Cheetah Conservation Fund and Association of Zoos and Aquariums Lead Celebration of 7th Annual international Cheetah Day, December 4th
“With fewer than 8,000 remaining in the wild, International Cheetah Day serves to remind us that cheetahs, like all wildlife, are creatures whose survival depends on human conservation action,” said Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of CCF. “We must act now or we could lose the cheetah during our lifetimes. Once an animal is gone, it is gone forever. Inspiring the next generation of research scientists, ecologists and zoologists through education and awareness efforts like International Cheetah Day is necessary to prevent this amazing creature from suffering the fate of extinction.”
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.internationalcheetahday.org and ww.cheetah.org. Cheetah photos, videos and social media links are also available for download.
“Families can visit their local AZA-accredited facility to learn about the species and its plight and see these popular big cats up close,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “AZA members take very seriously their obligation to support cheetah conservation efforts, investing nearly$950,000 over the past five years in conservation projects and educating thousands of zoo visitors about the threats cheetahs face. In addition, through AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE), AZA members are working with a number of organizations like Cheetah Conservation Fund to enhance their mission and generate awareness for the need to save the species. AZA members are proud to support International Cheetah Day.”
The two organizations offer suggestions for ways people can join in the International Cheetah Day celebration:
Dr. Marker is an internationally recognized 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 African farmers removing wild cheetahs from the landscape as a perceived threat. In 1990, she launched CCF and relocated to the newly-formed nation to mitigate the problem of farmer-cheetah conflict. Because of her interactions with Khayam, Dr. Marker dedicated her life to becoming the cheetah’s champion, and she chose Khayam’s birthday for this important honor.
Researchers Convene at Symposium to Conduct a Conservation Assessment of Namibia’s Carnivores, to produce a Red Data Book on Carnivores in Namibia
Windhoek – (27 November 2017) – From 8th – 10th of November, researchers from across Namibia convened at B2Gold’s Otjikoto Nature Reserve and Environmental Centre to conduct an assessment of the conservation status of Namibia’s carnivore species. This symposium represented the first step in the compiling of a Namibian Carnivore Red Data Book. Coordinated by the Large Carnivore Association of Namibia (LCMAN), the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE), the symposium was facilitated by Dr. Chris Brown, CEO of the NCE and sponsored by B2Gold.
Over 20 people were in attendance at the Symposium and presentations were given on each of the 34 carnivore species that occur in Namibia. In addition to MET and NCE, the Symposium was attended by representatives from the University of Namibia (UNAM), LCMAN member organizations including Namibian nongovernmental organisations and carnivore researchers, environmental scientists, farmers, and private individuals demonstrated the wide breadth of knowledge concerning the distribution of Namibia’s carnivores, as well as highlighted research gaps. Additional anthropogenic threats, information on species ranges, population trends, data sources, and conservation actions were discussed.
“This is the first time that this type of process has been conducted for Namibia’s carnivores” according to Dr. Laurie Marker, LCMAN Chair. “It was a very important process to undertake, as carnivore ranges continue to shift and change with the interactions of humans’ land use and other aspects of wildlife management in the country.”
Species leads and team members were identified and agreed upon among attendants, who will share data between themselves to create historical, past, and current distribution maps and compile species accounts for the Namibian Carnivore Red Data Book. Distribution maps of the 34 species on Namibian carnivores, ranging from 9 species of mongoose, 2 otter species, 3 species of genets, and a variety of the large and smaller carnivores will be compiled from expert data and knowledge by Alice Jarvis from JARO Consultancy, who manages the countries web-based Environmental Information service (EIS). The book will be compiled by the various species’ teams, edited by John Pallett, and is slated to be completed by August 2018.
“Bringing all the carnivore specialists and relevant organisations together to assess the conservation status of carnivores in Namibia, to identify threats and to develop a carnivore conservation action plan that considers relevant socio-economic issues is an important step in preparing integrated, cost effective management, research and monitoring approaches for carnivores in Namibia” said Dr Chris Brown. “This must lead on to ever closer collaboration between all the individuals and organisations, as good scientifically-based management is vital in the face of emotive armchair conservationists on social media.
OTJIWARONGO, NAMIBIA (Nov. 27, 2017) — Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) will lead the 7th annual celebration of International Cheetah Day with special activities at its Centre in Otjiwarongo this weekend. On both Saturday, 3 December, and Sunday, 4 December (International Cheetah Day), the admission fee is waived for Namibians, presenting the ideal opportunity for families to tour the world-renown facilities and observe cheetah feedings free of charge.
To enhance the experience, CCF will offer a variety of educational and interactive activities beginning at 11 a.m. each day. Information booths will be set up at various places around the Centre displaying tools such as camera traps and satellite collars that CCF Ecologists use in their work, with staff members available to explain their use. Visitors can meet some of CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dogs at another exhibit or learn about the process of predator identification, also known as “Kill I.D.”, at another. There will be a crafts table for children where they can make their own cheetah mask. Cheetah feedings will take place at 1200h both days. The Cheetah Café in the Visitor Centre will offer a variety of special treats to help make the occasion a true holiday.
“International Cheetah Day is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the cheetah and to have some fun with the entire family”, said Dr Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of CCF. “The cheetah is a very special animal — the world’s fastest land mammal – and Namibia is a very special place! We are famous for being the ‘Cheetah Capital of the World.’ On 4 December, we honour this amazing big cat, and we hope you will come here and join us”.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is located 45 km from the town of Otjiwarongo on the D2440 road. CCF facilities are open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except 25 December. The Centre hosts community members and school groups from Namibia as well as international tourists and groups from all over the world. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.cheetah.org.
Educational materials, including CCF’s Conservation Passport, Activity Packet, cheetah photos, videos and social media links can be downloaded for free at www.cheetah.org/international-cheetah-day/ or www.internationalcheetahday.org
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