Announcing the Cats Challenge Grant Winners

I’m proud to announce that the winner of the Cats Challenge Grant is scientist Dr. Laurel Serieys and the team behind The Urban Caracal Project: Exploring how wild caracals persist in a rapidly urbanizing landscape.

Today we granted the team $1,000 towards their campaign. This supports their stretch goal of health assessments and veterinary costs for 8 caracals, fuel for 5 months of field work for two vehicles, and field volunteer housing for 1 month.

Laurel is an impressive postdoctoral fellow. She started the Urban Caracal Project in November of 2014 and has built up an incredible team of collaborators and volunteers. She took time out of her busy schedule in South Africa for a short interview with us. You can also ask her your questions about caracals directly.

For those of you unfamiliar with Challenge Grants here is some background on the Cats Challenge Grant:

On May 19th, we launched the Cats Challenge Grant. A month prior, we hand selected 21 teams of scientists researching cats to compete for a $1,000 prize sponsored by a group of donors who love cats.

For the all Challenge Grants a cohort of researchers launch Experiment campaigns together on the same day. Every campaign has a 30 day time window and follows the all-or-nothing funding model. The project with the most number of backers supporting their campaign on June 10th at 6PM ET is awarded a prize of $1,000. Two runner-ups were each awarded a $250 dollar prize.

  1. The Urban Caracal Project: Exploring how wild caracals persist in a rapidly urbanizing landscape (121 backers)

2. How have genetics of African Lions changed over the last century? (85 backers)

3. i-cows: can intimidating eye patterns painted onto cows reduce lion attacks? (57 backers)

In addition to the awarded prize, the Cats Challenge Grant has raised $37,587 from 597 backers. There are still a few days left to back projects. You can see all of the projects here.


If you’re interested in Challenge Grants on Experiment, you can find our grants schedule online.