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Scientists gather to save the world’s wild cat species

This week over 300 of the world’s leading cat biologists are attending a conference at Oxford University to consider what can be done to save some of the planet’s rarest cat species.

The Felid Biology and Conservation Conference, running from 17-20 September, is being organised by Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Unit (the WildCRU) in partnership with Panthera and the IUCN Cat Specialist Group. It will cover genetics, behaviour, ecology and practical conservation measures relevant to the survival of all wild cat species, from tigers and snow leopards to lions and Andean cats.
The conference and subsequent workshops are being sponsored by the US-based charitable foundation –Panthera. Panthera was founded last year by Oxford University graduate Thomas Kaplan with a vision to save the world’s 36 species of wild cats and the landscapes they inhabit.

In follow-up work, researchers hope to update current information on the conservation status of all 36 wild cat species – deciding whether they are ‘vulnerable’, ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’. This is vital as the conservation status of many species of wild cats has not been re-evaluated for almost a decade: during which time extensive changes have occurred to habitats around the world and new threats to wild cat survival have emerged. It is hoped that one of the results will be a ‘wild cat encyclopaedia’: a report summing up the current state of knowledge about cat populations and how conflict between these populations and humans could be managed.

Over the week-long event, held at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Department of Physics, more than 150 researchers will give presentations on the biology and conservation of the Felidae, or cat family. It is hoped that, as well as the report, the conference and follow-up workshops, held at the WildCRU’s Tubney House on 21-22 September, will result in a host of new collaborations and research projects.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information during conference week please contact the WildCRU using the following details:


The WildCRU and the Felid Biology and Conservation Conference
Dr Dawn Burnham
Wildlife Conservation Research Unit
University of Oxford
Tubney House
Abingdon Road
Tubney
Oxfordshire
OX13 5QL, UK
Phone: +44 (0)1865 393100
Fax: +44 (0)1865 393101
Email 1: felid.conference@zoo.ox.ac.uk
Email 2: wildsec@zoo.ox.ac.uk

Websites:
The WildCRU: www.wildcru.org
University of Oxford: www.ox.ac.uk
Felid Biology and Conservation Conference: www.felidconf2007.co.uk
Panthera: www.panthera-foundation.org
IUCN: www.iucn.org

 

Contact Dr Andrew Loveridge
Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Tubney House,
Abingdon Road, Tubney OX13 5QL
Tel: +44 (0)1865 393115 Fax: +44 (0)1865 393101
e-mail: felid.conference@zoo.ox.ac.uk