“The Solar Knight is saving endangered animals”

Stephen Gold of  San Francisco never dreamed of becoming the solar energy knight in shining armor for struggling nonprofits, but one conference he attended changed his life forever.

Making a difference one person or group at a time.

Learning that cheetah conservationist Rebecca Klein’s needed cheap sustainable energy to conduct her research in Botswana, Stephen decided to help.After all he had designed his own solar home.

Gold contacted Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) director Charles Knowles and volunteered to help.

After interviewing WCN-supported conservationists, Gold found six who were in great need of electricity.  They were using either diesel generators or antiquated solar electric systems, inadequate for their needs.

After three years,  his nonstop fund raising efforts from corporations and individuals, Gold amassed about $450,000 of solar equipment.
To date there are 8 different systems on-line in Kenya, Ethiopia and Botswana. As of June 2009, 6 new systems are being put together for others in Mozambique, Tanzania, Mongolia and another for Kenya.

Now dubbed, the Solar Knight by Mother Nature  of NC,  his latest efforts will bring much needed solar power to help conserve another endangered species the Snow Leopard. The project will light up the Base camp Mongolia will continue to buzz with activity throughout the summer, including the assembly of a donated solar power unit that will provide more than 2,300 watts of power to the current and future work of the Long-term Ecological Study.

Special thanks to Stephen Gold and the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Solar Program.

Please help Stephen and the Wildlife Conservation Network continue this vital sustainable solar projects around the world.

Click here for solar support. or wildlifeconservationnetwork.org


Excerpts courtesy of  www.wcnsolarproject.org

Excerpts courtesy of wildlifeconservationnetwork.org

Excerpts courtesy of  wildlifeconservationnetwork.org/snowleopard

Image 1. courtesy of   ethiopianwolf.org/solar%20panels.jpg

Image 2. courtesy of  blog.snowleopard.org


“Model of success-Dr Marker + cheetah”

Yesterday, a few fortunate individuals shared an intimate luncheon with Dr. Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) during her stay in Tucson,Arizona.

She is a pioneer who has worked out a successful living model of teaming conservation of an endangered animal with a strong economic model that educates local farmers and ranchers and their children in ways to save their livestock while allowing predators like the cheetah to survive.

Her work is a landmark and turning point for conservationists and environmentalists to lead the way for improving the quality of life for the local people  and saving endangered “predators”.

Through her passion for saving the critically endangered cheetah,  she has reached out and carefully listened to the farmers and ranchers in Namibia, Africa. After hearing their concerns she set up research projects to collect data and get answers to alleviate their fears of cheetahs.

She continues to work hand in hand with the locals to find ways to protect and improve the health of their stock, and is creating sustainable businesses as well.

Before she came, locals felt that the solution for predator encroacment was to shoot any possible predator that came on their land. Now, they call Dr. Laurie before they shoot the cheetah. She and her rescue team will immediately respond. They will go anywhere in Namibia day or night to save a cheetah.

Dr Marker’s work:

  • Has improved the survival rates of new born calves and kids
  • Has improved the health of the farmers live stock.
  • Her eco-business plan has lead the way for other conservation efforts to follow.
  • Has saved and returned 500 cheetahs to the wild.

For her life work she has received many international awards, but her greatest reward  and biggest dream is to see the cheetahs thriving across its entire range again from Africa to the Middle East and Russia.

How much longer will cheetahs

be able to live in the wild?

To help Dr. Laurie continue saving the endangered cheetahs, click here.


Image 1. courtesy of   http://cheetahfund.ca/laurie-and-chew.jpg

Image 2. courtesy of  http://www.maasaimara.com/Cheetah-1.jpg

“Help save the cheetahs-see ya at the Reid Park Zoo”

Please join Cheetah Kids at the Reid Park Zoo and  help save the cheetah.

Monday April 26, 2010.

Learn how cheetahs and people in Namibia, Africa are co-existing successfully.

Dr. Markers educational programs, community work projects and many years of dedicated

work are helping the local economy in Namibia and the cheetahs have a chance at survival..

Monday at 5:30 PM you can meet the world’s greatest authority on cheetah conservation Dr Laurie Marker.

This is the first time Dr. Laurie Marker has come to Tucson, AZ.

We at Nature’s Crusaders congratulate you on you valuable research and work.

Welcome Dr. Marker!

Cheetah Conservation Fund works with all groups and individuals within the cheetah’s ecosystem to develop best practices in research, education and ecology and create a sustainable model from which all other species, including people, will benefit.

“Ode to a snow leopard”

The Wakhan mountains was my home.

Last week caught in a hunter’s snare my firey spirit began to ebb.

Then tied and thrown in the back of a truck, hurried to black market for quick sale.
Kept in a small cage for seven days poked and proded by an ignorant few.

A prince of Afghanistan heard of my capture and then a president was told, NATO troops came to rescue me.

Bewildered, I long for those snowy distant mountain peaks my home.

I was healthy endangered and alive there-Let me go home.

I am the symbol of Afganistan. My snowy white fur covered with majestic black, half-moon markings can only grace a museum now.

No One can tame my wild spirit. It is forever free.

Help save my endangered brothers and sisters.


Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/cori1z
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/8YUceC and Richard W Fite

“Angolan cheetahs rise again”

From the ashes of a 30-Year Civil War,

Cheetahs rise again

Animals are truly resiliant as Dr. Laurie Marker, Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, found three-day survey conducted in Iona National Park in the Namibe province, Africa. The 1.6 million hectare national park is ideal cheetah habitat  It is arid desertland in the southwest corner of the country was one of the former ranges of the cheetah. Iona is populated with thousands of hectares of open savannah and a growing prey base of springbok and oryx, the cheetah’s primary prey.

The rapid ecological survey, designed to assess the habitat and prey in the area as potential cheetah habitat, was carried out at the urging of Alvaro Baptista, owner of the Omauaha Lodge near Iona National Park in Namibe, informed Marker of cheetah sightings in the area and encouraged the undertaking of an extensive survey to confirm their presence and to help develop a conservation plan for their long-term protection and survival.

Marker’s visit to Angola was endorsed by the Kissama Foundation (http://www.kissama.org), which has the mandate to support the development of the National Parks of Angola since peace came to the country in 2002. As a result of meetings in Angola’s capital, Luanda, Marker hopes to develop collaborations with Kissama, as well as universities and relevant government officials. The goal is to develop a program using CCF’s proven methods for censusing cheetah populations and assisting with community, government and non-government organizations in education awareness of cheetahs and bio-diversity to show the benefits of a predator’s role in a healthy ecosystem and ecotourism.

To support cheetah conservation, click here.

With your dedicated help, making the world  safer, healthier and more sustainable for all Nature’s Crusaders.


Excerpts courtesy of Cheetah.org

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/bTAYAH

“Rewilding can it save the cheetahs?”

Cheetahs seem to have originated in the United States in the  Texas, Nevada, and Wyoming area. They spread through Europe, Asia and Africa, were nearly wiped out with the last Ice Age, approximately 10,000 years ago. It is thought that only 500 might have survive. From the those few cheetahs, the current stock of cheetah.

cheetahs hunting

The present world population of cheetahs are derived from inbreeding by those very few surviving populations and closely related animals. This has created the weak genetic traits in the living cheetah population today. Cheetahs no matter which of the four subspecies are more closely related than identical twins. Studies have shown that there is less than one percent difference in DNA between the subspecies. Human genetic diversity is about thirty-seven percent diversity.

The smallest of the large cats, and one of the most endangered. Without a doubt, the imminent threat of extinction is due to man’s direct interference. People hunt cheetahs as pests,  for house pets, trophies and its fur. People have decimate this beautiful animals food supply to support livestock, and convert their habitat to farmland. People are the reason that cheetah numbers are falling today.
Cheetahs are in need of a booster shot  from several areasIf there were a magic wand:

  • the genes  pool of the cheetahs needs increasing through crosses with genes from ancient relatives.
  • Cheetah mothers in the wild by nature are solitary so the cubs are vulnerable when mom goes hunting. Maybe closer monitoring can help save them.
  • Cheetahs have great speed, but do not have the strength of other big cats in their jaws, so they cannot compete with the lions for territory or food. Protected areas maybe the only answer for this weakened species. Not economically practical though.

As long as the adults stay in the wild, they seem to stay healthy.

  • Keeping them in captivity tends to increase diseases in these cats.
  • The sperm have a low viability so artificial insemination results are not impressive.
  • Mating in captivity yields poor results.

Rewilding has not been very successful or wide spread, somehow this may hold the key to increasing their numbers.
Surrogate semi wild mothers for abandoned cubs may help the cubs learn survival skills and finally be released back to the wild.

There are several groups in Africa working with cheetahs and the people that live on the cheetah lands. Education is making inroads with the farmers and helping development economic alternatives is helping to save the lives of many cheetah cubs and adults.

Wild verses pet cheetahs

If cheetahs are to survive man and cheetah must learn to coexist. Don’t let this cheetah ( pictured on the right)  be the only memory the next generation has of this beautiful endangered cat.


Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/dhR8XY

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/9Rg6E0

Image courtesy of  Nature’s Crusaders library

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bpO1sK

“Poaching +aphrodisiacs + greed + ignorance = the ‘blood diamonds’ of species survival”

You may be seeing the last of these species

It seems even those we pay to protect our animals make more money poaching than caring for the future of animals in their country. Zimbabwe security forces poached 200 rhinos during these past two years. Ivory is worth more now than gold on the black market. They are not alone.

As terrible as this is, we are supporting this behavior every time we purchase something made from ivory, tiger aphrodisiacs or wear a fur pelt from some skinned animal, go hunting for sport or chop up our forests or lands to plant non sustainable crops, build nuclear plants or drill into the sea bed for oil.

Only we can create a new healthier world.

Why do we bother to try to save endangered animals on one hand

– we wipe them out with the other?

Is there president for continuing to work with animal populations that have very few members thus limiting their genetic pool? Especially when “the blood diamond effect” is so pervasive? Why is the gene pool diversity needed?

As current genetic knowledge has it, the more diverse the number of genes contributing to the reproductive pool the stronger the chance that healthy, genetically strong traits to be passed down to offspring insuring the survival of the species.

Many of our most well known animals like the South China tiger, the orangutan, the Sumatran elephant and rhino, the panda, the tortoise, many of the whales, the sea turtles, the cheetah, monarch butterfly, pacific salmon, the North American bears, the wolf, jaguar, sharks, tuna, hundreds of frog, toad and other amphibians… are a few of thousands of animals and plants destroyed along the way to the bank or for aphrodisiacs or to make homes by slashing and burning or long lining their lives to the brink of extinction.

As the blood diamond, the African diamond mined at the expense on the backs of the blacks in the mines of South Africa, so to is the ivory horns, tiger penis, animal pelts, turtle shells and eggs, shark fins, roe of fish, palm oil, illegal animal trade , over fishing, etc are the bloody diamonds rampant in modern society.

Should we try to save an endangered species?

Junaidi Payne chairman of the Borneo Rhinoceros Alliance (BORA) and longtime conservationist with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), Malaysia answers this question this way, “There are estimated to be 11,000 orangutans [in Sabah alone] and probably 1,500 [Bornean pygmy] elephants, but there are no more than forty rhinos… New populations have stagnated and are going down slowly. It’s about need.

Bornean rhino probably has only 6-7 fertile females. MAYBE THEY CAN BE SAVED.

It is the maybe that keep us going against all odds as explorers of old trying to cross Antarctica and the success stories along the way like the miracles from medical field. Against all odds and commonly held genetic theory some will survive and flourish outside of captivity in their natural habitat. We can do it.

Intensive conservation measures pulled the white rhino back now about 17,480 white rhinos live in east and southern Africa and are the most populous rhino species in the world. Rewilding of the tigers in China is under way trying to help the South China tiger’s numbers. We cannot give up on our world.

Life in all forms is too precious.

Thanks to everyone who loves enough to give their time, energy and money to save our world. Everyone can help become a Crusader for Nature.” – Mother Nature


Excerpts courtesy of  http://news.mongabay.com/2009/1201-hance_tam.html

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bEKRms

Image courtesy of  http://www.ens-newswire.com/20090716_rhinopoaching.jpg

Image courtesy of  http://english.people.com.cn/200605/24/images/tiger1.jpg

“Cheetah tears”-a love story

How the cheetah got the lines down their face

(A Traditional Zulu Story)

Long ago a wicked and lazy hunter was sitting under a tree. He was thinking that it was too hot to be bothered with the arduous task of stalking prey through the bushes. Below him in the clearing on the grassy veld there were fat springbok grazing. But this hunter couldn’t be bothered, so lazy was he! He gazed at the herd, wishing that he could have the meat without the work, when suddenly he noticed a movement off to the left of the buck.cheetah tears

It was a female cheetah seeking food. Keeping downwind of the herd, she moved closer and closer to them. She singled out a springbok who had foolishly wandered away from the rest. Suddenly she gathered her long legs under her and sprang forward. With great speed she came upon the springbok and brought it down. Startled, the rest of the herd raced away as the cheetah quickly killed her prey.
The hunter watched as the cheetah dragged her prize to some shade on the edge of the clearing. There three beautiful cheetah cubs were waiting there for her. The lazy hunter was filled with envy for the cubs and wished that he could have such a good hunter provide for him. Imagine dining on delicious meat every day without having to do the actual hunting!

Then he had a wicked idea. He decided that he would steal one of the cheetah cubs and train it to hunt for him. He decided to wait until the mother cheetah went to the waterhole late in the afternoon to make his move. He smiled to himself.
When the sun began to set, the cheetah left her cubs concealed in a bush and set off to the waterhole. Quickly the hunter grabbed his spear and trotted down to the bushes where the cubs were hidden. There he found the three cubs, still to young to be frightened of him or to run away. He first chose one, then decided upon another, and then changed his mind again. Finally he stole them all, thinking to himself that three cheetahs would undoubtedly be better than one.

When their mother returned half-an-hour later and found her babies gone, she was broken-hearted. The poor mother cheetah cried and cried until her tears made dark stains down her cheeks. She wept all night and into the next day. She cried so loudly that she was heard by an old man who came to see what the noise was all about… To read the rest of the story click here.


Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.safariwest.com/cheetahtearstory
Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/aDr8Pi