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Big Cats Course
Biology and Ecology
Learn about the basic ecology and biology of the three Big Cat species found in Africa and discusses the methods used to study these species in their natural habitat.
Management and Conservation
Module 2 explores the conservation and management strategies relevant to Big Cats.
The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare.
We support the work of Born Free and donate 15% of each enrolment on this course to the charity.
Working with Born Free
The term “big cats” is not a scientific or taxonomic classification but used informally to describe the larger species of cats, typically lions, tigers, and leopards. Like all other cats, the big cats of Africa (lions, leopards and cheetah) are all part of the Family Felidae, which includes 34 other species of cat found around the world (some also in Africa).They are all mammals, and therefore give birth to live young, produce milk to feed their young, and require food to produce energy to maintain their body temperature. The big cats, like their smaller counterpart the domestic cat, are obligate carnivores, which means their diet and digestive systems are designed specifically for a diet comprised solely of animal tissues and they have specific adaptations to eating other animals. Their lifestyle revolves around the capture of prey, mating and the rearing of their young, as well as escaping predation themselves. They have simple stomachs and intestinal tracts designed to rapidly and efficiently digest the protein and fat of animal prey, with very little carbohydrate intake. The teeth of carnivores are specialised for stabbing and slicing meat and bones, and include large canines and powerful carnassials (molars with scissor-like edges). This course explores the biology, ecology and conservation of big cats in Africa.
(Course cost is all inclusive of tutoring fees, assessments, materials and course registration)