There were two guys who stood out as characters: Ibrahim al-Wahdi and Nasser al-Milhani. One of the Middle East's rarest predators, the nimr is the smallest of the leopard family, about three times the size of a domestic cat. For example: A taxi driver’s tour of Durban, South Africa – video. What are some other examples of your work? Kevin Rushby: Yemen is a very challenging place to film. The leopard is an adaptable big cat with a wide range across Africa and Asia but populations are isolated and shrinking. With fewer than 200 wild individuals when counted in 2006 it has been listed as critically endangered by the ICUN since the mid 1990’s and exists in three, separate sub populations on the Arabian Peninsula (Israel, Yemen and Southern Oman). Despite the leopard's (Panthera pardus) extensive range from sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia, attacks are regularly reported only in India and Nepal. I learned a lot from both of them and have also started filming and producing my own material for The Guardian. Despite this, it is likely the most persecuted large cat in the world. But for me the long treks we did in Oman in the most remote and uninhabited desert mountains were incredible experiences. The Arabian Leopard, once prolific across the Arabian peninsula, is on the verge of extinction; fewer than 200 are thought to remain in the wild. He has a track record for spotting and launching some of the UK’s most exciting new talent including writers, directors and actors. You can manage them any time by clicking on the notification icon. Also recycling and reducing pollution helps. The Arabian Leopard Project was founded in 2014 in order to help and support the conservation of this majestic animal. Oman has the only protected wild population in Jebel Samhan which borders Yemen. Now a new film tells Stanton’s story. Film crew and leopard project members on the escarpment, searching for tracks. "Public awareness is extremely important in leopard protection. Kevin Rushby ( is a Guardian journalist and correspondent whose Explorer column has introduced readers to new possibilities in travel. Subpopulations are isolated and not larger than 50 mature individuals. We will send you a "Save the Arabian Leopard" Badge with an original illustration of an Arabian leopard paw print found in last December (2014) (The badge could be connected to a backpack / jacket etc). We as individuals we can help protecting the Arabian leopard by stop introducing non-native animals and leave them in the wild. This section is about Living in UAE and essential information you cannot live without. Kevin Rushby: What drew me to this was the fact that it is an animal that many people don’t even know exists. All rights reserved. As a television producer he is also responsible for three recent ThinkTank Films documentaries made for Al Jazeera and filmed in Yemen and Kenya. Native to the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian leopard is today extremely rare — less than 200 animals are thought to survive in the wild. Ibrahim was taking part in an ambitious conservation programme aimed at protecting one of the rarest of the big cats, the Arabian leopard. habitats. The film starts with David persuading various local men to get interested in the idea of leopard conservation. Not only that but it is in a country with almost no environmental protection record. Herds of domestic goat devastate the plants which once fed its natural prey: the Nubian ibex, Arabian gazelle, small camels and wild goats. Saving the Arabian Leopard. 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I think at one point we had 26 soldiers and two armed vehicles protecting us from… well, we never found out quite what it was. Will UAE flights be hit as India extends ban? The Arabian leopard is almost extinct. Photo by Kevin Rushby. If these populations are isolated, then they are less viable," he added. Loss of habitat, scarcity of prey and private animal skin collectors are considered the major threats to the Arabian leopard, of which only about 250 are left in the wild, according to best estimates. Jebel Samhan, Oman. Not only you could explain to your friends and family about the majestic Arabian leopard, you could also explain them about the camera-traps project that you helped to support! Sharjah, a captive Arabian leopard at the Sharjah Wildlife Centre in the UAE. But Yemen is home to a surprising diversity of animals, including a population of the world’s smallest leopard: The Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr). Animals that once roamed the Arabian peninsula's diverse terrain but have now disappeared include lions, ostriches and cheetahs. With Think Tank Films I’ve also gone on to make two films in Kenya addressing environmental concerns about Maasai land issues and the collecting of rare plants. Privacy Policy. With less than 200 Arabian Leopards left in the wild, the species is on the verge of extinction. Today its harsh mountains are one of the Arabian leopard's last refuges. But armed conflict is a major stumbling block for those seeking to protect leopards in Yemen. The Sultanate, represented by the Diwan of the Royal Court, is making great and continuous efforts to preserve and protect the Arabian Leopard from extinction. With less than 200 remaining in the Arabian Gulf, one group travels through the mountains of Oman to save the species. We’ll send you latest news updates through the day. Currently, 39 leopards – including the nine medium-size felines in Sharjah – have been bred in captivity. Leopards protect themselves from other predators by hunting during different times of day than other predators, frequenting other areas, going after different prey and hiding in trees. As leopards are highly adaptable it is possible that they eat other animals including mongoose, genets, honey badgers, snakes, lizards, hedgehogs, rats, and mice. To find out more about the cookies and data we use, please check out our, Dear Reader, please register to read, Password should have minimum 7 characters with at least one letter and number, Etisalat becomes a key player in 5G services, COVID-19: UAE businessman shares survival lessons, Messi’s Jewel Crown win a big boost for Arabian racing, 3 luxury cars stolen from Emirates Hills villa, In pictures: 'Seeds of the Union' national day show, Indian wins Dh12 million at Abu Dhabi Big ticket. Top Answer. His team is looking into the possibility of restocking the leopard population with animals bred in captivity. We go to the countryside, the schools and join exhibitions." These are both available online: Why did you choose the Arabian leopard as a subject? With civil strife raging in Yemen and a growing human population throughout the region, the Arabian leopard might need a modern-day miracle to endure. He manages all of ThinkTank’s film productions and the post-production process, including all of the company’s recent productions for Al Jazeera. While the Arabian leopard population is described as "critically endangered" by the World Conservation Union's Red List, there are no protected areas in the UAE. Chief Travel Writer of The Guardian newspaper, A taxi driver’s tour of Durban, South Africa – video, Norway bumps rate to protect rainforests amid anticipated U.S. climate return, As Amazon deforestation hits 12 year high, France rejects Brazilian soy, Humanity’s construction footprint in the seas amounts to 32,000 square kilometers, Can whales and dolphins catch COVID-19 from wastewater? This would make it the world’s biggest population, as only 200 wild animals are thought to be left across the Arabian Peninsula. Female leopards protect their cubs by moving them to safe locations frequently until they are old enough to fend for themselves. Country: Yemen * World Premiere ** Award Winner for Best Foreign Category He is an Arabic speaker who has covered the Middle East for 20 years. Known for its incredible adaptability, the leopard has the largest range of all the big cats. ** Award Winner for Best Foreign Category, Saturday, February 2, 1:30 PM – Purchase tickets. What was the most exciting or interesting part of making the film? While the Arabian leopard population is described as "critically endangered" by the World Conservation Union's Red List, there are no protected areas in the UAE. Despite the cat’s precarious position, there is relatively little local enthusiasm to protect a species that is widely seen as a threat to livestock. Amur Leopard Critically Endangered . Register to read and get full access to, By clicking below to sign up, you're agreeing to our Leopards live in sub-Saharan Africa, NE Africa, Central Asia, India and China but despite this wide geographic spread – the largest distribution of any wild cat – many of their populations are endangered. So often people think that conservation is someone else’s problem, but we must all examine our own backyards and think what we can do. I knew immediately that this combination, together with committed and interesting characters, would make a great story. What impact do you hope this film will have? The media also have a very … The stakes are huge: if this project fails, the Arabian leopard, a talismanic animal for Arab culture, is certainly doomed. And government can help by protect the mountainous habitats and set laws to stop hunters from threaten the Arabian leopard. Kevin Rushby: I’m the Chief Travel Writer of The Guardian newspaper and also author of various travel books. Photo by Kevin Rushby. Leopard attacks are attacks inflicted upon humans, other leopards and other animals by the leopard. The population is thought to decline continuously. 24 minutes. 2012-04-07 12:57:20 2012-04-07 12:57:20. yes critically endangered. 3 4 5. Despite the species’ broad range, it is likely the most persecuted big cat in the world. “That is why the RCU is actively championing the revitalization of the Arabian leopard to support the future of this rare and majestic big cat that is native to AlUla,” the prince added. Less. Kevin Rushby: I’ve got various things in the pipeline: filming in the Middle East again later this year, other assignments to Peru and Papua New Guinea. Today most people are more likely to associate Yemen with warfare and bizarre terrorism plots rather than wildlife. If a leopard charges, shout, clap your hands and wave your arms to appear bigger. Without it, however, the Omani population has no long-term future. For more interviews, please see our WCFF feed. Every day, Mongabay reporters bring you news from nature’s frontline. "Experts estimate that there are fewer than 200 left in the wild. Me too! He lived and worked in Yemen and Sudan and has written about many aspects of the region. Nubian Ibex, Arabian Tahr, Mountain Gazelle, Indian Crested Porcupine, Cape Hyrax, Cape Hare, the foxes, and various partridges may all be hunted by the Arabian leopard. Terms of Use The leopard is indigenous to the region, with a population that once flourished on mountains across the Arabian Peninsula. 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Education, he told the 50 or so DNHG members who attended, must be coupled with other relevant moves. Our EIN or tax ID is 45-3714703. Using infrared-activated camera traps and satellite tracking, Dr Spalton's team has studied the leopard population to determine its movement and make an informed guess about numbers. Kevin Rushby: The film making is recent. A project to train 8 young Yemenis in leopard conservation is about to start. hbspt.cta.load(5981609, '6e487f3c-9666-4c8e-b87d-3111d3ccada2', {}); Mongabay is a reader-supported conservation and environmental science news service. If you value this objective and impact-driven journalism, please consider becoming a sustaining member. He has held senior and advisory roles in a number of film and television industry bodies such as Bafta and Skillset. Are you planning to show it elsewhere? Panthera Since both these men were from rural backwaters, it was a fantastic experience to see them go on their first trip abroad and then find that they had skills and knowledge that were truly valued in the wider world. When the story idea for Saving the Leopard came to me, I teamed up with an experienced film maker, Tom Evans, and producer, Richard Johns to make Think Tank Films. Rushby is an Arabic speaker who has covered the Middle East for 20 years, including stints living and working in Yemen and Sudan. Is this the debut? Written and directed by Guardian journalist and correspondent Kevin Rushby and long-time film producer Richard Johns, Saving the Leopard follows Stanton as he travels with a group of young Yemenis to Oman to train them in leopard conservation. Kevin Rushby: This is the first film festival showing. With only 50 left in Oman and about 200 in the world, the species is quickly disappearing-- but one Emirati is doing something to help. I'd like to help cover the transaction fees of 0 for my donation. "Our best 'guestimate' is that there may be about 60 of them left in Jebel Samhan and 100 to 150 in Jebel Dhofar (in Oman's mountainous region)," said Dr Andrew Spalton, who studies Arabian leopards. Captive breeding of Arabian leopards started in Oman in 1985. Richard Johns has been making television and feature films for many years. His books on history and travel have been translated into a dozen languages and his Hunting Pirate Heaven was a BBC Radio Book of the Week. These relentless efforts have contributed to the stability of its numbers and the preservation of the sustainability of … The Arabian leopard is an umbrella and a flagship species for the wildlife of the Arabian Peninsula and its wild . There was one spot where we found ourselves walking along a ledge on a cliff a thousand feet above the sea, following leopard tracks in the dust. "Oman's Arabian Leopards are critically endangered, close to extinction" The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) estimated population at 48 to 55 in … UK's Johnson, EU chief bid for Brexit breakthrough, Nicaragua sends rescue units to site of mine collapse, Italy says two arrested for defence data theft, Business as usual at GITEX Tech Week 2020. Conservationists edge closer to releasing the Arabian leopard back into the wild after a decade long breeding programme. "The Arabian leopard is the smallest of all the nine subspecies of leopard," Jane explains. The animal, which is native to the Arabian peninsula, is critically endangered. Saving the Leopard tracks the efforts of a small group of Yemeni conservationists led by American David Stanton as they battle to start a program that will rescue the Yemeni leopard from the brink of extinction. Education about the few Arabian leopards left in the wild is the key to keeping them from becoming extinct, a conservationist said. Our biweekly podcast delivering news & inspiration from nature’s frontline. The Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimir) is one of the rarest big cats on Earth. Ali Husain is the founder of Husaak, an adventure group that is organizing The Arabian Leopard Challenge. It lives in the arid coastal mountain ranges of the Arabian Peninsula. Despite its wars, insurrections and heavily armed population, Yemen probably has more leopards than anywhere else, but it is a population that is unknown and unprotected. The leopard is facing problems across the Peninsula. We followed their preparations to go on a training course in Oman where they’d learn a bit about the work that goes into conservation. Although Jebel Samhan in Oman was declared a nature reserve in 1997, encroachment continues by humans who harvest frankincense trees in the mountains. Answer. The Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr) is a leopard subspecies native to the Arabian Peninsula. We depend on support from users like you. 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