Sharjah Habitat loss, environmental degradation, conflicts with humans, the demand for animal body parts, including fur, bones, teeth and claws, and poaching are just some of the key factors that have brought the big cats around the globe to the brink of extinction, said a panel of wildlife conservation experts at a discussion on ‘Big Cats Conservation’ held yesterday as part of the International Photography Festival XPOSURE 2019 at the Dr Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies at University City, Sharjah, UAE. The experts also highlighted how sustainable conservation measures in the form of engaging communities who are the hereditary custodians of the land and wildlife, enacting and enforcing strict laws to criminalise wildlife trafficking and game hunting, reducing demand for body parts through innovative measures like faux fur, for instance, and investing in resources at a larger scale are needed to ensure the survival of these apex predators. Speaking at the event, Steve Winter, a National Geographic photographer whose photos, like the Hollywood Cougar, have become some of the most iconic images of our time, said that big cats need to be saved “for the simple reason that as living beings, they have the right to walk the face of the earth”.