We are sending you a special update to let you know that from Monday, 21 September through Friday, 25 September, GlobalGiving will be offering a one-time 100% match on all new recurring donations up to $200 per donor! To qualify for the match, donors must give at least four consecutive months.
We know this is a bigger commitment to ask of you, but we are very excited, because this is an easy way to double the amount of your donation, and double the impact of your gift! In recognition of your support, we will even offer a special limited edition cheetah print!
Sign up on between Monday, 21 September and Friday, 25 September to qualify and get your cheetah artwork!
To set up a recurring donation, follow the links below to your favorite CCF project page!
As you may have heard, we recently released our Carnivore Tracker App. We have some more news to share!
The Farmer Carnivore Help Hotline number is for farmers across Namibia to be able to contact The Cheetah Conservation Fund directly 24/7 to freely discuss any issues relating to cheetahs and other carnivores on their farms. These issues can include a problem animal and livestock predation to wanting to gain further information on carnivore ecology.
The farmer hotline was set up in January 2015 and since then has received a steady number of calls that relate not just to cheetahs but also leopards and African wild dogs. The hope is that by sharing CCF’s 25 years of experience with dealing with human-wildlife conflict farmers have a person, in this case the CCF ecology manager, Dr. Louisa Richmond-Coggan to talk to about their issues. The cases reported so far have ranged from a cheetah being caught inside a cage trap on a farm to species identification and best practice for livestock management. Advice is tailored individually to the farmer’s circumstances such as livestock and carnivore species involved as one mitigation method does not fit all. CCF also liaises with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to ensure that their policies and regulation are followed.
The aim is to share current research findings with the farming communities to enable them to better understand carnivore ecology, biology, prey preferences, hunting behaviour as having this knowledge allows farmers to better their livestock and in turn reduce loss. For example it has been determined that black-backed jackals live in pairs (male/female) they will defend a territory and keep out other jackals. When this pair is killed their territory is taken over by multiple pairs and in turn sustainably increasing the number of jackals in the area and potentially conflict issues. This is also the case for cheetahs and leopards, removal of one leads to an increase in the number of subsequent individuals found across the same territory.
During the conversation it can be determined if the farmer could benefit from having a livestock guarding dog (LSGD), based upon the issues they are having on their farm. The dog application is completed over the phone and passed onto our LSGD manager, their application the gets recorded and scored. Calls are often passed onto the LSGD manager to share their advice and experience on interim solutions before they receive a dog. Some farmers have been visited as their location was close by to farms were already designated for LSGD checks to discuss their issues in more detail.
Additional information collected through the phone call is presence points of numerous carnivores across Namibia. This information gets feed into the Environmental Information Service, Mammal Atlas and The Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia which ensures that the information gets to the necessary specialist working groups. CCF has created a human-wildlife conflict database into which information gathered from different sources gets linked to ensure we have a current and detailed overview of issues occurring across Namibia.
The farmer phone combines the knowledge and experiences collected over the years across its programmes; ecology, LSGDs and education, making it a truly multidisciplinary approach to human-carnivore conflict across Namibia with the sole aim to secure the long-term survival of the cheetah and other carnivore populations now and into the future.
August 8th, 6 am –
A lone puppy was born. One of a litter of four, his three litter mates did not survive.
After being up all night with Isha I knew that there was something wrong and at about 5:30 am Dr. Bruce Brewer our general manager, our vet Dr. Andrew Di Salvo, Grace Warner our vet nurse and Teresia Robitschko my Personal Assistant were all on standby. We left for Otjiwarongo shortly thereafter and after a 45 minute drive, the vet at the clinic in town was ready and waiting. She performed a C-section immediately – the first C-section in the history of CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Program. This puppy was stuck in the birth canal but he made it through the travel to town without any issues. – Dr. Laurie Marker Founder/Executive Director Cheetah Conservation Fund
Two of the puppies were stillborn in spite of the emergency C-section. Two survived but one was so weak that he passed away after several days of medical care, leaving this one surviving special puppy. The good news is that he and his mother are doing great!
When he grows up this little survivor will most likely be a Livestock Guarding Dog Ambassador. He will have the chance to go out with our community outreach team, teaching communities how to take care of their livestock and informing them about our Livestock Guarding Dog Program that mitigates human-wildlife conflict. The puppy may even travel to these communities with our vet Dr. Andrew who helped save his life.
We wanted to give our supporters the opportunity to help us name this special pup whose parents are Isha and Firat. We had an option of 9 names, submitted by Laurie and our Staff in Namibia.
The contest is finished! The winning name will be announced in the Fall 2015 issue of Cheetah Strides. You can still help. If you would like to donate to our Livestock Guarding Dog Program please support this cause!
Karabash – Meaning: Black Head. It symbolizes being big in body and big in power. A very respectable name and very common for big powerful dogs in Turkey.
Pasha – Meaning: High-ranking soldier. It symbolizes to power and dignity and is a very fashionable name in Namibia.
Birki – Meaning: To help or to rescue. Deriving from the Proto-Norse it is a very regal name.
Olan – Meaning: Ancestor. The origin of this name is Old Norse. Olan is also a mountain in the Massif des Écrins in the French Alps.
Hercules – Meaning: Glory of Hera or Glorious Gift. Derived from the Greek name Heracles. In Greek mythology, Hercules (or Heracles) was the son of Zeus.
Cuneyt – Meaning: small army (perhaps a small army of Kangals to help save cheetahs?) It is pronounced with a J or G sound vs a C sound.
Bir – Meaning: brother, courageous or hero. Originating in India it is a common Hindu and Sikh name.
Yüklü – Meaning: fraught or laden. This name is originates in Turkey.
Dave – Meaning: darling or beloved. It is a shortened version of David a derivation of an ancient Mesopotamian name. The shortened version Dave originates in Scotland, Wales and England and was very popular name for kings across Europe.
IN OTHER NEWS!
In July, CCF had the pleasure of having Linda van Bommel, a researcher from Australia, visit our model farm and livestock guarding dogs. Linda has just finished a 4 year research project on the use and effectiveness of livestock guarding dogs in Australia. She also wrote the “Best Practice Manual for the use of Livestock Guardian Dogs” which is now readily available to help farms in Australia learn how to manage their guarding dogs. This book discusses breeds, training, care, management, and case studies of livestock guarding dogs to help the farmers be better prepared. It is free a downloadable PDF available at the above link.
While Linda was at CCF we compared the management of farms in Australia and Namibia as well as their care and training for their dogs. Although, farms are managed quite differently in the two countries, guarding dogs are very effective in reducing livestock losses due to predators in both areas. We thank Linda for sharing her knowledge with us and hearing about our program successes and we hope to meet up with her again soon.
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!
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