Downward trend in ivory poaching
Recent statistics have shown a downward trend in the poaching of elephants for their ivory which is absolutely the best news. However it's too soon to celebrate success as the war is far from over with elephant populations severely declined in many parts of Africa. It is positive news though and shows how sustained effort and wonderful brave people on the ground in the hot spots really are making a difference to what at one time seemed and insurmountable problem to overcome. Many elements have combined to create this downward trend which include asian governments imposing bans on the trade of ivory along with other countries willing to do what it takes to stop the demand for ivory that always means the senseless slaughter of these magnificent giants of the African continent.
The social mountain lion
Nature and wildlife always has the capacity to surprise us. That in our observations of animal behaviour something is revealed to challenge what we have previously understood about a species. Mountain lions are just one of those animals proving we have underestimated them by assuming they are solitary as so many of the big cats are. However the recent amazing filming of their interactions with each other seen through camera traps show us they are far from loner animals, that they in fact form 'friendships' with each other and share their food. I wonder what other animals we think we know all about are ready to show us surprising behaviour yet to be understood. Animals have complex intriguing lives that continue to open up a world of previously unknown behaviour that we can learn so much from.
Rare & elusive small wild cats
Some of the most beautiful wild cats are also so elusive and secretive little is known about them. Living in dense jungle they live out their lives without the benefit of protection like some of their higher profile larger cousins. Cats such as the asian golden cat, marbled cats, asian fishing cats, clouded leopards are all strikingly beautiful with extraordinary markings almost as if they'd been painted. So many are vulnerable to human encroachment and exploitation yet they somehow survive but just how many are there ? It's hard to do the numbers without conservation efforts to support the studies which help bring about greater knowledge that helps to protect them. Fortunately more is being done to bring these stunning animals to our consciousness.
Big cats making a comeback
There is nothing so good as a good news story so the reports of an undisputed rise in tiger and leopard populations is certainly the best. With technology comes new ways to monitor animal behaviour and track their movements thereby providing valuable information that enables greater protection and conservation of habitats and prey species.Not that long ago it all seems hopeless for these magnificent animals but thankfully the sustained efforts and greater awareness of their struggle to survive has led to a very positive comeback. Of course there is the ever present threats of this growth in populations being attractive to those who exploit and plunder, the very reason for their decline in the first place so policing is an essential part of the process. Conflicts will undoubtedly occur too between villages and the animals which also has to be managed in an intelligent way but on the whole this news is something to celebrate.