Celebrating Speed and Elegance Cheetah Conservation Fund’s 19th Annual Fundraising Gala

Press Release
07.09.2017

Cheetah Conservation Fund
P.O. Box 1755
Otjiwarongo, Namibia
phone: +264 (0)67-306225
fax: +264 (0)67-306247
ccfinfo@iway.na
 
For Immediate Release

CELEBRATING SPEED AND ELEGANCE CHEETAH CONSERVATION FUND’S
19th ANNUAL FUNDRAISING GALA

OTJIWARONGO, Namibia (9 July 2017) – For the 19th consecutive year, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) celebrated the Speed and Elegance of the cheetah with fellow Namibians at its annual Gala Dinner at the Windhoek Country Club on the 7th of July. Jackie Asheeke, a leading Namibian tourism industry expert and highly regarded social commentator known for her lively personality, served asthe evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies.

The honoured guest speaker was Dr Rogério Cunha de Paula from São Paulo, Brazil, who spoke about his work designing strategies to improve the status of endangered species and reduce conflicts between carnivores and humans in his home country. Dr Cunha de Paula is a biologist and an environmental analyst for the National Research Center for Carnivores Conservation (CENAP) within the Instituto Chico Mendes for the Conservation of Biodiversity, an agency of the Brazilian Environmental Ministry (ICMBio/MMA).

The CCF Gala, a highly-anticipated annual event in Namibian conservation circles, celebrates the cheetah and highlights the strides CCF has made to ensure survival of the cheetah in the wild for future generations. The evening included a candlelight dinner and conservation awards ceremony, bringing together more than 280 guests from the business, conservation, agriculture and government sectors in Namibia and beyond national borders. The silent auction was again a huge success, offering guest more than 120 opportunities to bod on items donated by local and international businesses. The auction items included artwork, jewellery, Namibian craftwork and tourism ‘get-aways’ at exclusive Namibian and international destinations, including stays at the NamibRand Reserve, the Swakopmund Hotel, and CCF’s exclusive Babson Guest House, to name a few.

CCF Founder and Executive Director, Dr Laurie Marker gave a presentation titled “The 2017 State of the Cheetah”, emphasising the need to conserve Namibia’s treasures and foster an economic system where humans can live with wildlife in the natural scope of a healthy, intact and bio-diverse landscape. Dr Marker also presented three 2017 Cheetah Conservation Awards on behalf of the CCF Namibia Board of Directors, recognising those who have made outstanding contributions to conserve the cheetah and the Namibian environment.

The 2017 Cheetah Conservation Fund Sponsorship Recognition Award was given to the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), for their support of CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Programme. The award was accepted by H.E. Mrs. Deniz Cakar, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, and Mr. Abdulkadir Abukan, TIKA Namibia Deputy Coordinator.

The 2017 Cheetah Conservation Fund Farmer of the Year was presented to Hendriette Nderura Rukero, for her care and dedication to her livestock guarding dog.

2017 Cheetah Conservation Fund Farm of the Year, Farm Krumhuk. CCF has known and worked closely with Ulf-Dieter Voights and his family since 1991. Farm Krumhuk has been a part of Auas Oanob Conservancy since its inception and an active member of the Conservancy Association of Namibia since 1999. Farm Krumhuk is exemplary for embracing integrated methods for livestock and wildlife farming and being a leader in conservation efforts in Namibia.

Details about each of the award winners follows the Editor’s Notes. Photos and interviews are available by request.

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Caption: 2017 from left to right: Hendriette Nderura Rukero, Paige Seitz, Mr. Abdulkadir Abukan, H.E. Mrs. Deniz Cakar, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, and Ulf-Dieter Voightsfrom Farm Krumhuk and Dr. Laurie Marker.

Caption: 2017 Namibian Gala Teresia Robitschko, Assistant to Dr. Laurie Marker with Paige Seitz, Livestock Guarding Dog Programme Manager

Caption: 2017 Namibian Gala Dr. Laurie Marker with Ulf-Dieter Voights and his family from Farm Krumhuk, and CCF Board of Trustees member Roswitha Smale.

Editor’s Notes:

  • The Cheetah Conservation Fund is a Namibian non-profit trust dedicated to the long-term survival of the cheetah and its ecosystems.
  •  Since 1990, CCF has developed education and conservation programmes based on its biomedical and ecological cheetah research studies, published scientific research papers and has presented educational programmes to over 450 000 outreach school learners and over 5000 farmers. In addition, CCF has donated nearly 600 Anatolian livestock guarding dogs to commercial and communal farmers as part of their innovative non-lethal livestock management programme.
  • Research into cheetah biology has greatly increased our understanding of the fastest land animal ad education programmes for schools and the farming community helps change public attitudes to allow predator and humans to co-exist. However, despite the many successes of CCF programmes, the cheetah is still Africa’s most endangered cat, with fewer than 8,000 remaining in wild. Namibia is home to about one quarter of the world’s remaining cheetah.
  • CCF has hosted several hundred wildlife biologists, conservationists and extension agents from throughout the cheetah’s range, teaching them about how to mitigate human-wildlife conflict in their own countries. CCF’s motto, “We Can Live Together” is an important part of the organisation’s philosophy, which CCF instills in 10,000 young learners throughout Namibia every year.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Dr Laurie Marker (ph: 081-1247887)
Dr Bruce Brewer (ph: 081-124779)
Heike Stackmann (ph: 081-8197976)

If you would like more information on CCF’s research, conservation and education programmes, please contact CCF at:

Cheetah Conservation Fund

P.O. Box 1755, Otjiwarongo

Tel (in Namibia): (067) 306225, Tel (international): (+264 67) 306225

Fax: (067) 306247, E-mail: director@cheetah.org, Website: www.cheetah.org

2017 Cheetah Conservationist Award Recipients
The 2017 Cheetah Conservation Fund Sponsorship Recognition Award – Embassy of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA)

Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is proud to recognize the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) for their support of CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Programme. CCF’s LDG Programme uses two rare Turkish breeds, the Anatolian Shepherd and the Kangal dog, which have been relied upon for thousands of years to guard livestock in Turkey. In Namibia, the dogs serve farmers in a similar role, protecting small stock from cheetahs and other predators. TIKA was established in 1992 to supports projects on five continents in 120 countries and has a country office in Windhoek.

In 2015 TIKA provided CCF with a truck used to deliver puppies and to visit farms regularly for health check-ups and to administer veterinary care. In 2016, TIKA supported structures and pens to house three adult breeding dogs and their puppies residing at CCF’s Field Research and Education Centre. CCF promotes the two Turkish breeds because of their success guarding livestock in Turkey, a country with similar terrain and climate, and for their large size, loud bark and fiercely protective nature. Since 1994, CCF has breed and placed nearly 600 dogs with Namibian farmers with another 50 puppies in 2017. The dogs are credited with saving hundreds of cheetah lives since the LGD programme began, as well as the lives of other predators and small stock.

The 2017 Cheetah Conservation Fund Farmer of the Year – Hendriette Nderura Rukero

Hendriette Nderura Rukero has been farming for 20 years in the Okakarara district where she farms with sheep, goats, and cattle. She belongs to the Wild Dog Conservancy and the Okondjatu Farmer’s Association. For the past 16 years, Hendriette used a herder with her livestock before receiving her first livestock guarding dog. Since having her first Anatolian Shepherd, Kadafi, she saw a huge reduction in her livestock losses and loves the protection the dog provides to her herd. In 2015, she received another dog for her goats, as her sheep and goats tend to split up while grazing. Henriette has been a great supporter of CCF’s livestock guarding dog programme and a model to farmers in Okakarara and has just received a new puppy this July.

2017 Cheetah Conservation Fund Farm of the Year – Farm Krumhuk

Farm Krumhuk began as a cattle farm around 1909 and due to the mountainous terrain is a prime spot for predators creating human wildlife conflict, with losses up to 40 calves in one year. Due to these high losses predators were hunted until about 1990. CCF has known and worked with Ulf-Dieter Voights and his family since 1990. Farm Krumhuk has been a part of Auas Oanob Conservancy since its inception and an active member of the Conservancy Association of Namibia since 1999. To improve rangeland management, prevent losses to predators, and to build a better relationship between the cattle and humans, many aspects of livestock management have been incorporated into their farming practises, including herding and the use of Livestock Guarding Dogs. In 2014, herders were introduced. Krumhuk’s cattle are also keep with horns and are kraaled in the evening using thorn bush or electric fencing. Although herders sleep near the kraal, there are still some losses to predators. To hopefully further reduce losses, a female donkey was introduced to the herd in 2016 to act as a guard animal. Although the donkey was accepted, some losses still occurred and the herders as well as the Krumhuk staff decided to try a livestock guarding dog for their cattle. CCF provided Krumhuk with a puppy in March 2017, this is CCF’s first puppy placed with cattle. The puppy is settling in well and bonding with the young cattle. The introduction has been slow, as the cattle are not used to dogs. The puppy, has been going out full time with the herd for about three weeks now. He will not be fully effective for over a year, until the bonding is complete. He is larger in size and is already showing his progress by informing the herders of nearby predators. In addition, he started barking late one evening and the herders heard dogs nearby and Hambindo, as they call him, let the herder know and helped chased them off.

2017 Cheetah Conservation Fund Gala Guest Speaker – Dr Rogerio Cunha de Paula

Dr Cunha de Paula is an environmental analyst for the National Research Center for Carnivores Conservation (CENAP) within the Instituto Chico Mendes for the Conservation of Biodiversity, an agency of the Brazilian Environmental Ministry (ICMBio/MMA). He is responsible for designing strategies to improve the status of endangered species and reduce conflicts between carnivores and humans in his country. Dr Cunha de Paula is also part of both national and international committees for carnivore conservation and like Dr Marker, a member of the Cat and Canid Specialist Groups within the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). His expertise lies in techniques for surveys and population sampling and the creation of species management plans. As wildlife manager, he dedicates time to learning and executing actions related to human-predator conflict mediation. Over the past 20 years in Brazil, Dr Cunha de Paula has changed people’s perception towards carnivore species, including the jaguar, puma and maned wolf, so they are not removed from ecosystems due to human intolerance.

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By: CCF Staff