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?.

Luxury African safaris: the 10 best

Brian Jackman has chosen his selection of the 10 best safari holidays in Africa.  Do you agree, or can you suggest better?

  1. Best for ultimate luxury: Segera Retreats, Kenya
  2. Best for beach and bush: Zambia and Malawi
  3. Best for a family safari: The Ant’s Nest, South Africa
  4. Best for seeing big cats: Masai Mara, Kenya
  5. Best for scenic setting: Singita Grumeti, Tanzania
  6. Best for exclusivity: Serengeti mobile safari, Tanzania
  7. Best for adventure: Namibian heli-safari
  8. Best for a romantic setting: Jack’s Camp and Mombo
  9. Best for a Big Five safari: Royal Malewane, South Africa
  10. Best for a unique experience: Elephant back safari, Botswana

Luxury African safaris: the 10 best – Telegraph.

Spectacular eagle shot wins first drone photography competition.

The arrival of cheap drone technology – and small, light high-quality cameras – has given rise to a new genre of beautiful aerial photography and film-making.

A new competition, sponsored by National Geographic, has highlighted some stunning examples of drone photographs taken in the past year.

The winner of the competition was a stunning view of an eagle soaring high above a national park in Indonesia.

See more of the winners… BBC News – Eagle shot wins drone photography competition.

Tourists risk lives for pictures of rare jaguars fighting in Brazil

This hair-raising picture shows brave tourists risking their lives for pictures as they strayed close to fighting jaguars.

Seasoned wildlife photographer Paul Williams was overjoyed to finally find elusive jaguars in their natural habitat, the Brazilian Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland area.

But Paul, 34, who works for the BBC Natural History Unit, soon found his joy turn to terror as he watched foolhardy tour boats jostling to see which could get the closest.

“Sadly it’s a scene that’s too common in natural parks around the world, but it’s important to remember that without tourism many of these areas would be under threat. Everyone has the right to experience nature and wildlife, but the organisations and companies who manage this have a responsibility to ensure that the welfare of the wildlife is paramount.”

Read more… Tourists risk lives for pictures of rare jaguars fighting in Brazil – AOL Travel UK.

Florida panthers rebound as wildlife service offers ranchers payment plan

The endangered Florida panther, running out of room to prowl as its numbers rebound, may find its best chance at survival is a program to pay distrustful ranchers to protect what remains of its habitat.

The payment plan proposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service has never been tried before on a large scale with a wide-ranging predator, officials say.

Landowners could receive $22 per acre to maintain the cattle pastures and wooded scrub increasingly critical as panther terrain.

Outside Florida, the cats are known as pumas, cougars or mountain lions.

Read more… Florida panthers rebound as wildlife service offers ranchers payment plan | Environment | theguardian.com.

Caribbean coral reefs could vanish in 20 years

Many of the Caribbean’s coral reefs could vanish in the next 20 years, according to a report published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Data from more than 35,000 surveys suggests that habitats have declined by more than 50% since the 1970s.

The report’s authors believe that over-fishing and disease is mainly to blame.

They say the trend could continue if nothing is done, but with protection the reefs could bounce back.

Read more… BBC News – Caribbean coral reefs could vanish in 20 years.