Cheetah Conservation Fund

To be the internationally recognized centre of excellence in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. CCF will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people. CCF works to: create and manage long-term conservation strategies for the cheetah; develop and implement livestock management practices that eliminate the need for ranchers to kill cheetah; conduct education programs for locals; continue research in genetics, biology, species survival
Mar 20, 2014

Minja, Emma, and Jacominja Release

Minja
Minja

When the Leopard Pen Gate opened on Monday 23rd December, Minja, Jacominja and Emma were about to face life on their own, in the wild. Each of them had been fitted with a GPS tracking collar which regularly takes a new GPS location and transmits the new data back to us early each day. Each collar also has a VHF transmitter allowing us to track and find them on foot too. There was a huge amount of work that went on in the build up to this event and there is still much more to do. This is their story so far, and we will continue to keep you posted with their progress in the future.

Minja:

Minja left the pen at the first available opportunity using the nearby road to explore the area and unfortunately we didn’t receive an update from her collar until the 27 December 2013. On the 29 December we spent the entire day looking for her and still had no good sightings. From the data sent to us from the GPS collar, we learned that on 30 December she moved from CCF land onto a neighbouring farm briefly and then back onto CCF land. We finally got the first proper sighting of her on 4 January 2014 on CCF land. On 5 January we found her again and fed her a large meal because we hadn’t yet had any confirmation that she had made a kill, however she did not look thin! Overall Minja seems to be doing well and is definitely independent, but we will continue to monitor her closely to ensure her well-being.

Emma:

After the gates opened, Emma decided to stick around for a few days until she finally decided to leave the pen on 26 January 2013. From Leopard Pen she moved to an area relatively close by and we were able to find and feed her on 28 January. However, we spent the whole of New Year’s Eve looking for her and unfortunately were unsuccessful. According to the GPS data from her collar, she moved onto the neighbouring farm on 1 January 2014 and stayed until 2 January. On 3 January, Emma found us. We were about to drive through a gate, and she suddenly appeared behind the vehicle. It’s likely that she heard the feeding vehicle and had been following us for some time. We took the opportunity to move her back into Bellebeno, our re-wildling game camp to an artificial waterhole where we also fed her. She had to follow the car for about 2km so she earned her food for the day. The next day, we found her nearby where we left her as she had made her first confirmed kill! As soon as we approached, she picked up the kill and carried it off but we are quite sure it was a steenbok. On 6 January we found her yet again on another kill, which was also a steenbok. We are very happy with Emma’s success in this release, as she has already made two confirmed kills. We will continue to monitor her closely, but have high hopes for her future in the wild.

Jacominja:

Like Emma, Jacominja decided to hang around in the enclosure for a few days before venturing out. On 26 December 2013, however, she left and moved to one of CCF’s other farms. Incredibly, on 28 December 2013, we found her on her first (known) kill, which was an adult male duiker. For having been out of the enclosure less than 48 hours, it’s impressive that Jacominja had already made a kill. On 30 December we found Jacominja again and decided to go ahead and feed her in case she was struggling to make a kill. We are teaching all our interns how to radio-track and on 1 January, one of our Dutch interns, Marianne, tracked Jacominja and found her. We decided to feed her again, just in case. A couple of days later, we found her on other kill, which was a young warthog and then again on 4 January, we found she had killed a steenbok. On 6 January she moved but we found her and again fed her. Jacominja is clearly doing well on her own in the wild with three confirmed kills, but like the others, we will continue to monitor her closely just to ensure she is coping well with her new life in the wild.

Thank you for your support of our resident cheetahs.  Your support allows us to care for out cheetahs in residence and in some cases allows for their release back to the wild.

Gratefully,

CCF Staff.

P.S.  Dr. Marker will be on tour this spring.  Come see her in a city near you.  http://www.cheetah.org/?nd=event_and_tour_news

Emma on her steenbok kill on 6 January 2014
Emma on her steenbok kill on 6 January 2014
Jacominja on 1 January 2014
Jacominja on 1 January 2014

Links:

Mar 20, 2014

Meet Lucky!

Lucky
Lucky

We would like you to meet Lucky! This sweet well-maintained boy was a working dog on a resettled farm where he loved watching over his goats and sheep. Unfortunately, when his herder, livestock, and him were crossing a road, he was hit by a truck. This was not due to negligence of the herder but was just an accident, and thankfully the herder got him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. He sustained quite a few severe injuries and was taken to a veterinarian clinic in Otjwarongo and then transferred to a clinic in Windhoek. In Windhoek he had to receive surgery to have his femoral head removed on his left side. Both his front and back right legs were broken in the accident, so those were splinted as well.

Despite these injuries, Lucky has been a real trooper and has been walking better than we expected. He is very patient with all his bandage changes, which must be changed daily. The clinic team and numerous volunteers/interns are always happy to give Lucky a short walk to help him gain some muscle strength back in his legs and so he can relieve himself. You can normally find him out in the office relaxing on his mattress pad with volunteers, staff, and interns working close by. He has been receiving a lot of tender love and care while he recovers and due to his young age (7-8 months) he is very resilient.

Lucky’s recovery will take many months, but here at CCF we have high hopes for him, and will of course keep you updated on his progress.

Thank you for your support of our Livestock Guarding Dog Program.  Your donation allows us to help Lucky and other dogs like him receive the care they need.

Gratefully,

CCF Staff

P.S.  Dr.  Marker will be on tour this spring.  She would love to see you!  Please check our website for updates on her schedule.  http://www.cheetah.org/?nd=event_and_tour_news

Lucky 2
Lucky 2
Lucky 3
Lucky 3

Links:

Dec 26, 2013

Banner year for puppies

Securing Farmer
Securing Farmer's Futures

We had a banner year at CCF in 2013 for puppies -- 5 litters! And that’s a good thing, because there’s now a two year waiting list for the dogs. We’ve also had some very good news from our research -- the dogs don’t just reduce predation, they increase tolerance among farmers for predators. In other words, our Livestock Guarding Dog Program really IS making a provable difference for the cheetah and other predators as well. 

 

There is more good news about our dog program this year.  We’ve now introduced livestock guarding dogs to Tanzania, making this the 4th African country to which we have exported this solution for non-lethal predator control. These four puppies were taken to the Ruaha Carnivore Project just last month.  

Dr.  Laurie Marker learned early on as she traveled rural Namibia, interviewing farmers and researching human-wildlife conflict, that a farmer was never going to choose to save the cheetah if doing so threatened his herds and his livelihood. To secure a future for the cheetah, we had to first secure the farmer’s livelihood.

So we offered the farmers tools to help them, one of which are Anatolian shepherds and Kangal dogs. They bond with the herds and scare off predators. The dogs are so effective, farmers using a CCF dog to protect their herds see their predation rates from all predators, including cheetahs, reduced by 80 to 100 percent.

Thank you for being part of our success. 

Tanzania
Tanzania
Farmers recieve their puppies
Farmers recieve their puppies
Protecting the herd
Protecting the herd

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