FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Liz Georges, Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
APRIL 4, 2013 (Alexandria, VA) — Dr. Laurie Marker, founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), will be making public appearances at several venues around the United States from April 26 through May 15, including Portland, OR, Millbrook, NY , Washington, DC, San Diego, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Santa Cruz, CA, and Houston, TX.
Dr. Marker, an American, is recognized as a leading expert on cheetahs – their biology, genetics, ecology, breeding, and issues related to their conservation. In 1990, Dr. Marker left her position with the Smithsonian, and moved to Namibia to found CCF so that she could work directly with cheetahs in the wild.
Dr. Marker will be kicking off her tour this spring with an appearance at the already sold out TEDx Portland event, where she will be a featured speaker.
From humble beginnings interviewing local farmers for field research, Laurie has built an impressive International Research and Education Centre that comprises 100,000 acres, a vet clinic, genetics lab, model farm with goats, sheep and cows, livestock guarding dogs, and approximately 50 orphaned or injured cheetahs.
Dr. Marker has also built successful programs by taking an integrated approach to endangered species conservation that addresses all parts of the cheetah’s ecosystem, including human populations. “Saving the cheetah requires that we address everything that’s needed to sustain the cheetah as a species in the wild. That means caring about farmers who view cheetahs a threat to their livelihoods. That means being concerned with the health of prey species populations and with habitat loss caused by climate change and aggravated by poor farming techniques. Saving the cheetah is really about saving the world,” says Dr. Marker.
Dr. Marker pioneered the use of livestock guarding dogs in Africa, breeding and training Anatolian shepherd and Kangal dogs to protect local herds so that farmers are not threatened by the presence of cheetahs on their land. CCF has placed nearly 400 dogs since 1994, with about 150 dogs in service at any given time, and about 20 puppies placed every year. Farmers who use a CCF dog to guard their livestock report a drop in predation rate of anywhere between 80 to 100 percent, and these farmers now are far less likely to kill or trap cheetah on their lands.
Dr. Marker also created Bushblok, a low emission, high efficiency fuel log made from processed thornbush. Namibia’s farmlands are choked with thornbush, which not only reduces the available range lands for cheetahs, but the potential farmlands for Namibians. Dr. Marker’s work with Bushblok received the Tech Museum’s Intel Prize for the Environment in 2008 and was one of only 12 finalists of the prestigious 2009 BBC World Challenge.
Dr. Marker will be available for media appearances and interviews at every stop along her tour. Please contact CCF Communications Coordinator, Liz Georges at (703) 402-5354 to schedule an interview.
Dr. Laurie Marker is a recipient of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, The Tech Museum’s Intel Environmental Prize, and a two-time finalist for the prestigious Indianapolis Prize. She was named a Hero for the Planet by Time magazine and has been featured in Smithsonian magazine as well as on numerous television shows, including The Tonight Show, Good Morning America and the Today Show.
Founded in Namibia (Africa) in 1990, 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’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, an American biologist, is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on cheetah biology, ecology and conservation and has developed CCF’s conservation strategy, which has contributed to increasing the wild cheetah population in Namibia by ~50%. CCF’s long-term studies analyze and monitor the factors affecting the cheetah’s survival in the wild, and results are used to develop conservation policies and education programs that have reached over 300,000 people. CCF is a registered non-profit in Namibia, Canada, UK and the US, where it is listed as a “Four Star Charity” by Charity Navigator, which recognizes sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. People can learn more about CCF or make a donation to the organization by visiting www.cheetah.org.