It’s a bear, it’s a cat; no it’s a binturong and it’s threatened

The binturong is unique; part bear, part cat it is rare across its range that encompasses many South Asian countries. The bearcat, as it’s also known, is also threatened by the rapid expansion of agriculture in its forest habitat and hunting for bushmeat and traditional medicine.

S.P.E.C.I.E.S has designated the binturong as one of our focal species and the first step to conserving it is understanding how it is adapting to the changes to its ecosystem. The species was recently profiled in an article on mongabay.com, featuring an interview with our founder and director, Anthony Giordano.

Read the full article at mongabay.com

Fishing cat’s cradle

The world’s only wetland cat species, the fishing cat, is elusive and endangered. Its wetland home is quickly disappearing across its range as urban and agricultural expansion quickens. Compounding this is the fact that little is known about the species.

Recently S.P.E.C.I.E.S founder and director discussed fishing cats and their conservation with Biographic magazine. Read the full story here.

Connecting landscapes with Mountain Lions

Like the wolf and grizzly bear, the mountain lion, cougar, or puma, North America’s largest cat, was once vilified as a pest to the livestock industry. Historically ranging from coast to coast, puma populations today continue to push eastward and reclaim areas they formerly inhabited and as they do, they are nothing short of an ongoing conservation success story. Today however, no state has more of them than California. As encroachment of development into our wild spaces, increased demand for dwindling water supplies, and expanding transportation infrastructure, all threaten to further fragment (or separate) the state’s landscapes, can we look to the puma as a tool for implementing logical conservation strategies, and to protect wildness, water, and the ecological foundation that is essential to healthy human and wildlife communities alike?

Join Anthony Giordano, local conservation biologist, wildlife ecologist and founder and director of S.P.E.C.I.E.S, on Wednesday, November 2nd from 7 – 8pm for a FREE open-to-the-public presentation to learn about the ways humans and mountain lions can peacefully coexist.

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 2 at 7pm at the Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura. To reserve a place visit www.venturahillsides.org/events and click on the RVSP button.

The search for the Javan fishing cat

The Javan fishing cat is perhaps the rarest cat in the world. The last survey of the species was conducted in the early 1990’s, and this led to its designation as “critically endangered”. Since then the habitat which the Javan fishing cat depends upon has been developed and today, the fate of the species remains largely unknown. S.P.E.C.I.E.S plan to conduct the first assessment of the status of the Javan fishing cat to lay the foundations for much need conservation of this unique small cat.

Read media coverage of the hunt for the Javan fishing cat in New Scientist, EarthTouchNews and Mongabay.

The enigmatic jaguarundi deserves more conservation attention

With a range stretching from southern Texas to south-central Argentina, the jaguarundi is designated as Least Concern by the IUCN. Despite this however, scientists are unsure whether its population is rising or falling, meaning that the species may be in more danger than is currently thought.

S.P.E.C.I.E.S founder and director Anthony Giordano spoke to Mongabay about the need for greater conservation awareness and research of the Jaguarundi.

Read the full article here.