Human aspects of cheetah conservation: lessons learned from the Namibian farmlands

  • January 1, 2004
  • by Marker L. L., A.J. Dickman


Over the past century, the world’s cheetah population has undergone severe reduction in both numbers and range. This is due to factors such as habitat fragmentation resulting from human development, the depletion of their natural prey base as land becomes dominated by agriculture and the resultant conflict with humans for livestock and farmed game. Although long-term studies have provided useful information regarding the ecology and biology of the cheetah, the real conservation challenge lies in a better understanding of human behavior and attitudes toward the cheetah. Only by addressing human issues can cheetah conservation strategies be implemented across large areas of their range. This article examines and discusses novel approaches aimed at modifying human behavior in those areas most critical for future cheetah conservation. These approaches could also be valuable in other areas where human conflict is a significant threat to the persistence of large carnivores.

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