WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 10, 2023 – Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, will launch a nine-week tour, Make the Wild a Better Place, with public and private speaking engagements across the United States.
The tour theme, Make the Wild a Better Place, takes on a profound significance in the context of Dr. Laurie Marker’s compelling presentations which aim to illuminate the intricate relationship between cheetahs and their natural habitat.
Unlike many other species, cheetahs inhabit areas interwoven with human activities rather than being confined within protected areas. Dr. Laurie Marker showcases CCF’s endeavors to integrate conservation efforts within these multifaceted landscapes – landscapes that include shared spaces with livestock farming and pastoral communities, illustrating the importance of collaborative conservation. Additionally, the theme resonates in the mission to reintroduce cheetahs to historical ranges such as India, underscoring that with landscape restoration, ecosystems can reclaim their natural balance.
On the fall tour, Dr. Marker will speak about the progress achieved at CCF’s Field Research and Education Centre in Namibia and the successes and challenges of initiatives such as:
Project Cheetah – the reintroduction project between India, Namibia and South Africa to reintroduce cheetahs back into India after having been extinct for over 70 years. Project Cheetah will be celebrating its one year anniversary September 17, 2023.
The Cheetah Rescue and Conservation Centre (CRCC) – after the groundbreaking of The Cheetah Rescue and Conservation Centre in Somaliland last year, Dr. Marker is excited to share CCF’s efforts to combat the ongoing illegal wildlife trade with the opening of the Somaliland Center in 2023, home to over 90 confiscated cheetahs bound for the illegal wildlife pet trade.
Future Farmers of Africa – a livelihood development training program that has awarded certificates to more than 45,000 Namibian farmers, and their Future Conservationists of Africa (FCA), a wildlife education program for school age learners. FCA includes outreach in schools, public events and overnight intensive experiences at the CCF Centre. With over 750,000 youth having been a part of these programs in over 30 years, these programs have resulted in a win-win for the cheetah and the local community, wildlife, and the Namibian economy.
Anatolian Dog program – CCF’s successful program that has placed over 750 Turkish Kangal and Anatolian shepherd livestock guarding dogs with farmers to help protect their goats and sheep against predation on the farmlands that are also habitat for predators like the cheetah.
Dr. Marker will also be discussing solutions and insights posed by habitat loss, primarily driven by human population growth and the expansion of agricultural lands. She will also share insights into the impact of the absence of megafauna in the ecosystem.
“The cheetah’s survival is a race against time that demands immediate attention, we’re on the brink of losing a remarkable species,” said Dr. Marker. “We must act now, as every passing moment brings us closer to the point of no return. Saving the cheetah is not just about conserving an iconic animal; it’s about conserving the balance of our ecosystems and our responsibility to the planet and its biodiversity.”
Dr. Marker is available for media interviews while in the United States. Media is invited to cover presentations and public events.
Public events for the Make the Wild a Better Place tour will be held in the following cities:
September 17 – San Francisco, CA
September 23 – Tucson, AZ
September 24 – Phoenix, AZ
September 26 – St. Louis, MO
September 28 – Rochester, MI
October 2 – Oklahoma City, OK
October 3 – Bentonville, AR
October 7 – Palm Desert, CA
October 9 – San Diego, CA
October 13 – 15 – San Francisco, CA
October 15 – Santa Rosa, CA
October 19 – Laramie, WY
October 22 – Portland, OR
October 31 – Miami, FL
November 2 – New York City, NY
November 7 – San Jose, CA
November 12 – San Jose, CA
Please visit www.cheetah.org for events and ticket information.
About Dr. Laurie Marker
Dr. Laurie Marker is an American scientist, widely recognized as the leading expert on the cheetah. Dr. Marker began her ex-situ cheetah work at the Wildlife Safari in Oregon in 1973 and her in-situ cheetah research in Namibia in 1977. In 1988 she joined the Smithsonian Insisitution as the Executive Director for the New Opportunities in Animal Health Sciences (NOAHS Center), and Founded Cheetah Conservation Fund in 1990. From humble beginnings in a tiny farmhouse in rural Namibia to an unparalleled conservation model for predator conservation, Dr. Marker has built a world-renowned organization. She received her PhD. from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and is a Professor at large at Cornell University, in New York. She is the recipient of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the Tech Museum’s Intel Environmental Prize, the Explorers Club President’s Award for Conservation, and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award among many others. She was named a Hero for the Planet by Time magazine, has been featured in Smithsonian magazine and National Geographic, and on numerous television shows, including The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, CNN and the Today Show.
Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs and dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. CCF has created a set of integrated programs based on its research to address threats to the cheetah and its ecosystem. Founded in 1990, CCF is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Namibia with a field base in Somaliland with an operations base in the United States. CCF is celebrating its 33rd anniversary in 2023, making it the longest running and most successful cheetah conservation organization. For more information, please visit www.cheetah.org.
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