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Jaguar. Credit: Juan Pablo Moreiras.

Virtual cats help protect big cats in the wild

Posted on: 20.01.12 (Last edited) 20 January 2012

New Facebook game lets you donate as you play.

Few of nature’s creatures are as majestic and beautiful as the big cats.

Tigers, snow leopards, lions, jaguars and lynx. These species and many more are threatened by habitat loss, hunting and a myriad of other man-made pressures. For feline fans, the forecast looks troubling.

Now there is a new, fun way for our supporters to get involved in big cat conservation.

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has partnered with game developer Atommica, through PlayMob’s Giverboard platform to raise money for snow leopards and jaguars.

The result of this partnership is a game that will see virtual cats protecting big cats in the wild. Called Magicats, the Facebook game features naughty felines battling it out with cute moggies using magic balls and a launcher.

By purchasing add-ons, players can help support FFI's snow leopard and jaguar conservation work

Players are able to purchase premium add-ons, with $0.75 of each purchase going towards FFI’s snow leopard or jaguar conservation work.

Protecting jaguars in Belize and Brazil

FFI is supporting partner organisation, the Ya’axché Conservation Trust, on an important jaguar project in Belize’s Maya Golden Landscape. Ya’axché is monitoring jaguar populations and protecting their forest habitat, whilst raising awareness among local communities.

In Brazil, FFI is also working with the Cristalino Ecological Foundation to protect important jaguar habitat in and around Cristalino State Park and is supporting the work of researchers to promote the coexistence of people and jaguars.

Magicats players can support FFI’s jaguar conservation work by purchasing the 48 hour life add-on.

Conserving habitat for snow leopards in Central Asia

Now listed as Endangered by the IUCN, the snow leopard’s numbers have been reduced to as few as 4,000 mature, breeding individuals due to a combination of persecution and poaching for its fur and body parts.

FFI has been working to conserve this charismatic species since 2005, helping the staff at Sarychat-Ertash Reserve in Kyrgyzstan to combat poaching, monitor snow leopards, and engage communities.

In addition, we are working with the Naryn Reserve – another snow leopard stronghold in the Central Tien Shan – to strengthen its technical capacity.

A recent camera trapping survey conducted by FFI scientists (with the help of Panthera) also captured some striking images of wild snow leopards in Tajikistan, including a pair of cheeky cubs.

Magicats players can help FFI to conserve snow leopards by purchasing the Pawerz add-on.

Written by
Sarah Rakowski

Sarah is Fauna & Flora International's Communications Officer (Media & Publications). With a BSc in Environment, Economics and Ecology, she has long been fascinated with the challenge of balancing human needs and environmental protection. Whilst at university, Sarah developed a keen interest in marine conservation and conducted an opinion survey into public attitudes towards Marine Protected Areas for her dissertation. Her love of marine conservation also led her to spend a summer conducting ecological surveys on the coral reef off the coast of Andros Island, Bahamas (it’s a tough job…). Since graduating, Sarah has held a variety of communications roles, most recently in the private sector, where she worked as the European PR Manager and Communications Specialist for a leading technology firm.

Other posts by Sarah Rakowski
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and Wales, Registered Company Number 2677068. Registered Charity Number 1011102
Fauna & Flora International Australia (Ltd) is a company limited by guarantee, and recognised as a Charitable Institution (ABN 75 132 715 783, ACN 132715783)
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