In honor of the Giant Panda being taken off the Endangered Species List and down-listed to Vulnerable at the recent IUCN World Conservation Congress, here's a video I took in March 2012 of the small, but mighty, Gao Gao being, well, a Panda.
There has been a 17% increase in the Giant Panda population within the last decade. My panda t-shirt that says there are only 1,600 left in the wild is now wrong, with the count now believed to be over 2,000 pandas! They say the panda’s dramatic comeback is largely due to research-fueled conservation efforts in China and scientists around the world that have contributed to the effort, which includes researchers at San Diego Zoo Global, which includes me! I am very proud to have been a part of that team and hope some of what I contributed during my 5 years at the Panda Research Station helped the cause. GO PANDAS!
There are still threats to the Giant Panda, so the struggle, and research, is not over. Best of luck to the panda team in keeping the panda moving down the IUCN Red List!
For the second year in a row, I am a recipient of the Dan L. Duncan Scholarship presented by the Houston Safari Club and the American Conservation and Education Society. This year, 24 students with a desire to protect and promote hunting and the principles of conservation were given the award in front of Houston Safari Club members at their September monthly meeting. Gary Rose (far right) did a remarkable job introducing us all, bragging about all our various accomplishments like a proud parent.
This was my last year of eligibility for the award but so far during my tenure as a recipient, I've met many interesting people and have learned a lot about the industry. Thank you to Houston Safari Club for supporting me and my goals of African lion research and conservation!
Other news on the funding front, my project received 2 grants from Dallas Safari Club! An anonymous donor through the organization is paying for the Freezer/Mill I need to process all my bone samples and I received their general grant, highlighted on the grants page of their website with a photo of a lion!
Coupled with the money you all graciously donated through the Experiment.com Cat Challenge crowdfunding campaign (for which I came in 2nd), my project has enough funding to get me through the year!!!
Keep trudging along!