Demography of the Namibian cheetah

02.06.2003 | By , , , ,

Namibian cheetahs have suffered, and continue to suffer, high levels of removal due to conflict with local farmers, and it is important to understand the demography of this population in order to determine its likely persistence. Examination of cheetahs reported live-trapped or killed by local farmers, combined with subsequent information from radio-telemetry, allowed demographic parameters such as sex ratios, age and social structure, litter size, interbirth intervals and survivorship to be estimated for cheetahs on Namibian farmlands. Cub mortality was relatively low, but adult mortality was high, particularly for males, and peaked at 5–6 years of age. Neither marking nor relocating cheetahs seemed to affect survivorship, and there was no difference in survivorship between the sexes. Time spent in captivity did not appear to affect survival after release. These findings will be useful in formulating recommendations regarding the conservation and sustainable utilization of cheetah populations outside protected areas.