Research and Camp Coordinators Andrea Dekrout and Gavin Reynolds led teams including two visitors from Denver Zoo, Mike Murray and Felise Buckheart, our March volunteer Chris Davis and, most importantly three trackers Metsibeli, Lelongwe and Opiro. The teams worked very well and managed the difficult CKGR terrain and conditions in our toyota hiluxes, just as well as the giant land cruisers and land rovers. The skills of the rest of the Research Group, Phale Phale and Jane Horgan, were well utilized, providing expert help out in other vehicles.
While the focus of the project was counting tracks of predators; the CCB teams were lucky enough to see 4 cheetahs as well as lions, jackals, honey badgers and wild dogs. The study was a fantastic opportunity for researchers and conservation groups to work together and the results will help inform all of our work in the future. The initial results indicate that cheetah numbers are very low in the CKGR. While this is disappointing, it does reinforce CCB’s position of concentrating conservation efforts in farming and marginal land where cheetah survive better away from the competition of larger lion and hyena.