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Friday, 09 February 2018 06:41

Wildlife and Nature Protection Society Monthly Lecture – Feb. 2018

Global Small Wild Cat Conservation: There are 40 species of wild cats around the world, 33 of which can be considered small cats. Global authority on wild cats, Dr Jim Sanderson will discuss current conservation efforts addressing threats to several species from South America to China and Sri Lanka.

Dr Sanderson says: "I begin with the overall strategy that is followed globally. What’s the threat, what’s the intervention, what variables do we monitor and then evaluate to make interventions more effective. There are similarities and differences in species conservation efforts and much depends on the country where we work. No single solution fits all.

"Our programs are long-term and constant vigilance is required. I will talk about current conservation efforts to mitigate threats to small wild cats around the world. Threat mitigation includes repairing hen houses, erecting warning signs along roads, and working with local officials to prevent habitat destruction. Our strategy (Threats, Interventions, Monitoring, Evaluation (TIME)) is to begin by ranking threats, then creating and implementing mitigation strategies."

The lecture will be held on February 15 at 6.00 pm at the Lotus Room, BMICH, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7. It is open to all members and non-members. Admission is free.

Dr Sanderson received a Ph.D from the University of New Mexico in 1976. He is the Program Manager for Wild Cat Conservation at Global Wildlife Conservation. He is the founder and director of the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation, a member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, a review board member of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and a Fellow of Wildlife Conservation Network.

Jim’s mission is to ensure the survival of small wild cats and their natural habitats worldwide. This mission is achieved by working with local partners around the world to identify and mitigate threats to the world’s small wild cats. In 1996 Jim used radio-telemetry to better understand habitat fragmentation and landscape connectivity, and conservation issues of Guignas (Leopardus guigna) in Chile. With Bolivian and Chilean colleagues, Jim captured and radio-collared the first Andean cat in May, 2004.

He has also used camera phototraps to survey wildlife populations and monitor biodiversity in South America, Africa, Asia, and SE Asia. Jim’s photograph of the Andean cat appeared in the February 2000 issue of National Geographic. With Chinese colleagues, Jim got the first pictures of the Chinese mountain cat in the wild. He has written four books and published more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles.