Conserving cheetahs outside protected areas: an example from Namibian farmlands
- April 1, 2003
- by Marker L. L., A.J. Dickman
Namibia is home to the world’s largest remaining population of free-ranging cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), estimated at approximately 2,500-3,000 adult animals (Morsbach 1987). The vast majority of these cheetahs exist not in the country’s large protected areas, however, but reside instead on the commercial farmlands, where there is an abundant prey-base and a lack of large competitors, such as lions (Panthera leo) and spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta). This distribution, however, places them in direct conflict with both livestock farmers and game farmers, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) reported approximately 7,000 wild cheetah removals (either killed or placed into captivity) from Namibia during the 1980s alone (Cites 1992).