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Wild cats are a critical part of local ecosystems and maintaining biodiversity. Every day, though, their numbers continue to decline. Humans are the driving force behind this, but we can make a difference!

We can advocate for wild cats. We can also educate our communities about them! This way, we can have healthy relationships with native wild cats and preserve our local ecosystems and wildlife.

 

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Why Does Advocating For Wild Cat Conservation Matter?

Humans make policies that impact wild cats. We dictate how the public sees them. Thus, we are the final decision makers of how we interact with wild cats on our property. We are the point of change.

Wild cats are powerful apex predators. So We tend to hear scary stories about them instead of educational information. We hear about them hurting our pets and livestock, and even occasionally attacking hikers. They become the “shadow in the dark” that is portrayed as a villain in children’s movies.

In reality, though, wild cat sightings (specifically cougar sightings) are rare. They are not inherently dangerous and very rarely attack unprovoked. It is entirely possible to have a real, raw, natural encounter with a wild cat, and walk away seeing the beauty of them!

But how often do we see fear-mongering information and articles? How often do we hear the “kill on sight” tactic from people with livestock? How do we feel when we think about seeing a mountain lion or cougar?

This fear is not completely irrational, because wild cats are very powerful! We cannot let fear drive decisions, though, and create policies that eradicate wild cats. That will destroy the species and seriously harm biodiversity and local ecosystems.

How Can You Spread Awareness?

So what can we do? 

We can do the hard work of advocating for them to preserve our ecosystems! 

We can educate our neighbors, friends, families, and communities on how important biodiversity is and the role wild cats play in it! 

We can teach them how to make their home wild-cat safe!

We can teach them how to have a healthy encounter in the slight chance that that does happen!

We absolutely CAN make a difference in the declining numbers of wild cats.

Start by learning!

Learn what wild cats might be in your area and what their natural prey is. If you live on the urban edge, where our towns and cities meet the wilderness, be extra aware.

Then, follow some of our best practices for making your home cat-safe by discouraging their natural prey from hanging around. If you have large livestock in a more rural area, we do have advice for protecting your animals. We also recommend learning how to interact with a wild cat if you do have an encounter.

Next, do the work at home.

Talk to your kids, siblings, parents, partner, and anyone in your household about what to do if they see a wild cat. Then help educate them on how important wild cats are to your area and what you’re doing to keep your house cat-friendly!

You can also take the information into the community.

Through social media and smartphones, we now have access to our neighborhood or community groups. This makes it easy to share information! Sadly, they are also hotspots for misinformation. We want to give you accurate information to discuss.

Ideally, before there is an encounter, you can share information. Sightings can leave people very emotional, especially if a person or animal is harmed. Remember: you are talking to people who are afraid and, often, passionate about that fear. So be kind, empathetic, and informational. (Keep reading to get your copy of our advocacy kit to help you spread awareness!)

Lastly, make sure to get involved!

Check out local wild cat awareness and advocacy groups in your area to volunteer! Here at Felidae Conservation Fund, we have in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities for people of all ages and locations. 

If volunteering is not right for you, you can also donate to an organization that does this work. Nonprofit organizations rely heavily on incredible volunteers and donors. Both are highly valued and appreciated!

We do recognize that not everyone is in a position to donate or volunteer - and that is okay! You can still work in your area to make a difference doing simple things. Plant local vegetation on your property and in your neighborhood to preserve your ecosystem. If native to your area, plant deer-resistant vegetation to keep wild cats’ most common prey out in nature. Maintain local trails and help people recreate in nature responsibly. 

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak up with kindness and empathy on behalf of wild cats!

Free Resources To Help You Advocate For Wild Cat Conservation

If you want to help with wildlife conservation by advocating for them, we have some resources to help you!

Social Media Kit

Included in this kit are a number of graphics to share online. Make sure to check back every once in a while for updated information and graphics. Always remember to be kind and empathetic when sharing information online!

(coming soon)

Community Action Kit

Want to spread information in your neighborhood? This community action toolkit will give you promotional information that will help you get to work right at home!

(coming soon)

Get Involved In Wilde Backyard

Want to get involved in your backyard to educate your neighbors on wild cats? Our program, Wilde Backyard, empowers you to get involved right where you are at!

Learn More About Wilde Backyard

Do You Have 2-4 Hours A Month To Preserve Your Local Ecosystem?

Our volunteers are the driving force behind making true change in ecosystem health and wild cat conservation. Some like to volunteer in the field, others help us maintain our online presence, and some work with events. With just a few hours a month, you can make a difference, too.

See Volunteer Opportunities

Make A Difference Right Now

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, our work is only possible because of generous donors like you.

More than 90% of your donation will go directly to our groundbreaking research, outreach, and education programs.

This is where true change starts. If you’d like to be a part of it, make a donation to Felidae Conservation Fund today: