IDEXX Laboratories chairman and CEO, Jonathan Ayers, and his wife, Helaine, have established The Ayers Wild Cat Conservation Trust to support conservation initiatives for all species of wild cats, with specific emphasis on the 33 species of small cats that receive just a small proportion of all wild cat conservation funding, like the sand cat, the black-footed cat, the fishing cat and the clouded leopard.
The foundation does not have a direct association with IDEXX Laboratories, but its first donation has been established using IDEXX stock purchased by Mr Ayers on the open market in 2002/3. It will focus on supporting the funding of global wild cat species conservation initiatives and organizations, like the Panthera Small Cats Program which is dedicated solely to the conservation of the world's 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems. The first foundation grants are expected to be made this year.
“The Ayers Wild Cat Conservation Trust foundation set up by IDEXX CEO.“
Mr Ayers said: "We lionize cats such as jaguars, leopards, and cheetahs in popular culture, and yet felid species in the wild are threatened with declining populations and, in time, extinction. We need to do more to preserve their populations in their natural habitat. Helaine and I believe in the importance of dedicated species conservation efforts, and we hope that our foundation will help to support the vitality of wild cats, their natural habitats, and the professionals dedicated to them in a meaningful way for years to come."