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Protecting and restoring big cats and their habitats via field-based, action-oriented, and quantifiable strategic programs.

Picture of 2014 National Geographic Explorer Shivani Bhalla promoting the coexistence between lions and humans

National Geographic Explorer Shivani Bhalla, a fourth-generation Kenyan, uses scientific research and community outreach to promote coexistence between people and lions who share habitats.

Photograph by Kat Keane Hogue

The National Geographic Big Cats Initiative (BCI) seeks to advance conservation efforts benefitting big cat populations, protecting and restoring them and their habitats via field-based, action-oriented, direct, and quantifiable strategic programs. The goal of this fund is to identify projects that will help halt the decline of African big cats in the wild. You can be part of this important work by applying for a grant.

Through a comprehensive analysis of big cat conservation in Africa, National Geographic has identified 20 lion priority areas where BCI is focusing its funding (Jacobson and Riggio, 2018). These priority areas encompass nearly 1.25 million square kilometers and are estimated to contain ~19,000 lions, or 83 percent of Africa’s known lion population.

Although priority will be given to projects focused on lions, projects on leopard and cheetah populations within these  areas will also be considered. For cheetahs, grant proposals should follow the recommendations from formal regional strategies and national action plans.

Before applying for a grant learn more about Preparing your Proposal and Eligibility requirements. See Grant Opportunities for information about exact deadlines. 


Learn How to Apply


Have questions about the Big Cats Initiative? Contact us at cre@ngs.org.