In Brazil’s wetlands, jaguars face a new threat: Drug traffickers

The rise of jaguar watching tours in Brazil has brought a sea-change in the attitudes of ranchers.  The cats, once seen as a threat to livestock, are now seen as a big money draw.

But the recent discovery of a dead jaguar has raised an unexpected new threat: drug smugglers.  The fear is that drug smugglers who favour the quiet backwaters of the Pantanal are now shooting jaguars to deter the unwanted attention of tourists.

Read more… In Brazil’s wetlands, jaguars face a new threat: Drug traffickers | Al Jazeera America.

Revealed: four Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 images.

The first award-winning images from this years Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition are released as tickets for the exhibition go on sale.  A programme of special events, including photography masterclasses and portfolio reviews, has also been announced.

Bernardo Cesare captured his image Kaleidoscope in India while examining granulite rock from a working quarry. It depicts a crystal formation from a geological event half a billion years ago.

Young photographer Marc Montes took Snake-eyes while trekking through the forest in the Val d’Aran, Northern Spain.

A lone bat occupies a destroyed German WWII bunker in a remote forest in Poland in Winter hang-out by Łukasz Bożycki.

via Revealed: four Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 images | Natural History Museum.

Elephant poaching deaths reach tipping point

Africa’s elephants have reached a tipping point: more are being killed each year than are being born, a study suggests.

Researchers believe that since 2010 an average of nearly 35,000 elephants have been killed annually on the continent. They warn that if the rate of poaching continues, the animals could be wiped out in 100 years.

Read more… BBC News – Elephant poaching deaths reach tipping point in Africa.

Wildlife photographer Andy Rouse captures tiger cub photos in Indian heat

A Cardiff-based wildlife photographer with a passion for tigers took advantage of soaring temperatures in India to capture his first images of a mother with her cubs.

The heat had topped 44 degrees Centigrade in Rajasthan when Andy Rouse, two days into a trek, found the shots he wanted.

The tiger, called Noor, had three-month-old cubs but she kept them sheltered in a desert cave at Ranthambore National Park.

But Andy gambled they would have to cool off and take in water in the sultry temperatures.

“I’ve been 6ft (2m) away from a tiger, they don’t see you as food in a vehicle, they leave you alone,” he said.

“But I made sure I was 150m (450ft) away in the first Jeep as I didn’t want the cubs to get nervous, this was the first time they would have seen people.”

Read more… BBC News – Andy Rouse captures tiger cub photos in Indian heat.

Breathtaking Portraits of Animals by Wildlife Photographer Marina Cano

Breathtaking Portraits of Animals by Wildlife Photographer Marina Cano - weather.com

Spanish photographer Marina Cano’s wildlife images are a stunning depiction of the way animals interact with nature and one another. While some of the photos may seem posed, the majestic beasts Cano documents are wild and are captured in photos while simply going about their daily lives.

Breathtaking Portraits of Animals by Wildlife Photographer Marina Cano - weather.com

Read more… Breathtaking Portraits of Animals by Wildlife Photographer Marina Cano – weather.com.

Two rare Amur leopards born at Twycross Zoo

BBC News - Two rare Amur leopards born at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire

A pair of Amur leopards, which are said to be the rarest big cats in the world, have been born in Leicestershire.

Twycross Zoo said its new cubs were born in June and could one day be reintroduced into the wild.

There are about 50 wild Amur leopards in China and south-eastern Russia but they are close to extinction because of poaching and illegal logging.

Read more… BBC News – Two rare Amur leopards born at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire.

Can drones help tackle Africa’s wildlife poaching crisis?

An eye in the sky that can help catch wildlife poachers is the dream of many conservationists in Africa.

That dream is closer to becoming a reality thanks to rapid advances in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or drone, technology.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a Kenyan 90,000-acre reserve specialising in protecting white and black rhinos, has teamed up with San Francisco-based tech company Airware, which specialises in drone autopilot systems.

Read more… BBC News – Can drones help tackle Africas wildlife poaching crisis?.