FCF supports Andean Cat Conservation Center
July 2009 - According to the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the Andean cat is the only endangered cat in the Americas. Estimates are that fewer than 2000 individuals exist.
During the past decade Dr. Jim Sanderson and the Andean Cat Alliance have significantly improved understanding of the geographic distribution of the Andean cat and identified several areas where the population of Andean cats is significant, as well as where local communities are supportive of conservation actions.
A permanent station available to researchers and scientists from around the world is needed to enable conservation actions that address the threats facing these felines. Employing indigenous people in this work will give new value to their native wildlife and hopefully break their tradition of killing these trusting felines to make their stuffed talismans.
Effective conservation actions will be formulated and conducted based upon research that studies the effects of the native people's consumption of viscachas, the principal prey of the Andean cat, the effects of mining activities, global warming, and the introduction of exotic species into the pristine ecosystem. Engaging the local people, working with mining companies to mitigate impacts, and monitoring introduced species and global warming are essential to ensure the survival of the Andean cat.
The Feline Conservation Federation presented a five-foot check for $15,000 to Dr. Jim Sanderson at the group's 2009 convention, held in Salinas, California towards construction of the Andean Cat Center. Earlier that year the FCF had approved a $5,000 Rare Species Fund grant. The RSF fund is co-managed by the Feline Conservation Federation enabling contributions to the RSF fund to be tax-deductible.
The Small Wild Cat Endowment Fund will support the estimated $10,000 annual operating costs for the Andean Cat Conservation and Monitoring Center.
The FCF is currently working with Jim and the Small Cat Conservation Alliance to raise additional funds to enable this Andean Cat Conservation and Monitoring center to be operational.
If you would like to join the FCF in supporting this effort to monitor and formulate conservation initiatives to insure that the Andean Cat continues to exist, please donate using this link. Thank you.