Cheetah conservation : Nature in Focus
The Namibian Cheetah (sometimes referred to as the South African Cheetah) may be the most numerous sub-species of Cheetah in subsaharan Africa but is still present on the IUCN’s red list – current status vulnerable. Predictably, Namibia hosts the largest population of Namibian Cheetah (around 2,500 animals) but their range extends from the Transvaal in South Africa through the Kalahari into Southern parts of Zambia. Fortunately, due to conservation efforts in countries across this range Namibain Cheetah numbers have increased.
Conservation efforts have been implemented across the Namibia to create a sustainable relationship between Cheetahs and local people – especially farmers – who previously hunted the carnivorous cats due to their poaching of livestock. Dr. Laurie Marker states:
“Today, many more people see the cheetah as an asset versus just vermin. We have many livestock farmer friends who have learned how to co-exist with cheetahs.”
The reason for this dramatic change in attitudes is due to the outstanding work of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and their encouragement of the use of Cheetah’s for ecotourism purposes in the area. The CCF and it’s partners have resulted in the Namibian city of Otjiwarongo being known as the ‘cheetah capital of the world’.
This increase in Namibain Cheetah numbers bucks the worldwide trend which has seen a 90% reduction in Cheetah populations worldwide and provides an important example of how ecotourism can provide a solution to conservation problems worldwide.
Despite all this fantastic progress for the Namibian Cheetah there still is a lot of conservation work still to do to see how to get involved in a Namibian Cheetah conservation project, click here.