Annual Report 2022: The Cat Connection

Ocelot biologist, Raíssa Sepulvida, tracking ocelot using telemetry, Pantanal, Brazil
© Sebastian Kennerknecht

Annual Report 2022: The Cat Connection

Panthera’s 2022 Annual Report celebrates the connection that humans share with wild cats and the critical role that communities play in their conservation. Revered for their power, beauty and grace, wild cats are part of the culture and history of many Indigenous peoples and local communities worldwide. Many of the communities who live alongside these species have long felt a bond and sense of responsibility for their survival.

Inside the report, you’ll find the latest stories from the field about your favorite species — tigers, lions, jaguars, fishing cats, sand cats and more. Over nearly two decades, we’ve grown to understand that the best way to protect wild cats is to work collaboratively with communities. Together, we can strengthen our collective cat connection to create impactful, sustainable change.

Read PantherA’s 2022 Annual Report

Scientist SPOTlights

Here’s a sneak peek into the stories of our incredible scientists who made leaps and bounds for wild cats last year.

© Panthera

Dr. Kris Everatt
Canada Country Manager

Everatt’s research focuses on the intersection of humans and wildlife and he enjoys learning from the communities that live alongside lions. In close collaboration with Senegal’s Directorate of National Parks, the Panthera team, which consists of predominantly local staff, has spearheaded a campaign highlighting the importance of Senegal’s Niokolo-Koba National Park, a refuge for Critically Endangered lions.

Species focus: lions, cheetahs, leopards

© Panthera

Dr. Abishek Harihar
Tiger Program Director

Harihar was promoted to Tiger Program Director in 2022 and is furthering our efforts to increase tiger numbers at key sites by at least 50 percent over a 10-year period. He helps direct initiatives to monitor tiger and prey populations, train anti-poaching patrols to secure protected areas and connect and protect tiger habitat.

Species focus: Tigers

© Panthera

Beathres Petrus
Community Engagement Officer

Petrus spends up to seven days in the field at a time, navigating Borneo’s dense forests and challenging terrain on foot. In 2022, she helped bolster our close partnerships with the Dusun and Sungai Indigenous peoples, who conduct community patrols that have been integral in protecting the island’s small cat species.

Species focus: Sunda clouded leopards, marbled cats, leopard cats, Bornean bay cats and flat-headed cats

© Panthera

Caitlin Kupar
Olympic Cougar Project Coordinator

Kupar helps run our Olympic Cougar Project, which obtains spatial data from pumas fitted with GPS collars that will aid in deciding where to build a wildlife crossing on the I-5 highway. In partnership with six tribal nations, Panthera fitted more than 40 pumas with GPS collars in 2022 alone.

Species focus: Pumas

© Panthera

Dr. Roberto Salom Pérez
Costa Rica & Mesoamerica Director

Salom Pérez oversees six comprehensive projects that protect Mesoamerica’s six wild cat species. One, the Wild Cat Conflict Response unit, works directly with local farmers and communities to implement tools that proactively prevent livestock predation, including light-emitting livestock collars, low-voltage electric fences and maternity paddocks — and boasts a 100 percent success rate.

Species focus: Jaguars, pumas, ocelots, margays, jaguarundis, oncillas

© Sebastian Kennerknecht/Panthera

Raíssa Sepulvida
Field Technician

Sepulvida spent 2022 collaborating with renowned veterinarian Dr. Joares May Jr. and Brazil’s National Virus Surveillance Network in Wild Animals (PREVIR) to survey potential parasites and viruses in both ocelots and their prey around Panthera’s Jofre Velho Conservation Ranch. The project will help scientists monitor viruses that could jump between species.

Species focus: Ocelots

“Recognizing the profound cat connection, our dedicated team of scientists strives to understand the threats facing wild cats from multiple perspectives. Whether grappling with habitat fragmentation, human-cat conflicts, poaching or a myriad of other pressing issues, we first develop a robust understanding of the issues before formulating the most impactful solution.”

Fred Launay, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

Making Progress Through Policy and Partnerships

In 2022, Panthera engaged in numerous global environmental policy fora, advocating for the protection and recovery of wild cats and their landscapes to help tackle the intertwined crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.

“In 2022, we bolstered a sensitive cooperation program with tribal leaders in Africa, strengthened a most consequential conservation alliance with Saudi Arabia and leveraged leopard prints to raise awareness about the existential threats facing the species through a collaboration with haute couture powerhouse Dolce & Gabbana. Across these activities — believed to encompass more leopard-related work than all other organizations combined — this unique convergence of the most rigorous scientific expertise and impactful partnerships has allowed us to truly move the needle and bring about tangible, long-lasting improvement in the elaborate arc of leopard conservation.”

Tom Kaplan, Ph.D.
Co-founder and former Executive Chair
Chair, The Global Alliance for Wild Cats

“NGOs usually find it challenging to work together in the same landscape. Yet, in the case of Kafue National Park, just the opposite occurred. Each organization brought unique skills, shared data through innovative technology and collaborated regularly — achieving results together that would not be possible alone.”

Jon Ayers
Board Chair

Read Panthera’s 2022 Annual Report