The cheetahs would like a holiday gift too. Please donate to our Year-End Challenge today.
All GIFTS WILL BE DOUBLED up to $275k. Please donate before the challenge period ends on Dec. 31st so that your gift will make twice the impact.
From now 'til December 31st, your donation will be DOUBLED up to $275,000.
For the past 26 years CCF has worked to secure the cheetah population in Namibia, with the awareness that saving the species means our work must extend past Namibia’s borders. We began our collaborations in Kenya 15 years ago and Angola six years ago. Your support has enabled us to secure more territory for the cheetah in the wild, and CCF needs your help again.
During 2016, CCF's efforts have increased on bolstering our conservation partnerships in Kenya and Angola, two countries with populations of cheetahs facing different conservation challenges.
Kenya is one of the strongholds for cheetah populations in spite of the problems they face with habitat loss, human/wildlife conflict and the illegal pet trade. In January of this year, Kenya was the location chosen for the Pathways Conference, a yearly gathering and training program for scientists, researchers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), focusing on human/wildlife coexistence. I joined representatives from our partner organization, Action for Cheetahs in Kenya, in attending this informative conference. We were able to meet with representatives from international organizations as well as members of the parliament in Kenya, who were eager to become engaged in cheetah conservation.
CCF is currently engaged in ongoing studies focused on building a better understanding of the cheetah population in Angola. Prior to my research expedition in 2010, it was widely believed that the thirty-year civil war had wiped out most of the wildlife in Angola including the wild cheetah population. After a three-day survey, we discovered evidence of cheetahs living in Iona National Park. Since that expedition we have been supporting capacity building and conservation research initiatives to assist government and conservation biologists working in Angola, among 15 other cheetah range countries.
A donation will help ensure that CCF continues to expand its efforts to bring CCF’s proven conservation strategies to other cheetah range countries. By focusing our efforts on restoring ecosystems so that humans and cheetahs can live in harmony side-by-side, and building our scientific understanding of cheetah populations, we will save the species.
Cheetah Conservation Fund and Association of Zoos and Aquariums Join to Present 6th Annual International Cheetah Day
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 1, 2016) – Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), the world’s longest running cheetah research, education and conservation organization, is partnering with the U.S.-based Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to lead the sixth annual observance of International Cheetah Day this Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Developed to generate awareness for the cheetah -- Africa’s most endangered big cat -- the two organizations are offering activities to inspire people of all ages to celebrate this feline icon of speed and grace. International Cheetah Day is also intended to educate young learners about the species’ plight through school projects and zoo talks, as well as inspire entire families to get involved with conservation efforts.
“International Cheetah Day serves to remind us that the cheetah, like all wildlife, is a treasure of our planet and its survival depends on human conservation action,” said Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of CCF. “The fate of cheetahs rests with us and the next generation. The species has survived more than three million years through the Ice Age and a genetic bottleneck, only to have its numbers decimated by almost 90 percent in the last century. Unless we act now, we may lose the cheetah during our lifetimes.”
CCF and AZA are encouraging zoos and schools around the world to help spark young people’s interest in conservation by recognizing International Cheetah Day with cheetah-themed activities and classroom lessons. Teaching and outreach materials, including a downloadable activities packet designed for elementary-aged schoolchildren and a PowerPoint presentation with notes, can be accessed through CCF’s websites, www.cheetah.org and www.internationalcheetahday.org. Cheetah photos, videos and social media links are also available for download.
“Not many people have the chance to visit Africa to see cheetahs in person, but they can visit their local AZA-accredited facility to see these and other big cats up close,” said Kris Vehrs, Interim President and CEO of AZA. “AZA members take very seriously their obligation to cheetah conservation, investing nearly $1.6 million in cheetah conservation efforts over the past five years and educating thousands of guests on the plight of the cheetah. In addition, through AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE), AZA members are working with a variety of organizations like Cheetah Conservation Fund to focus resources and raise awareness about why saving cheetahs is important. International Cheetah Day is one day AZA members are proud to support!”
The two organizations also offer suggestions for ways people can celebrate International Cheetah Day:
CCF’s Dr. Marker is internationally recognized as a foremost expert on the cheetah. She designated Dec. 4 as International Cheetah Day in remembrance of Khayam, a cheetah she raised from a cub at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. Dr. Marker brought Khayam to Namibia to determine if captive-born cheetahs could be taught to hunt. Their efforts were successful and eventually the pair returned to Oregon. But during this trip, Dr. Marker witnessed wild cheetahs being exterminated by African farmers. In 1990, she launched CCF and permanently relocated to the newly-formed nation to mitigate conflict. Because of her experience with Khayam, Dr. Marker dedicated her life to becoming the cheetah’s champion, and she chose Khayam’s birthday for this important honor.
Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. Members of AZA are leaders in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
CCF’s Conservation Passport, Activity Packet, cheetah photos, videos and social media links can be downloaded for free at www.internationalcheetahday.com
Dr. Laurie Marker, CCF Founder and Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Yannetti, CCF External Relations Manager; email@example.com or 202.716.7756
The U.S. Regional Environment Office (REO) for East Africa, working with U.S. Missions in the region, has begun a multi-pronged campaign focused on combating the illegal trade in cheetahs. REO partnered with CCF on the first step of the campaign, to print and distribute posters featuring photographs of cheetahs with messages discouraging participation in this illegal trade. U.S. Missions are working with government wildlife authorities, NGOs, and the private sector to place the posters in public venues in East Africa and the Middle East to help raise awareness about the negative impacts of the illegal wildlife trade.
The REO is sharing these posters with CCF along with other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and cheetah stakeholders and making them available for download.
Items include trips and adventures around the globe! Take a look!!!
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 23, 2016) – Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and one of the world’s leading experts on the species, today announced the dates for her upcoming, five-week speaking tour of the United States. Traveling from her CCF field headquarters in Namibia, Dr. Marker will embark on her U.S. tour Oct. 8 in California and conclude Nov. 12 in Florida. Dr. Marker’s visit to the U.S. follows her attendance to COP17, the meeting of the Convention for Trade in Endangered Animals (CITES) in South Africa, to support its efforts to stop the illegal trafficking of cheetahs. Dr. Marker’s U.S. tour is intended to generate more awareness for the plight of the cheetah, Africa’s most endangered big cat, and raise funds for continued conservation efforts.
Dr. Marker’s tour includes events in 13 cities across the country, including stops in Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Sausalito, Santa Rosa, Saint Helena, Santa Barbara, and Moorpark, California; Portland, Oregon; Washington, District of Columbia; Powell, Ohio; New York, New York; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Marker will begin her tour as a featured conservationist speaking at the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) Expo in San Francisco Oct. 8, an annual event that brings together wildlife supporters with conservationists from around the world. During her visit to the nation’s capital, Marker will present a public lecture sponsored by The Smithsonian Institution Oct. 18 at the Ripley Center. She will also speak at the 15th Annual Cheetah Conservation Fund Benefit Oct. 20 at the offices of Foley & Lardner, where she will be joined by members of CCF’s Board of Directors, donors and other national wildlife experts to celebrate CCF’s positive impact on the world’s cheetah population.
Dr. Marker is a zoologist, research scientist and conservation biologist who is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on the cheetah and human-predator conflict mitigation. Earning her DPhil at Oxford University, she has spent more than 40 years in the field studying cheetah biology, genetics, ecology and socio-economic issues related to conservation. She is credited with successfully mitigating conflict between farmers and cheetahs in Namibia and saving the lives of hundreds of cheetahs and other large carnivores with innovative, non-lethal predator control strategies, including the use of livestock guarding dogs and the advancement of communal and commercial conservancies.
Dr. Marker is an Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University and has received many awards in recognition including the 2015 Ulysses S. Seal Award for Innovation in Conservation, a 2015 E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award and a 2015 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal. Dr. Marker is also the recipient of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the International Conservation Caucus Foundation’s Good Steward Award, the Tech Museum’s Intel Environmental Prize, and is a two-time finalist for the Indianapolis Prize, the top award in species conservation. She was named a “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine and has been featured in Smithsonian magazine as well as The Tonight Show, Good Morning America and the Today Show.
Media are invited to cover CCF events and Dr. Marker is available for media interview. Please contact CCF Executive Assistant to Dr. Marker, Paula Martin, at (703) 615-8293 to schedule.
Cheetah Conservation Fund Study Examines Cheetah Preferences in Trees Used To Communicate Through Scent-Marking
OTJIWARONGO, Namibia (8 Sept, 2016) – A Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) study published in late August in Global Ecology and Conservation offers new insight on the spatial structuring of Namibian cheetahs. Scent-post preference of free-ranging Namibian cheetahs by lead author Eli Walker, examines the species use of olfactory communication to send messages via scent marking, with researchers attempting to determine why cheetahs choose certain trees to mark rather than others. In Namibia, these trees are known as “playtrees” or “newspaper trees.”
“Cheetahs are known to have large, overlapping home ranges, and scent-marking behavior supports the notion cheetahs are using a time-share approach to territorial spacing,” said Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of CCF. “This system allows multiple cheetahs to use the same general area while reducing the chances for aggressive or unexpected encounters with other individuals.”
The study is significant because until now, the subject of cheetah spatial structuring has been largely unexplored. CCF scientists can now better understand investigating behavior and scent-marking patterns and their relationship to home range size and habitat use by Namibian cheetahs. This additional research may corroborate understanding of intraspecific cheetah interaction in regards to scent-marking, and will incorporate available research tools, such as scat detection dogs and genetic analysis.
CCF relies on the findings of its research to form the basis for its effective strategies to conserve the wild cheetah. When CCF was established in 1990, Namibia had approximately 2,500 wild cheetah, and today, that number is actually closer to 3,500. This is a 180-degree turn from just a few decades ago, when Namibian cheetahs were disappearing at the rate of several hundred each year during the 1970s and 1980s, largely due to unchecked conflict with livestock and game farmers.
CCF strategies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict include farmer education and training in non-lethal predator control techniques. CCF’s vocational agriculture training course, Future Farmers of Africa, has certified more than 5,000 Namibian men and women in integrated wildlife and livestock farming techniques. The course provides basic information on animal husbandry, vaccinations, hoof care and calving strategies, and extends into integrated livestock/wildlife farming techniques designed to reduce chances for conflict. The course includes training in the use of a CCF Livestock Guarding Dog, a specially trained dog bred to work with livestock farmers in rocky, arid terrain. Farmers in Namibia using a CCF Livestock Guarding Dog report an 80 to 100 percent drop in losses due to predation, making it the singular most valuable tool farmers have to reduce conflict.
The cheetah remains the most endangered big cat in Africa. Its numbers have dropped from a total population of 100,000 approximately 100 years ago to less than 10,000 today. Namibia has the greatest density of wild cheetah, with an estimated one-third of remaining wild cheetahs living within its national borders. Cheetah Conservation Fund works to conserve the wild cheetah throughout its range, with a particular focus on the Namibian cheetah, to fortify the last wild cheetah stronghold.
One of the most unique aspects of Dr. Laurie Marker's US tour is that guests at many of the events get the opportunity to mean a real cheetah! Ambassador cheetahs from all over the country join Dr. Marker to display what a remarkable animal the cheetah is and emphasize why cheetah conservation is so important. This spring there will be three "meet a cheetah" fundraisers in California as well as multiple talks at zoos where you can see cheetahs.
Don't miss your opportunity to meet Dr. Laurie Marker and Meetah Cheetah! Go to cheetah.org/events to find the event closest to you.
Laurie's Spring Tour is coming up fast! This year there will be seven events in California from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Don't miss out on the fun and the chance to meet an ambassador cheetah! All the dates and locations are listed below, or you can go to cheetah.org/events for more information.
March 26 | Dr. Laurie Marker to Speak at the Indianapolis Zoo | 12:00 - 4:00 pm | Indianapolis, IN
March 27 | Cheetah Fundraiser with the Columbus Zoo | 5:00 pm | Oklahoma City, OK
April 2 | Garden Party with Dr. Laurie Marker | 5:00 pm | Happy Hollow Zoo | San Jose, CA
April 3 | Dr. Laurie Marker to Speak at UC Davis | University of California | 12:00 - 3:00 pm | Davis, CA
April 11 | Meet a Cheetah Fundraiser | Dawson Cole Fine Art | 5:00 - 7:00 pm | Carmel, CA
April 15 | Dr. Laurie Marker Lecture at California Academy of Sciences | 6:00 pm | San Francisco, CA
April 16 | Dr. Laurie Marker to speak at the Santa Barbara Zoo | 6:00 pm | Santa Barbara, CA
April 19 | Meet a Cheetah Fundraiser in Palm Springs | 5:00 pm | Palm Springs, CA
April 25 | 4th Annual 'Meetah Cheetah' Fundraiser | 3:00 - 6:00 pm | Sherman Oaks, CA