Sunday, February 22, 2009

Clouded Leopard Conservation Summit Wrap Up

Now that I've finally had a chance to catch up on tasks resulting from our recent Clouded Leopard and Small Felid Conservation Summit I wanted to provide a final wrap-up post. We are still compiling all of the information gathered at the meeting and will be issuing a final report in approximately six weeks.
I can tell you that we definitely met several of our objectives for the Summit. One of the most important was getting all of the people together who are working independently on felid issues throughout the region. It was wonderful to see the information sharing and connecting that took place. Many of the field researchers left with plans in place for future collaboration on projects and research methods that will have long-term benefits for increasing our knowledge about these cats.

During the meeting, participants divided into regional working groups to identify critical issues and develop action steps to address them. There were two overriding actions identified by all groups. One was the need for more studies to address the significant gaps in knowledge that still exist about these species in the wild. Because we are so data deficient on these cats - in some cases not even knowing where each species can even be found - major work in the field is still needed. The other glaring issue identified is the need for educational intervention to increase awareness about cats and their conservation needs for audiences throughout Southeast Asia. This includes audiences from the community level all the way up to those in positions of authority in regional and national governments who have the ability to tighten and enforce laws as well as promote field work and educational programming.

We are excited about the Clouded Leopard Project’s future role in addressing these issues. We plan to develop a comprehensive wild cat curriculum in partnership with educators from the region. Because of the generous support we received for the meeting, we have funds remaining to help us begin instituting this effort.

We will post the complete Summit report on the website when it is available and will also continue to keep all of our supporters apprised of our ongoing efforts on behalf of clouded leopards and the other endangered cats of Southeast Asia.


Iding said...

It's a good summary Karen, I hope what we hoping for the CL conservation in the future will be addressed as we want to.

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