Lions, Krugersdorp game reserve
Photo by Derek Keats (Flickr via CC license)

Donors from China, India, the United Arab Emirates and the United States provided $80 million as cornerstone funding to save wild cats.

Panthera, a leading organization dedicated to ensuring the future of wild cats, announced on June 1 the 10-year commitment from several environmental philanthropists and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

Unprecedented in its scale and scope, Panthera said the money will immediately fund the most effective solutions for conserving big cats: poaching for local and international trade; retaliatory and punitive killing from conflict with humans; unsustainable hunting of prey; and the loss and fragmentation of habitat.

As the animals at the top of the food chain, these cats help maintain the delicate balance of the ecosystems in which they live and upon which humans depend, and serve as the flagship species for conserving large, wild landscapes.

The founding members of the global alliance are H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Jynwel Charitable Foundation in Hong Kong, the Wildlife Conservation Trust in India, and Panthera’s Founders, Dr. and Mrs. Kaplan.

“Today marks a turning point for global cat conservation, and we at Panthera are deeply moved by His Highness’ leadership in this noble cause,” said Panthera Founder and Chairman of the Board, Dr. Thomas Kaplan. “His support is a game changer, opening a path for us to create what has become an unprecedented alliance of philanthropists from Arabia, China, India and America, now united in a common cause.”

The Sheikh’s support builds upon his late father’s legacy, the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was a passionate advocate for wildlife conservation many decades before the cause became mainstream.”

The multi-year pledges catalyze Panthera’s inclusive plan to help conserve all 38 species of wild cats, with a core focus on tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopards, cougars and leopards. Solutions that will be funded as a result of this commitment include:

  • Protecting and stabilizing more than half of the world’s most important Asian tiger and African lion populations
  • Securing the largest carnivore corridor in the world for jaguars across 18 countries in Latin America
  • Creating community-based conservation projects in nearly all countries with snow leopard populations
  • Reducing killing and poaching in more than half of cheetah and leopard range countries
  • Designing and implementing a range-wide conservation strategy for cougars, inclusive of creating corridors and recovery landscapes across North America.

For more information on how to join Panthera in their efforts, visit

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