Cheetah Translocation and Reintroduction Programs: Past, Present, and Future
- January 18, 2018
- by Boast L., Chelysheva E., van der Merwe V., Schmidt-Küntzel A.
As cheetah populations continue to decline and cheetah habitat becomes increasingly fragmented, the need for cheetah translocation and reintroduction programs becomes stronger. The majority of translocations into free-ranging environments have been into areas with existing cheetah populations, through which valuable knowledge to guide future reintroductions has been gained. A stable, viable metapopulation of cheetahs has also been established on fenced state owned and private game reserves in South Africa through reintroduction. Potential reintroduction sites in Asia and Africa have been identified by conservationists but require a full assessment of their suitability before cheetahs can be released. Protecting existing cheetah populations, safeguarding their habitat, and securing new areas within the species’ former range, for recolonization and potentially for reintroduction, remain the priority for the conservation of cheetahs.