The big cat crisis is real and is here now. Tigers and lions have undergone a massive decline in recent times. Their main threat is human activity as our populations expand, agriculture spreads, hunting proliferates and prey species are depleted. But community-based projects can help humans and big cats live in close proximity.
Born Free currently focuses on the tiger in India, where it is thought as few as 2,500 remain - half the global population. Born Free has developed a major initiative based in Satpuda in central India, in conjunction with local NGOs*. Working to secure tiger habitat and reduce conflict with local communities, the programme also enhances current conservation projects. More information on tiger conservation here.
In southern India’s Gir Forest, Born Free helps to protect the rare Asiatic lion, almost hunted to extinction. As few as 350 lions survive. Meanwhile in Africa, lion numbers have plummeted to just 17-23,000. Born Free protects lion habitat and resolves conflict in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and Botswana. More about lion conservation here.
The five remaining subspecies of tiger are all ‘endangered’, African lions are officially ‘vulnerable’ and the Asiatic lion is ‘endangered’. Africa’s leopard subspecies are not considered in immediate danger of extinction but Asia’s leopard subspecies are all ‘endangered’. The Jaguar is 'near threatened'.