Our 2014 Year review is finshed, and it was a very succesful year! CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Programme (LSGD) continues to be one of the most successful conservation projects to assist farmers with predator conflict in Namibia. As of December 2014 there were 180 dogs (89M, 91F) alive in the programme, of which 150 (78M, 72F) are working dogs and 30 (11M, 19F) are retired or housed as pets.
CCF has also collaborated with the Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP) in Tanzania, which is working to mitigate human-carnivore conflict in the Ruaha area. A large part of this conflict is driven by attacks on livestock, so in 2013 CCF provided four (2M, 2F) puppies for placement at RCP in Tanzania to protect livestock of Maasai and Barabaig farmers. The programme has been quite successful and due to this success, CCF provided six (3M, 3F) more puppies to RCP in December 2014. One female was left intact to help RCP create a breeding programme in the future.
CCF has also donated numerous puppies over the years to Cheetah Outreach, another facility who works to save the wild cheetah in South Africa, to help form their own livestock guarding dog programme. Since the trial programme was so successful in 2005, they also began breeding and providing Anatolian shepherds to farmers after the CCF model. The programme is key in helping farmers protect their livestock and thus save more cheetahs.
Currently, there are 26 (7M, 19F) intact dogs in the programme, of which 12 (3M, 9F) reside at CCF as working dogs (3M, 7F) or pets (2F), eight (3M, 5F) work on commercial farms, three (3F) are pets, two (1M, 1F) are in South Africa, and one female is in Tanzania. Feliz, one of our intact females, passed away in February due to snakebite. Nesbit, one of our intact males, has been moved from the pet category to the working category since he now lives with livestock. Penda, an intact female housed as a pet at CCF, has been retired from breeding.
The LSGD programme is a crucial part in CCF’s mission to conserve the wild cheetah and its continuing success is due to the efforts of dedicated CCF staff. Gebhardt Nikanor has worked on the programme since he joined CCF over 10 years ago. Paige Seitz arrived in December 2013 to manage the programme and CCF’s Small Stock Supervisor, Tyapa Toivo, began assisting with dog trips in January 2014.
We have some even more exciting news! On 28 May, one of our Livestock Guarding Dogs, Kiri gave birth to her third litter. She had nine puppies at around midnight. Kiri is doing just fine after some well-deserved rest and recovery. The father of these cute and invaluable little babies is Firat. Apologies for the blurry photo - it was a very long night! There will be a few more long nights to come as the next generation of LSGD's come into the world. As always we will keep you posted on their progress!
February was International Hoof Care Month! Cheetahs don't have hoofs you say? That is correct, but CCF also cares for goats, sheep, and cattle and provides training for farmers. Proper hoof care is very important in keeping unwanted predators at bay. Luckily, we have our Livestock Guarding Dogs to help protect them and other animals! Limping animals - goats, sheep, and cattle - lag behind and can be the weaker animals that become tempting prey for predators. Also, if these animals are limping behind the herd, trying to keep up, they are not able to eat as much and then they become thin and unhealthy. To keep our goats healthy, our dairy goats also get to enjoy a tasty afternoon snack while getting rid of any unwanted intestinal parasites. Using Hoegger Supply Company’s Herbal Dewormer powder, we were able to combine it with molasses to create bite sized treats they come running for. Intestinal parasites are a common problem in many livestock animals all around the world and by feeding an all-natural dewormer once a week, CCF keeps their parasite loads to a minimal. Healthy goats are happy goats!
In other Livestock Guarding Dog news, Happy Belated Birthday to our Kangal sisters, Kiri and Karibib, who were born on 10 February 2010! Both of these females are originally from Germany, but were brought to Namibia to work on a farm protecting livestock. A few years later, the farmer no longer needed the two dogs, as he sold his livestock, and asked if CCF would like them. Now, both the dogs are part of CCF's Livestock Guarding Dog Programme, which provides Namibian farmers with training in predator friendly livestock management and with puppies to help protect their livestock from predators. In return, less predators are killed and the farmers profit from the reduction in their livestock losses. Karibib also acts as an outreach ambassador and is used to teach people about our LSGD program. We hope you enjoy the picture below of Kiri on her big day!
If you want to help CCF keep cheetahs and other predators away from local farmer's livestock please consider please help sponsor our Livestock Guarding Dogs!
P.S. GlobalGiving's first matching opportunity of 2015 is Wednesday, March 18th! GlobalGiving is offering a 30% match on all donations up to $1,000 per donor per project, while funds remain. There is $60,000 available in matching and matching begins at 9:00:01 EDT and lasts until funds run out or 23:59:59 EDT. There is also $2,000 in bonus prizes available!
On 3 October, We had 11 new puppies at CCF! Karabib, our ambassador guarding dog, gave birth to 11 healthy pups and all are doing very well and are approximately 9 weeks old! These puppies although young are already living in the kraal with the mom and have the sheep and goats nearby to learn the ropes of guarding livestock to save wild cheetahs.
At about 9 weeks old they will head out to their new farms where they will start their new lives as Livestock Guarding Dogs. These dogs play an important part in the protection of the wild cheetah and other predators - as they help to reduce human wildlife conflict.
Over the weekend, a few dogs were sent to Tanzania to help farmers in need of guarding dogs! We have had many beautiful litters of puppies this year and look forward to more healthy puppies in the future in order to continue to fill the need of African farmers and protect the cheetahs.
On behalf of all of the dogs and cats at CCF, Thank you!
On 23 July, Penda gave birth to seven healthy puppies; three girls and four boys. Penda is a Mongreltolian, which means she is a mix between an Anatolian Shepherd and a mongrel. A large breed dog can be quite expensive to care for, so CCF has merged this mix to provide farmers with protection for their livestock, in turn protecting the cheetah and other predators, but to also allow the farmers to more efficiently take care of their dogs.
The instinct to guard livestock is naturally in the Anatolian and Kangal breeds and these mongreltolians still prove to be just as effective. They have the need to work, the threatening bark, and the determination to protect their livestock. These seven puppies are bound to go to their new farmers and provide excellent protection for their future herd.
Like our last litter, these puppies will stay at CCF until they are 9 weeks old, when the farmers will come to pick them up and take them to their new jobs. The puppies are placed with young livestock at 4 weeks of age to begin the bonding process and they continue this bonding when they arrive at their new farms. CCF conducts visits to the farms at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and annually thereafter to check on the progress of the puppies as well as their health.
Thank you for your continued support of our Livestock Guarding Dog Programme!
On Easter Day, CCF received a special delivery: 10 healthy puppies born to our Kangal Kiri! She delivered 5 males and 5 females. The lucky father to this litter is our Kangal, Firat. These little pups will grow up to become a crucial part in saving the wild cheetah. Each puppy will go to a farm where farmers are interested in and are pursuing predator friendly management of their livestock. Through this program farmers have seen 80-100% of their livestock losses eliminated. This is a big step in the right direction of having people live in harmony with predators.
The puppies will stay at CCF until they are 9 weeks old, when the farmers will come to pick them up and take them to their new jobs. The puppies are placed with young livestock at 4 weeks of age to begin the bonding process and they continue this bonding when they arrive at their new farms. CCF conducts visits to the farms at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and annually thereafter to check on the progress of the puppies as well as their health.
These puppies have large paw prints to fill but with their mother’s determination and father’s strength there is no doubt that these puppies will succeed in the fight to save the wild cheetah.
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