FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dr. Laurie Marker, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, (+264) (0)811247887
Patricia Tricorache, Asst. Director, International Programmes, Patricia@cheetah.org
Liz Georges, International Communications Coordinator, email@example.com
Cheetah Conservation Fund Celebrates Second Annual International Cheetah Day, Dec 4, 2012
NOVEMBER 30, 2012 (Otjiwarongo, Namibia) – The 4 December, 2012 marks the second annual International Cheetah Day. Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and its Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, call on the international community to remember the cheetah on this day, reflect on the importance of this iconic species, and act to support CCF in its efforts to secure the cheetah’s future.
“We stand at a moment where this amazing animal could disappear in less than 20 years if we don’t do anything to stop it,” says Dr. Laurie Marker. “International Cheetah Day serves to remind us that the cheetah, like all wildlife, is a treasure of our planet. Wildlife enhances our landscapes and can support livelihoods when utilised in a sustainable manner. When a species becomes extinct, everyone loses.”
The cheetah is not only the fastest, but the oldest of all the big cats. It has survived over three million years through the Ice Age and a genetic bottleneck, only to have its numbers decimated by almost 90 percent in the last 100 years. With only 10,000 animals remaining in the wild, the cheetah population faces more threats than ever before, all of them originating with humans.
Threats include human-wildlife conflict – manifesting in the form of livestock herders who shoot cheetahs thinking they pose a threat to their flocks. Another concern is the alarming number of wild cheetahs that die in the process of being captured and sold for the illegal pet trade. In addition, inadequate farm management techniques have led to the rise of overgrown thornbush, which encroaches on the rangeland of both cheetahs and their prey species, and which causes injury to cheetahs when they try to hunt through the thickened bush.
Since its inception, CCF has been working to provide solutions that save cheetahs by helping people. CCF introduced Namibian livestock farmers to non-lethal predator control methods in the form of livestock guarding dogs – specially bred and trained Anatolian shepherds and Kangal dogs whose presence among the livestock can reduce predation rates by 80 percent. CCF has also worked tirelessly with a network of individuals and organisations to combat the illegal pet trade, especially in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. CCF’s most recent effort is aimed at combating habitat loss from encroaching thornbush, by selectively harvesting it, and using the resulting biomass material to create an award-winning fuel log called Bushblok.
Dr. Marker discusses more about International Cheetah Day and CCF in her Huffington Post blog, in a post titled “Day of the Cheetah,” published today at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-laurie-marker/the-day-of-the-cheetah_b_2212346.html
In honour of International Cheetah Day, CCF hopes the public will be inspired to learn more about the plight of the cheetah, and lend a hand to help. Individuals wishing to learn more can visit CCF’s website, www.cheetah.org. CCF also offers an email newsletter, and information via Facebook and Twitter. Once the public learns, CCF hopes there will be action. Kids and adults around the world are encouraged to organise activities to celebrate this special day. And donations to support CCF’s work are always accepted at www.cheetah.org.
Cheetah Conservation Fund: The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs. CCF is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. CCF believes that understanding the cheetah’s biology, ecology, and interactions with people is essential to conserve the cheetah in the wild. The strategy is a three-pronged process of research, conservation and education, beginning with long-term studies to understand and monitor the factors affecting the cheetah’s survival. Results are used to develop conservation policies and programmes. CCF works with local, national and international communities to raise awareness, communicate, and educate.