“I promised him that if I ever found my voice one day, I would try to help him, I would try to be his voice. I didn’t know what I was promising, all I knew is that it came from deep inside and that I had to do it.” – Dr. Alan Rabinowitz
Dr. Alan Rabinowitz is one of the world’s leading big cat experts: a zoologist, conservationist, field biologist, and currently the co-founder and CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the world’s 38 wild cat species (and one of Big Cat Allies hero organizations!). As a child, Rabinowitz suffered from a severe stutter. Because he had a difficult time communicating with people, Rabinowitz formed a close bond with animals and promised them that if he ever found his voice one day, he would speak in their defense. As the above quote promises, Rabinowitz was true to his word. He has spent his life working on wildlife conservation and today his work primarily focuses on conserving the world’s largest and most endangered big cats: tigers, lions, snow leopards and jaguars. His focus to conserve big cats stems from the fact that apex predators affect entire ecosystems; without them, the ecosystems fall apart. Healthy ecosystems are vital for humans, so saving big cats directly impacts our future, as well. The following are some of Rabinowitz’s career highlights involving big cats:
- He established the first ever jaguar sanctuary, the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve in Belize.
- His work led to the creation of the world’s largest tiger reserve, the Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve in Myanmar.
- He conducted the first field research in Thailand on Indochinese tigers and leopards and Asian leopard cats, leading to the designation of the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary as a UNESCO world biosphere reserve.
- He designed and implemented the Jaguar Corridor, a series of genetic and biological corridors for Jaguars across their entire range from Mexico to Argentina.
- He was responsible for Panthera’s Tiger Corridor Initiative, an effort to identify and protect the world’s last remaining interconnected tiger landscapes.
Dr. Alan Rabinowitz has written over one hundred scientific articles and eight books and has received numerous awards throughout his career. Just this past weekend, Rabinowitz was the keynote speaker at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, where he talked about saving the world’s big cat species. Big Cat Allies is truly inspired by the work of Dr. Alan Rabinowitz. His determination as a child to be a voice for animals has led to quite a remarkable career and his work has had a profound impact on our world’s wildlife. We thank him for the work he has done so far and the work he continues to do to help save our world’s big cats!