Research & Monitoring
Our field officers put up camera traps at identified locations within the cheetah range in areas where livestock guardian dogs are placed and also in other areas of the cheetah range. These camera traps monitor the presence or absence of cheetah and other large predators in key areas on farmland areas as a long term monitoring project. Satellite tracking collars are placed on free roaming cheetahs to get a better insight of the movement and behaviour of cheetah in areas where livestock guardian dogs are guardian flocks of livestock and also the movement and behaviour of cheetahs in general on farmland areas. The ongoing monitoring of cheetah in the natural distribution range helps provide information about their movement, population dynamics and the benefit of livestock guardian dogs to reduce predation without the removal of predators such as the cheetah. The data gathered is fed back to the farming communities to develop a better understanding about cheetahs and other predators and to increase tolerance levels and promote co-existence.
Investigating the impact and success of the livestock guardian dog placements:
Although the Cheetah Outreach Trust has rigorous scientific evidence to demonstrate the dramatic reduction in stock losses after a livestock guardian dog has been placed, it is difficult to determine the impact this program has on the conservation of free-ranging cheetah. The Cheetah Outreach Trust needs to critically evaluate this program on an ongoing basis to assess current cheetah presence and investigate the impact of the dogs on predator ecology – whether predators are being excluded from these areas or co-existing? Partnerships with academic institutions are in place to investigate this on an ongoing basis and various scientific publications have seen the light.
Camera traps are placed at long term monitoring sites in cheetah high traffic areas at cheetah scent marking trees to obtain qualitative (individual spot ID) and quantitative (frequency of visits) data on free ranging cheetah populations. Information gathered and photos collected with these camera traps are provided to the farmers to provide better information regarding the movement and presence of cheetah and other predators on farmlands thus creating a better tolerance towards these predators. Long term data collected will give a better insight on the cheetah population on farmland areas.
Collaring of free roaming cheetahs
In an effort to collect relevant and up to date information regarding the movements and habits of cheetahs on farmland areas as well as the impact of livestock guardian dogs on the cheetah population, satellite collars are fitted to individual cheetahs with the cooperation of landowners in the cheetah distribution range. The information gathered is shared with the farmers and relevant stakeholders to create a better understanding and to develop conservation strategies to ensure co-existence of cheetahs on farmland areas