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November 5, 2008
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I've fallen in love with wildlife photography recently. The scenes that capture the essence of an animal, be it big or small, can be found easily here on deviantART. But are you tired of sifting through so many pictures trying to find the gems? Well, I have the answer. :lol:

WILDlife Photography Features is designed to spotlight a particular species each issue. From bears to canines to fish and birds, my goal is to leave no animal behind. Each and every one of them is special in their own way, as are the talented photographers that captured each picture. It's also my hope that by bringing these pictures to light, it will inspire you to help conserve and protect many of these species and ensure that they all have a prosperous future.

And so without further ado, it is my great pleasure to bring you the first issue of WILDlife Photography Features, starring my favorite group of animals: the Big Cats!

Lions - Panthera leo

Lions, the king of beasts and my favorite animal. They are quite possibly the most recognized and loved animal of them all, and these photographs do a wonderful job at capturing their finest features.

:bulletred:The white lions you see are not really a separate breed of lion, or even albinos, at all, but the result of a recessive gene known as a color inhibitor. This gene causes their fur to be a light cream color, rather than the typical tan coloration.:bulletred:

:thumb92980477:White Lion by bobr99:thumb28753506::thumb80815537:Lion by emmajoKing of the animals by DrezdanyLion 4 by Art-Photo:thumb98928735:lion by jonescrusherLioness and cub drinking by Art-PhotoObservance by guitarjohnny:thumb88377163::thumb99521939::thumb79513022::thumb64392311:

Tigers - Panthera tigris

The largest cats in the world, there are actually many subspecies of tiger. The smallest subspecies, the Sumatran tiger, is also critically endangered, with the wild population at just roughly 400 to 500 animals. The other subspecies, such as the Bengal and Siberian, are also listed as endangered species. It would be a sad day indeed to lose them, and something must be done to save these beautiful cats, before they are gone from our planet forever.

:bulletred:Like white lions, white tigers are not a separate species of tiger but the result of a color inhibiting gene. Their eyes are an ice blue color, and their stripes are usually a dark brown to chocolate:bulletred:

Disturbed by Dickie67Two Tiger Cubs 2 by Art-PhotoTiger by Art-PhotoTiger by Saphira-dragonTiger by mittelpunktTiger Tooth Brush by naturelens..Tiger.. by superdavejTiger by Sharmostiger wants a tummyrub by B-F-G:thumb86515434::thumb97968496::thumb89520233:White tiger by ZengelBlack and White by tyt2000White Tiger Drinking 2 by Art-Photo

Jaguars - Panthera onca

Jaguars are the largest cats after the lion and tiger. Their range extends from Mexico across much of Central America, with the rainforest as its preferred habitat. Sadly, their numbers are declining due to habitat destruction and hunting, listed as near threatened.

Jaguar by cycozeJaguar by ZafiJaguar by Art-PhotoJaguar by PaPeRDoLLLL:thumb86389591:Jaguar by babypukeJaguar by babypuke:thumb95208191:Jaguar by bryanbrazilJaguar by scottalynchJaguar by fremlin:thumb73348986::thumb73509307::thumb66810392:

Leopards - Panthera pardus

Similar in appearance to the jaguar, the leopard resides chiefly in sub-saharan Africa. They are opportunistic hunters and will eat anything they can find, from beetles to monkeys and deer. One subspecies, the Amur leopard, is a critically endangered species, with merely 27-32 individuals remaining in the wild. However, there is still hope for this species. The Whooping Crane population was once at only 52 birds remaining, but their numbers are increasing due to conservation efforts.

:bulletred:There is an easy way to tell the leopard apart from the jaguar: leopards lack rosettes (ring-like spots) on their fur.:bulletred:

Milena the Amur Leopard Cub by nitsch:thumb98527176:Amur Leopard by Draghonialeopard by bryanrob:thumb37482652::thumb66071310:The Leopard by Wild-Soul:thumb90158455:Amur Leopard by PhotosbykevLeopard by M-ColemanAmur leopard by cycozeLEOPARD by martybellLeopard II by Schoelli:thumb101443802:

Clouded Leopard - Neofelis nebulosa

A Clouded Leopard's coat is covered in large, dark-edged spots which resemble clouds, and it has the longest teeth proportional to its body size of any cat species. Its habitat in the dense jungles of Asian countries (along with the fact that it is nocturnal) makes it difficult to study, so reliable estimates of its population do not exist. Hunting for use in Chinese medicine and habitat loss are major threats to these creatures.

:thumb97145804::thumb71497392::thumb92705713::thumb95056679::thumb77945372::thumb84674690:Clouded Leopard 2 LP012208 by hoboinaschoolbusClouded Leopard 2 by UrsusAmericanusLeopard in Profile by robbobertClouded Leopard 2 by UrsusAmericanus:thumb46920894:Clouded Leopard by Hozzellclouded leopard by BunnybunbunbuneeClouded Leopard LPZ102607 by hoboinaschoolbusZoo - Clouded Leopard 03 by phantompanther

Snow Leopards - Uncia uncia

Snow Leopards are, I believe, one of the most beautiful animals to walk the earth, and are my second favorite animal next to the mighty lion. They have thick white to gray fur, espescially on their tails, which they often use as a blanket to cover their faces with when sleeping in the cold winter months. They too, like so many others of the big cats, are an endangered species.

Snow Leopard by Art-Photo:thumb75493684:Snow Leopard I by jay-peg:thumb92923180::thumb85729315::thumb89333342::thumb97410084::thumb98842070::thumb93315627:Snow Leopard Beeeh by leopatra-lionfurSleeping Snow Leopard by Sugargrl14:thumb65948425:Snow Leopard by mole2kSnow leopard by arhythmetician

Bobcats - Lynx rufus

Bobcats are among the smaller of the big cat species. They live in wooded areas from southern Canada to northern Mexico, as well as across the United States. They can also be found in Native American mythology, as well as stories of European settlers.

Miss Bobcat by wyldwomanBobcat by trinity-77:thumb79571343:Bobcat by YellowstonedBobcat by Bella-BlueBobcat by RosiePosieRedBobcat by fennecxWildlife Sanctuary Bobcat 2 by FantasyStockbackyard bobcat by bozamanBobcat by shelly349Bobcat by beside-you-in-timeBobcat Yawn by fennecxBobcat 3 by Flame-of-the-PhoenixBobcat 2 by LifesAZooBaby bobcat by NoctemPhotography

Lynx - Felis lynx

Contrary to popular belief, the bobcat and the lynx are not the same species. The lynx can be easily identified by its shorter tail, tufts of black hair on the ear tips, and a ruff of fur under its chin that resembles a bow tie! They are solitary, although small groups have been observed hunting together, and inhabit high altitude forests.

lynx by Withering:thumb23977869::thumb33335220:Lynx by Cheetah57Lynx by hamsterspirit:thumb41800931:Lynx by LeonaLynx Baby2 by miezbiezKitten Lynx by swashbucklerlynx baby by miezbiez:thumb87497312:Siberian Lynx by rgphoto777Lynx profile by leopatra-lionfur:thumb3609360:

Ocelots - Leopardis pardalis

Also known as the Painted Leopard, ocelots are small wildcats that live in South and Central America, and have even been reported as far as Texas. It was once mass hunted for its fur, but its numbers have thankfully gone up over time as the hunting was stopped. They have a single white spot on the back of each ear, as well as a black banded tail.

Ocelot by ddk2k4:thumb100713203:Ocelot by leopatra-lionfurOcelot by Kai-to:thumb99799506:Ocelot by animal-estocasticoOcelot by oOBrieOoOcelot in the shade by distemperOcelot by lostcontactOcelot by andras120Ocelot by queenpasiphaeOcelot by pastseeker:thumb64852716:Sweet Dreams by drumstixrlzOcelot by PardonTheLights

Servals - Leptailurus serval

A medium sized African wildcat, the serval is closely related to the Caracal, which also inhabits Africa. They can be recognized by their long legs, fairly short tail, and tall rounded ears which aid its excellent hearing. It is able to climb and swim, but seldom does so, and it has dwindled in numbers due to human populations overtaking its habitat and being hunted for its spotted fur.

:thumb89941769:Serval by LouvargentServal by Raquel-AServal by robkuboServal by la-niebla:thumb91901200:Serval by benjoritoServal Curl by kayaksailor:thumb70622652::thumb31552234:Serval 2 by DeadlyDonnaSam the Serval by RoxMadSerious Serval by xpdLounging Serval by TheFireTigressWild Serval cat by tchaika

Caracals - Caracal caracal

Caracals are fiercely territorial and take their name from their black ears. The word "caracal" comes from the turkish word "karakulak", which means "black ears". Its large ears are controlled by 20 different muscles to aid in hearing prey. It is one of the fastest and heaviest of all the small wild cats. They are rarely seen in the wild due to their ability to hide so well in their native habitat in sub-saharan Africa.

Caracal cub by HenriekeCaracal by elshorty:thumb64392471:Caracal Lynx by Fictionary:thumb64392662:Caracal by hoboinaschoolbus:thumb64393264::thumb45621847:karakulak by rgphoto777Caracal Ears by dtf-stocksquint-eyed caracal by DraghoniaCaracal Stance by photographygrl:thumb45684674:Caracal 2 by Rabastan

Cougar - Puma concolor

Call it what you like: cougar, puma, mountain lion, or panther, they're really all the same species! This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from Canada to South America. It is the fourth heaviest cat in the world, known for hunting elk, deer, and bighorn sheep using a stalk-and-ambush method of hunting. It is a reclusive cat and avoids contact with humans; attacks by cougars are actually rare. They are frequently referred to in Native American mythology, in which it is known by dozens of names.

Cougar by par-a-bolaCougar by oOBrieOoCougar Cubs by miezbiezCougar by UrsusAmericanusCougar 2 by Art-PhotoCougar by mydigitalmindPortrait of a Cougar by UrsusAmericanusCougar 3 by Art-PhotoCougar by Hellhuff:thumb84745799:Cougar Cub by UrsusAmericanusCougar by HenriekeCougar Cub by oomuCougar by Wicked-DitchwitchCougar by PMcAdams

Stamps

Come on...you know you want to show off your big cat love by putting some of these in your journals! ;)

Love Big Cats Stamp by PyroStormOcelot by Animal-StampI love Clouded Leopards by WishmasterAlchemistI love Amur Leopards by WishmasterAlchemist++ Snow Leopard Stamp by dimruthien: Rawr : by Tibb-WolfRare Feline Coat Colours Hold Value by Danilee3240Pride stamp by Animal-StampLeopard stamp by TollerkaTiger Fan Stamp by thetigressI love Snow Leopards by WishmasterAlchemistI love Tigers by WishmasterAlchemistFierce by Animal-Stamp

How To Get Involved

Do you love big cats and want to help ensure that they grace our planet for future generations to come? To get involved and take a stand on protecting these beautiful creatures, please check out some of these links.

-worldwildlife.org - Adopt a big cat from the most well known conservation organization in the world, such as an endangered tiger, snow leopard, or amur leopard, and even get a plushie of your adopted animal as a reminder of your contribution to conserving these species.

-awf.org - Visit the African Wildlife Foundation to adopt an african lion or jaguar, or even adopt an African Acre to ensure that these cats will always have habitats in which to roam free.

-bigcatrescue.org - A big cat sanctuary dedicated to saving these animals from abuse. Their mission statement is: "To provide the best home we can for the animals in our care and to reduce the number of cats that suffer the fate of abuse, abandonment or extinction by teaching people about the plight of the cats, both in the wild and in captivity, and how they can help through their behavior and support of better laws to protect the cats." Make a donation to help them in their goal!

-snowleopard.org - The Snow Leopard Trust - one of the only organizations in the world dedicated to saving the endangered snow leopard.

-bigcat.org - Another exotic cat sanctuary trying to help big cats in need. Sign up for their newsletter and receive lots of educational information, all about the big cats.

-savethetigerfund.org - Visit the Save The Tiger Fund and find out just how you can help efforts to save the extremely endangered tiger.

I really hope you enjoyed this issue, and all the beautiful photographs of some of the most fascinating creatures on our planet. Keep watch for next month's issue, featuring the most diverse and colorful animals of all: Birds!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconnicolette11:
Nicolette11 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing !!! :heart:
Reply
:icon9-silver-shadow-2:
9-Silver-Shadow-2 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2009  Hobbyist
This is a beautiful collection ^^ I like the tigers best.
[x[x[x
Reply
:iconsindos:
sindos Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice collection you got there :3
Reply
:iconwarzonhief:
warzonhief Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2008
aaaaah! they are so lovely! never mind how fast they could kill and eat me. i love them :heart:
Reply
:iconpokemoncenter:
PokemonCenter Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2008   Photographer
I absolutely love this!
Reply
:iconpainted-dragon:
Painted-Dragon Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2008
Thank you! That means a lot ^___^
Reply
:iconsquabbles:
Squabbles Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2008
Leopards ftw! Thanks for posting this. :)
Reply
:iconpainted-dragon:
Painted-Dragon Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2008
My pleasure! :wave:
Reply
:iconsaiyukigirl09:
Saiyukigirl09 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
TIGERS!!! *attack* I LOVE TIGERS :heart: >.> I have a stuffed Tiger...I lost it though...;_;

Interesting, O_O I wish I knew that much about big cats. Personally, my favorite animal remains as the wolf.
Reply
:iconpainted-dragon:
Painted-Dragon Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008
I saw a stuffed white tiger at ShopKo! I wanted it =(

Lololol...I had to do alot of research X3

Wolves are also definitely awesome...did you know that government officials have actually been massacring them in Alaska by hunting them from the sky? All because they claim to be trying to "keep the wild population down"...but they've already killed hundreds, including the babies! ;___;
Reply
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