Cheetah Conservation Botswana
Awareness Raising Materials for Community Outreach and Education
Botswana has one of the last viable, free-ranging Cheetah populations in the world. CCB has developed a conservation program focusing on reducing predator/livestock conflict and improving the attitudes of the farming community and their methods of predator control.
In protected areas, Cheetahs are out-competed by large populations of stronger predators and pushed on to marginal land. Here they come into conflict with livestock farmers. As more land is used by commercial farms to supply the overseas beef market, this conflict between communities and predators is increasing.
Conservation of the Cheetah depends on the attitudes of these farming communities.
CCB has three core programs: research, community outreach and education. While CCB's research is focused on the Cheetah, the community outreach and education programs are concerned with all predators and effective land management that can support ecosystem health and biodiversity. We work to improve the methods of livestock farming utilised and encourage the use of effective management and non-lethal methods of predator control. CCB runs community outreach and education programs that work with rural communities living with predators. Activities include community meetings, farmer training workshops, school visits, teacher training workshops and training workshops for the Department of Wildlife. During all these activities, structured materials are distributed on the importance of predators in healthy ecosystems; correct identification of predators; methods of range management, livestock husbandry and non-lethal predator control to minimise conflict and opportunities for potential livelihood diversification.
Taronga Western Plains is the first Zoo in the world to have successfully bred Cheetahs. The Cheetahs are used to educate our visitors about this amazing animal and the importance of preserving its habitat.
At the end of June 2001, the young Cheetahs (all born in August 2000) joined the breeding program already established at Western Plains Zoo over the past 20 years. Altogether the collection represents a likely breeding group for the International Breeding Program, and a valuable resource for their species. Due to breeding success at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Cheetahs have been sent to overseas zoos such as Wellington, Orana Park and interstate to Melbourne.
The Zoo's Cheetah breeding program has had many triumphs since it started and the program last produced a litter of cubs in 2004.
Captive populations in zoos throughout the world remain a part of the International Breeding Program because of the vulnerable status of the Cheetah in the wild. By co-ordinating and co-operating, zoos can maintain genetic diversity within the captive population. This ensures a stable base for future rehabilitation and release programs.