It’s been an exciting year at Cheetah Conservation Botswana and we would like to thank all of our supporters for being part of our success in 2011! We look forward to 2012 and working towards a sustainable future for the cheetah and Kalahari! We wish you a happy new year and all the best for 2012!
CCB's research team has been working hard through the gruelling summer months in the Kalahari to research animal movements throughout the Ghanzi farmlands. CCB's marking tree study is entering its final few months and the photos coming in from the cameras have been incredible. Pictures downloaded from a marking tree not 30km from CCB's research base show three male cheetahs interacting with a lone brown hyena. This is something that CCB's researchers had never seen nor heard of before and consultation with Botswana's leading hyena researchers led to equal disbelief. As far as we can tell, interactions between these two threatened species are very rare and occur mostly when the two species are fighting over food. Photos of this casual interaction at the marking tree were a truly rare and special discovery. Another series of photos taken at a marking tree on a cattle farm near the border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve had CCB's researcher's rather worried. The series of photos showed a herd of cattle running in front of the camera and then pictures of a lone cow being surrounded by a pack of African Wild Dogs. Worried for the cow's safety and not looking forward to the next photos in the series, our researchers were relieved to see pictures of the cow standing her ground and scaring the pack away. The subsequent pictures show the Wild Dogs leaving and the cow continuing to graze seemingly unperturbed by the whole ordeal.
As well as the ongoing marking tree study, CCB is also conducting a motion camera survey in Ghanzi to continue research into the movements of predators through cattle and game farms. By analysing movement patterns, home ranges and relationships between predator densities CCB can assist farmers in managing their predators and help them to protect their stocks from losses. Mitigating human wildlife conflict reduces the numbers of cheetahs killed by farmers and helps secure this threatened species with a future outside of protected reserves.