Botswana has one of the last viable, free-ranging Cheetah populations in the world, but competition from other predators and degradation of habitat has forced them into human communities. Attacks on livestock by Cheetahs has led to increased hunting by local famers, and threatens the population as a whole.
This project focused on reducing opportunities to attack livestock and working with the farming community to change methods of predator control. In 2009, over 300 farmers and 200 teachers attended workshops, and the project held classes for children at 20 schools. A detailed community survey indicates that farming practises are changing. The impact on population numbers will be assessed over coming years.
Healthy predator populations are essential to decreasing disease in prey species, since predators often catch unhealthy animals. Taronga Western Plains Zoo is active in the Australasian Cheetah breeding program. Six cubs have been born recently, two of which were King Cheetahs – Cheetahs with unusual striped markings and mane-like hair on the back of their necks.
Cheetah Conservation Botswana (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.