Cat Watch

In celebration of Big Cat Week, National Geographic salutes the heroic efforts of conservationists to save Lion populations from poachers and habitat conflict, such as the Ewaso Lions Warrior Watch project and the anti-snaring campaign of the Zambian Carnivore Program. Samburu warriors, left, keeping tabs on a lioness; Thandiwe Mweetwa, right, tracking a lion’s radio transmitter.   Meet...

Matthew Luskin is a conservation biologist, wildlife ecologist, and National Geographic grantee. He spent a year in the rain forest of Indonesia tracking tigers through the remaining three largest national parks—and it was seriously dangerous. “When there’s a tiger around you can’t sleep. You can barely eat. You can’t do anything because all you are...

  Tigers are the largest wild cats in the world. Adults can weigh up to 800 pounds – and measure up to 10.8 feet.     Tigers are carnivores, eating only meat. They mainly feed on large mammals such as deer, wild pigs, antelope and buffalo.   Tigers are solitary hunters, and generally search for...

Join 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Thandiwe Mweetwa on a mission to track down lions. This carnivore conservationist has dedicated her life to preserving Africa’s disappearing lion population through scientific research, animal rescue, and community outreach. The National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative supports scientists and conservationists working to save big cats in the wild....

Lions usually live in groups of 10 or 15 animals called prides.   An adult male’s roar can be heard up to nearly 5 miles away.   A female lion needs 11 pounds of meat a day. A male needs 15.4 pounds or more a day.     The name for a baby lion is...

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been told that mountain lions target male mule deer (“bucks”) and, to a lesser extent, male elk (“bulls”). I remember one exchange in which a ranch hand in Colorado told me that if I walked out into the nearby sagebrush, I’d stumble upon buck carcasses just about...

It was a sad day last month when rangers of the Manyeleti Game Reserve, in the greater Kruger National Park, learned of the passing of one of their most magnificent male lions—Sizanani. Christof Schoeman, a guide at Tintswalo Safari Lodge described Sizanani as a ‘True Survivor’ for his amazing ability to somehow come out on...

Above: A portrait of a Sunda clouded leopard (Photo by Max Allen)   Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) are part of the Panthera lineage of felids that includes African lions (Panthera leo), tigers (Panthera tigris), and jaguars (Panthera onca). These are among the most charismatic wildlife species, but Sunda clouded leopards are the least understood...

Above: A puma pausing in the wildlands of California (Photo courtesy of Jason Klassi/ExpeditionEarth.org)   Apex carnivores are well known for their effects on ecosystems, which include keeping prey populations balanced and limiting the spread of disease. Another important effect apex carnivores have is structuring their ecological communities. For example both prey and smaller carnivores...

Please Note: This is the first of two blogs about a research paper published today in Science Advances providing the first evidence of complex social strategies in any solitary carnivore—and showing that mountain lions in particular are more social than previously thought. Part Two will chronicle how territorial males structure social interactions among mountain lions....

Stinky dead meat. Oddly, I’ve come to love the stench of it, even though it sometimes turns my stomach. It’s become a badge of honor and a symbol of what I do, hiking long days in search of prey killed by mountain lions. Sometimes the stink helps me locate the carcass, or the sounds of...