Many threatened carnivores, including lions, cheetahs, and African Wild Dogs have strongholds in Botswana. However, human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) and poaching threaten the future of these important apex predators. Research has shown that a large proportion of HWC stems from historically entrenched negative perceptions rather than from direct negative experience with wildlife.
Cheetah Conservation Botswana (CCB) conducts youth and adult education activities, such as school talks in remote rural areas where conflict with carnivores is rife; educational bush camps to give students exciting, experiential learning; adult capacity building including farmer and teacher training workshops and also awareness-raising events to spread the conservation message to the general public. CCB sees these awareness-raising activities as the most effective way to achieve attitude shifts and behavioural change to promote conservation both in the short and long term. Taronga is supporting CCB in their engagement and educational work with the aim of developing the next generation of wildlife ambassadors who can influence their communities and peers to engage in proactive conservation behaviours.