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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Big Cat Week on NAT GEO WILD roars in helping endangered species

They are often referred to as “big cats.” We also know them as lions, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs and leopards; each species an awesome predator. They hunt and kill only to survive, but now it is their survival that is on the line, and beginning Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, National Geographic channel’s NAT GEO WILD gives us a closer look at these magnificent animals during, Big Cat Week.

As part of National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative, which is their ongoing commitment to save these endangered species; Big Cat Week provides extraordinary film footage in an effort to raise worldwide awareness of their potential loss to future generations.

Poaching, destruction of natural habitats, prey decline, pesticides and even tuberculosis and canine distemper has drastically reduced big cat populations. As an example, in the last 2,000 years, more than a million lions roamed the earth with those numbers presented across the African continent to as far as parts of northwest India. Then, only 60 years ago, the population had contracted to an estimated 450,000, and is currently assessed to be as few as 20,000 individuals. A link to an interactive map that clearly displays this devastation (as you progress the timeline forward) provides the shocking and rapid proof of the decline that we see today.

Derek and Beverly Joubert
“We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats,” says National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dereck Joubert, who along with his wife and film making partner Beverly, captured footage for the premiere episode of Big Cat Week. Joubert adds, "They are in such a downward spiral that if we hesitate now, we will be responsible for extinctions across the globe. If there was ever a time to take action, it is now.”

Over the last 25 years, the Jouberts, who are also staunch conservationists, have amassed a body of distinguished research, which has been translated into 10 books, numerous articles for National Geographic Magazine, six scientific papers and 22 films that have garnered them five Emmys, a Peabody, the World Ecology Award and most recently induction into the American Academy of Achievement.

To find out more about the National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative and how you can participate, simply follow this link.

Big Cat week begins Monday, Dec. 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on NAT GEO WILD.

Below is a preview of Monday’s premiere episode, Big Cat Odyssey.

For other videos in the series along with interesting big cat facts, photos and programming schedule, visit NAT GEO WILD online.


Gordon~ said...

Thank you Paula! They are such beautiful animals!!

Paula Slade said...

You're welcome Gordon! They are truly beautiful creatures that deserve to continue on our fragile planet. Thanks so much for stopping by to leave your thoughts.

TallTchr said...

450,000 down to 20,000 in 60 years? That's truly alarming. One correction about their hunting habits: black leopards have been known to kill for sport. Also, we shouldn't forget housecats that kill billions of songbirds each year essentially for sport. Small cats are not native to the Americas; songbirds are.


What an amazing video!!! These big cats are extremely beautiful and powerful but it is only in our power to save them. Thanks for this post. I loved “Big Cats Week” but almost missed it! I was away for the holidays during “Big Cats Week” and was lucky to find a way to watch it. I have DISH and work for them so I know all about their services, features, and gadgets. With some help from my Sling Adapter I was able to go to and watch my shows on my laptop. I didn’t have to come home to a DVR full of recordings waiting for me and even got to see some shows live. I’m so glad National Geographic is doing so much to help these graceful big cats; I would hate to see them become extinct.

Paula Slade said...

TECHIEBLGRL - Thank you so much for stopping by to leave your comments on this older post. I'm very pleased you enjoyed these videos. National Geographic is a favorite of mine because of their production values and important programs about our world. Let's all hope that these beautiful creatures continue to survive and thrive through shared awareness.


Here's to hoping, Paula!