National Geographic

About the Big Cats Initiative

Saving lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, and other big cats in the wild.

An African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus) appears to be leaping in the air in mid-sprint.

Photograph by Chris Johns

Halting the Decline

Big cats worldwide are under threat—for many populations, local extinctions are imminent due to habitat loss, degradation, and conflicts with humans. The National Geographic Big Cats Initiative is partnering with some of the world’s leading big cat experts, funding on-the-ground research and innovative conservation projects to protect big cats and their critical habitats, while leading efforts to shine a light on the challenges these species face. 

Our Approach

The Big Cats Initiative takes a three-pronged approach to halt the decline of big cats in the wild.

We Assess

The Big Cats Initiative assesses and maps current populations of big cats worldwide and analyzes the success of measures implemented to help protect them. This knowledge helps guide the on-the-ground protection efforts the Big Cats Initiative chooses to fund.

We Protect

The Big Cats Initiative supports conservation projects designed and implemented by people living in the areas where big cats live. The Big Cats Initiative grantees work in parts of the world where people and wildlife collide, allowing them to foster a sense of peaceful coexistence between big cats and local communities.

We Communicate

Together with Nat Geo WILD, the Big Cats Initiative is spreading the word about the decline of big cats in the wild. Through this collaboration, the public is encouraged to learn more through free education initiatives and big cats programming on Nat Geo WILD.

Where We Work

The Big Cats Initiative supports on-the-ground research and conservation efforts to help save big cats in the wild. With your support, the Big Cats Initiative has funded more than 110 grants across 28 countries. See where in the world we're helping save big cats.  


Map of Big Cats Initiative conservation work

  Lions     Cheetahs     Snow Leopards     Tigers     Jaguars

Logo of Nat Geo Wild

Nat Geo WILD presents a week dedicated to nature’s fiercest felines—big cats—creatures of magnificent strength, ferocity, and beauty that are rapidly facing extinction. With visually stunning and powerful stories from around the world, get closer than ever before to lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers, and more as you share in their triumphs, defeats, and epic struggles to survive.

Get Involved

Donate to save big cats, sign up for important updates from the field, and share our work with your friends.

Find Out How

With Support From

In Partnership With

National Geographic collaborates with multiple local and international NGOs, corporations, local community groups, and individuals on this effort.


African People & Wildlife, Anne Kent Taylor Fund, Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, Cheetah Conservation Fund, Duke University, Ewaso Lions Project, Global Tiger Initiative, Great Plains Conservation, Nat Geo Wild, Oxford University’s WildCRU, TOMS, and Zambian Carnivore Programme, among others.

Saving Big Cats in the Wild

Learn how your support is ensuring a future for big cats.

See the Report