This Halloween 2012, Nat Geo WILD is challenging trick-or-treaters of all ages to help save big cats from extinction by collecting money (along with their candy) for National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.
By trick-or-treating for big cats — lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards and others — children across America will be joining a community of explorers, conservationists and big cat lovers around the world who want to save these magnificent creatures from extinction... so we don't wind up talking about lions and tigers the way we talk about dinosaurs.
On Halloween, kids around the country can help National Geographic make a difference by becoming Big Cat Ambassadors in their own neighborhood. Visit www.causeanuproar.org to learn more about the Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats campaign and download fun and free resources — including trick-or-treat collection wrappers, Big Cat O'Lantern carving sketches, costume ideas, big cat masks, face paintings and more.
New this year, National Geographic has also launched the Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats School Challenge to rally kids in the classroom on a school-wide level. The program encourages group participation and provides teachers and students with a fun, yet meaningful, service-learning project. Schools that raise funds at designated tier levels will receive educational thank-you gifts such as wall-size world maps, illuminated desktop globes or a visit from a National Geographic Big Cats expert.
Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats is one of the ways National Geographic and its partners are committed to doing whatever it takes to help these cats claw their way back to healthy, stable populations. The big cat crisis is real and it's happening now. Africa's lion population has declined by more than 90 percent in the last 50 years. There are now more tigers living in captivity than in the wild. Cheetahs have disappeared from more than 75 percent of their range in Africa.
These top predators are quickly disappearing — victims of conflict with humans and of habitat loss or degradation. Because big cats are keystone species in their ecosystems, the loss of these majestic animals also means that the natural balance of entire environments is destroyed. National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative is a long-term effort to halt the decline of these iconic animals in the wild. Money collected from Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats will support timely and effective conservation programs.
The initiative also includes the third annual Big Cat Week on Nat Geo WILD, premiering this December, as well as the Big Cats Sister School Program which pairs US and African schools in a cross-cultural exchange between students. These programs all support the work being done in the field by 28 BCI Grantees, resulting in 28 projects in 14 countries.
So whether your favorite feline is the lion, tiger, puma, jaguar, leopard or cheetah, head over to www.causeanuproar.org to find out how you can collect coins for cats and make a difference this Halloween.
SOURCE and Image Credit: Nat Geo WILD