The Cat Survival Trust was registered as a charity in 1976. One of its main objectives is the on-site housing of an array of wild cat species for education and conservation purposes. In particular, habitat protection is a key issue and a primary philosphy of the Trust is the conservation of wild cats in the wild. The long-term protection of habitat such as forests is not only crucial for the wild cats themselves but also for our very own survival and so such work also forms one of the charity's main objectives.
The Cat Survival Trust has secured and purchased a 10,000 acre rain forest in the Province of Misiones in northeast Argentina which has now successfully acquired protected status in the form of a designated Provincial Park. Here, not only are the native wild cat species protected but more importantly, so is the entire ecosystem. The Cat Survival Trust believes that this is the real way forward as not only is this method more cost-effective it also involves the conservation of all the flora and fauna that make up the intricate ecosystem in which the cats so critically depend on.
Our first reserve was bought in pursuit of this policy where there is Ocelot, Margay, Oncilla, Jaguarundi and Puma (about 40 individuals) living in an area of virgin forest. Funds are currently being sought to enable the reserve to expand so that the Jaguar, which vanished from the area about 80 years ago, can be reintroduced. The reserve was, until recently, managed by a charity set up for the purpose in Argentina, the Fundación Selva Misionera, or Mission Rainforest Foundation. It has now been adopted by the government of Misiones as a Provincial Park and is a partnership between the charity and the government.
The Cat Survival Trust is now planning to purchase and acquire more natural habitat to create further protected areas. If our plans are successful, these new reserves will be located in seven different countries and will contribute substantially to the number of wild cat species protected in habitat reserves bought by the Trust.
Another role of the Cat Survival Trust is the on-site housing of "unwanted" and surplus wild cats from zoos and other collections. Currently the Trust houses around 25 wild cats at its headquarters in Hertfordshire, England, ranging from the diminutive Leopard Cat and Asian Wild Cat to the Serval, Caracal Asian Golden Cat and its Amur Leopards, Pumas, Jaguar and of course......Snow Leopards. As many of the wild cats here are rescued animals the Trust desperately needs to build further enclosures for additonal arrivals and for new general wild cat exhibits. The Cat Survival Trust is not open freely to the general public but instead is run on a membership basis, where such members and school/educational groups can visit by appointment to be shown around the wild cats by a member of staff.