The following tribute was issued upon the passing of Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, a world authority on big cats. Dr. Rabinowitz was the co-founder of the big cat conservation organization Panthera.

The Wildlife Conservation Society mourns the loss of Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, one of the world’s foremost experts on big cats.

Dr. Rabinowitz worked tirelessly to save wildlife through decades of field research, science, and international diplomacy. 

His long career in conservation started in the early 1980s with a survey of jaguars in Belize. His efforts to follow and protect jaguars in Belize’s dense rainforests would produce a new understanding of the ecological needs of these big cats in the wild and helped to establish the world’s first jaguar sanctuary. 

Dr. Rabinowitz’s work in setting up the world’s first protected area for jaguars was the basis of, Jaguar: One Man’s Struggle to Establish the First Jaguar Preserve. More recently, Dr. Rabinowitz helped to establish the Jaguar Corridor Initiative, a multi-national effort to protect jaguar populations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

In addition to his work with jaguars, Dr. Rabinowitz studied a wide range of other species around the world, including tigers, clouded leopards, leopard cats, and Sumatran rhinos, while helping to establish protected areas in Taiwan and Thailand. 

Dr. Rabinowitz’s efforts in the northern reaches of Myanmar brought attention to the largely unknown biodiversity of that country. His work in Myanmar produced discoveries, including a deer species previously unknown to science: the leaf deer (Muntiacus putaoensis). Dr. Rabinowitz helped to inform the creation of a number of protected areas in Myanmar, including the world’s largest tiger reserve in the Hukaung Valley.  

We extend our condolences to his wife, Salisa and their children, Alexander and Alana.