Human and Wildlife Conflict Research Manager
(2017-present) Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and passionate about cheetahs since the age of five, Brazilian-American Gabriela Fleury’s deep interest in human and wildlife interactions flourished during a childhood spent from everywhere from Brazil to Alaska. She completed a Bachelor of Science thesis (2014) on lion and livestock conflict in the Amboseli Region of Kenya (James Madison University, United States), and followed that up with her Masters in Conservation Biology (2015-2016) at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) on a full scholarship from Rotary International. Her MSc research involved working again with herders and farmers, this time regarding changes in land degradation over a fifteen-year period in Riemvasmaak, Northern Cape, South Africa.
After her Masters, spurred by high levels of conflict reported in her study area in South Africa, human and wildlife conflict again captured her interest. Gabriela undertook three internships in South Africa and Kenya in 2016 to further her experience and knowledge. She worked with Cape Leopard Trust in Namaqualand, South Africa on leopard-livestock issues, reviewed data from Big Life Foundation’s predator compensation programme in the Amboseli Region of Kenya and assisted CCF partner Action for Cheetahs in Kenya with grant writing and scat dog detection work. Especially fascinated by conservation technology, at this time, she also co-founded Bright Frog Game Studios with programmer Jaymie Krambeck as a platform on which to launch environmental educational video games. Their first project, Operation Ferdinand, a predator and livestock conflict prevention video game, has attracted attention from conservation NGOs in five African countries.
She arrived in Namibia for the first time to join CCF in June 2017 as a community-based researcher with a specialty in human and wildlife conflict. At CCF, she works on community-based research, questionnaires, human and wildlife conflict reports, predation deterrent methods, and supervises interns and students.