efforts to protect their native lands. • Developed materials for local fishing guides in the Brazilian Pantanal region to take advantage of jaguar ecotourism, improving their livelihoods and providing lasting incentives for conservation. • Documented impressive population growth on Panthera’s Brazilian Pantanal ranches, where the number of jaguars camera-trapped in 2012 has grown from 17 to a minimum of 27 including many females with cubs.
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Other Projects & Highlights WHILE PANTHERA’S LARGEST EFFORTS FOCUS ON TIGERS, LIONS, JAGUARS AND SNOW LEOPARDS, WE ARE ALSO WORKING TO PROTECT ASIATIC CHEETAHS, LEOPARDS AND COUGARS. IN 2012, PANTHERA PROVED THAT BUILDING IN-COUNTRY KNOWLEDGE TO SAFEGUARD WILDLIFE CAN YIELD REMARKABLE RESULTS, AND THAT RIGOROUS SCIENCE IS A POWERFUL TOOL FOR GUIDING POLICIES AND PUBLIC OPINION IN FAVOR OF PROTECTING THESE MAGNIFICENT CATS. ASIATIC CHEETAHS The last population of Asiatic cheetahs, consisting of fewer than 100 individuals, is found only within the arid interior of Iran. Since 2004 Panthera has worked with staff at the Iranian Department of Environment (Ir DoE) to conduct the first studies of these cheetahs. As covered in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic, this year Ir DoE camera traps revealed new photos of cheetah cubs proving that female cheetahs are now protected enough to breed, offering new hope for this last tiny population. LEOPARDS In South Africa, demand is increasing for leopard skins among the estimated 5 million members of the Shembe Baptist
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Church, who wear leopard skin capes during religious celebrations. To reduce demand, Panthera worked with digital designers and clothing companies to create a high-quality, affordable faux leopard skin. Covered by both CNN and National Geographic, 750 faux amabatha (shoulder capes) will be distributed among the Shembe by the end of 2012. Panthera also established what will be a long-term partnership with the Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to monitor trophy hunting of lions and leopards, and to guide new hunting regulations to better protect the species. COUGARS Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project Director, Dr. Howard Quigley, and Panthera partner Craighead Beringia South, have studied cougars in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for more than a decade. The longevity and quality of research completed through 2012 has garnered the support of the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish. Dr. Mark Elbroch was hired in April as the new project leader, and will lead the launch of a 2013 initiative to describe and quantify the beneficial role cougars play in ecosystems. We believe this information will increase both public and agency support for conservation of this charismatic carnivore threatened by habitat loss and conflict with humans.
KAPLAN AWARDS: FOSTERING THE NEXT GENERATION OF BIOLOGISTS Panthera’s Kaplan Graduate Awards Program continued to ensure the future of felid conservation by supporting outstanding young cat biologists. Panthera issued 11 awards in 2012, totalling nearly $164,000. AMNH Panthera and the American Museum of Natural History continued our partnership to build one of the largest felid genetics databases in the world, including the world’s largest data sets on cougars and jaguars. Through the partnership, AMNH is also testing a landscape genetics approach to determine the effectiveness of corridors as genetic connectors; helping develop a genetics lab and training students in Costa Rica; and formalizing an internship program and postdoctoral position to provide assistance to Panthera’s field staff. WILDCRU Panthera and WildCRU (the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, a part of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology) have partnered to create the world’s leading university center for research in wild felid conservation. The mission of WildCRU is to achieve practical solutions to conservation problems by supporting critical projects. The 2012 class included scientists from Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Laos, Nepal, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, covering species including tigers, golden cats, Chilean kodkod, Scottish wildcats, and clouded leopards. © ARASH GHODOUSI-CACP-UNDP-PANTHERA-WCS
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Panthera in the News From Asiatic cheetahs to snow leopards, Panthera’s cutting edge work, conservation successes, and stunning photos from the field were featured in leading media outlets around the world, sharing our conservation message and the issues at hand with a broad public. Coverage included The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, TIME, BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, Scientific American, WIRED, CNN, ABC, FOX, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, and many others. Some highlights include: • ‘Wild Leopards Threatened by Religious Tradition in Africa,’ featuring Panthera’s Leopard Program Coordinator Tristan Dickerson, CNN • ‘Cheetahs on the Edge’ featuring Panthera’s Iranian Cheetah Project in National Geographic • Tiger photos by Panthera’s Media Director, Steve Winter, featured in The New York Times • First Photos of Jaguars in Colombian Oil Palm Plantation Taken with Panthera’s Camera Traps, featured on TIME, MSNBC, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine • First Ever Videos of Snow Leopard Mother and Cubs in Dens Recorded in Mongolia, featured on MSNBC, ABC News, The Daily Mail, New Scientist and other major news outlets
PANTHERA IN THE SPOTLIGHT Panthera has extraordinarily dedicated staff working across the globe to protect big cats. We are pleased to share news about the special recognition some of our leaders and staff members received this year: • Panthera’s Chairman Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan received the Hero of the Year Award at the 35th International Wildlife Film Festival for his outstanding commitment and contribution to the conservation of the world’s wild cats. • Panthera’s Conservation Council Member Jane Alexander was honored with the Indianapolis Prize’s First Global Wildlife Ambassador Award
• Panthera’s Media Director Steve Winter was awarded the Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award from the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition and received his second consecutive Global Vision Award from Pictures of the Year International. • Dr. Alan Rabinowitz was featured in BBC’s Tiger Island documentary about tigers in Sumatra.
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Panthera thanks our generous supporters who helped make 2012 such a successful year. We hope you will join us in 2013 as we fight to ensure a
Panthera 8 West 40th St., 18th Floor New York, NY 10018 T +1 (646) 786-0400 | F +1 (646) 786-0401 email@example.com | www.panthera.org
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clockwise from top left © Steve Winter/Panthera; Christian Sperka; Andy Rouse; Philip J. Briggs
future for the world’s largest and most endangered wild cats.
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