Encourage Conservation of Small Wild Cats

Encourage Conservation of Small Wild Cats

Target: Mark Watts, President of the World Society for the Protection of Animals’ International Board

Goal: Devote more resources to the protection of underfunded, smaller wild cats

Much has been done to conserve populations of big wild cats: lions, tigers, leopards, and so on. But for the smaller wild cats, despite their conservation status teetering between threatened and critically endangered, far less is being done to help them. In part, this is due to the relative obscurity of these breeds, and the lack of awareness by the public. Small cats are still subject to the extreme habitat loss and hunting that big cats suffer, but the gap between funding for their causes is huge. Sign this petition to persuade the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to allocate appropriate resources to small cats as well as big ones.

Based on figures released by the Small Wild Cat Conservation Alliance, the seven biggest cat species have received 99.22% of all cat conservation funding since 2007. Small cats have only received 0.78% of this funding. Despite the huge threats to big cat populations due to hunting and habitat loss around the world, small cats also face the same threats and have received a miniscule portion of conservation resources.

Dr. Jim Sanderson, founder of the Small Wild Cat Conservation Alliance, cites a lack of awareness as the cause of inadequate funding. It is true that big cats have (rightfully) received a lot of attention, but unfortunately, this leaves the less-famous small cats in the shadow, and many people are not aware of their dire need for help.

Sign this petition to persuade the WSPA to allocate more resources to small cats, encourage them to partner with small cat conservation groups around the world, and prompt them to boost awareness of the plight of small wild cats on the world conservation stage.


Dear Mr. Watts,

After reading of the huge disparity between big wild cat funding and the smaller, lesser-known wild cats, I feel I have to write to you to address the situation.

While small wild cats face the same issues as big cats—poaching and habitat loss to name a couple—their funding allocation is significantly lower. Figures revealed by the Small Wild Cat Conservation Alliance show that, since 2007, 99.22% of funds went to big cats and 0.78% of funding went to small cats. Although big cats may be more popular and receive greater media attention, it does not mean that the plight of small wild cats is any less important.

I encourage you in your position to achieve three things: find ways to increase funding for small wild cat conservation projects; partner with more groups, such as the Small Wild Cat Conservation Alliance, to specifically target small wild cat issues; and finally, bring more awareness to the issues faced by small cats by advertising, fundraising, and collaborating with the other big wildlife societies in the world.

I commend you for all the work the WSPA has done, but I would like to see more effort being put in to lesser-known issues, especially when small wild cats are threatened or even endangered.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Profberger via Wikimedia Commons

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