People ask the question: “why are wild cats endangered”. So please don’t complain that this is a boring subject. The answer to the question will be generalised and it will be very brief because in respect of all wild cat species the answer is the same: there is growing human activity and there is too much human activity which invariably leads to loss of wild cat habitat, loss of wild cat prey, poaching of the wild cats for their body parts, legal killing of wild cats for their body parts, poisoning of the large wild cats because they prey on livestock because the cat’s territory has been encroached upon by farmers (retaliatory killings) and we must not forget sport hunting. Despite wild cats becoming increasingly endangered sport hunters like to kill the big cats for pleasure.
That is the general answer. I emphasise “general” because specific conservation issues relate to specific species. You could qualify the answer like this. The organisation which decides whether or not a wild cat species is endangered is the IUCN Red List. If you visit their website you’ll notice than many of the 36-40 wild cat species are not listed as “endangered”. I think they are wrong but who am I to question the experts?
If they are correct then the question in the title is wrong. It should read: “Why are some wild cat species designated as endangered?” The answer, in general terms, is the one put forward in the first paragraph above.
As the human population grows relentlessly, and it is growing fastest in Africa where there are some precious wild cat species such as the lion, human activity also expands and inevitably there will be even greater pressure on the survivability of the wild cats.
In short, the long term prognosis is poor for the wild cats as it is for almost all wild species of animal. By the long term I mean 50-100 years hence. I believe you will see some wild cat species extinct in the wild in 100 years. It might well be the most iconic of all the wild cats; the tiger.
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