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Teaching survival skills to endangered wildcats

  1. Jul 2, 2015 #1
    Wildcats are getting more and more endangered every day. The ones suffering the most are the cheetahs with only 10% of cheetah cubs on average surviving to adulthood and then who knows what % of adult cheetahs die from non-human predation.

    The least endangered are the smaller wildcats like lynx.

    Also cheetahs have been successfully taught survival skills by humans and then let back into the wild. This is true for both captive cheetahs and orphaned cheetahs. And in africa there are special dogs that keep cheetahs away from livestock.

    So we are already making major progress towards cheetahs becoming Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. They aren’t critically endangered like they once were as a species. But 2 subspecies, the asiatic cheetah and the northwest african cheetah are still critically endangered.

    Lions, Tigers, Snow leopards, and Clouded leopards are also endangered.

    If we could teach these cats survival skills and then let them back into the wild like we are already doing with the cheetahs then we would be making major progress.

    Unfortunately we aren’t and if we continue like this, the lions, tigers, snow leopards, and clouded leopards might become extinct before the cheetahs become extinct. And if the number of cheetahs rises dramatically because of almost 0 predation the gazelles and other cheetah prey will become extinct. If these animals become extinct, so will the cheetahs. This is worse than the cheetahs becoming extinct as a standalone species.

    So we need to teach these cats survival skills instead of keeping them captive or leaving orphaned cubs in the wild, defenseless against predators, including cheetahs. I mean yes there is a reason for some to be captive in zoos but poaching while it is going down in terms of animals hunted per year it is not going down fast enough. So if we let some captive and orphaned wildcats back into the wild after teaching them survival skills they will still have a chance of surviving when poaching rates get close to 0.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Actually the wildcat (Felis silvestris) probably already doesn't exist in large parts of Europe, as most of the animals living in the wild were crossed with domestic cats.

    Ain't gonna happen.
  4. Jul 3, 2015 #3
    Just because wildcats were hybridized with domestic cats or other wildcats doesn't mean that 1 or both parents don't exist where it was hybridized. In fact hybridization and mutation are 2 very common ways of forming new species or subspecies. This improves the ecosystem since if it is prey the predators can go after it and if it is a predator it will most likely have prey that no other predator or only the top predator will have. It might even take down the top predator and become the new top predator. This means the populations of every species will be under more control.

    And poaching rates are going down and will probably continue to do so until the rates get close to 0.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
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