International conservationists have founded the Small Wild Cat Network during the First International Small Wild Cat Conservation Summit. Participants included small wild cat specialists, biologists and conservationists from Chile, Peru, Brazil, USA, Scotland, England, Germany, France, Spain, Uganda, Iran, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. They represented 22 of the 33 small wild cat species occurring in South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The meeting was held from 11 to 14 September 2017 at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, United Kingdom.
Dr Susan Cheyne, Borneo Nature Foundation Co-Director, presented BNF’s 9 years of work on the 5 Bornean cats (clouded leopard, marbled cat, leopard cat, flat-headed cat and bay cat).
“This meeting is an exciting and timely event to really highlight the need for more focus on small cat conservation and to recognise the many dedicated people working for small wild cat conservation around the world,” said Dr Susan Cheyne.
This meeting was really a turning point for small cats, who receive only about 2% of all funding (the remaining funding going to the 7 ‘big’ cat species). These enigmatic small cats are in much need of more funding and coordinated conservation work and BNF is delighted to be a founding member of the Small Wild Cat Network http://www.smallwildcat.net/. This network will work to share information about the small cats to the public and conservationists alike as well as providing a platform for capacity building and increased funding opportunities.
The summit was supported by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and The Aspinall Foundation.