Livestock Guarding Dogs

Future Farmers of Africa

  • by  3 July 2023
Future Farmers of Africa

The cheetah – instantly recognisable, and celebrated as the fastest mammal on Earth, is one of nature’s most charismatic and revered animals.  Despite the cheetah being one of the world’s most iconic and loved animals, their numbers have plummeted.  The most endangered big cat in Africa needs our support more than ever.

Shockingly, since the turn of the 20th century their numbers have declined by a horrifying 93%;  today, fewer than 7,100 remain.  The cheetah is in a race against extinction, and without our intervention, it is a race they will not win.

One of the biggest threats to wild cheetahs is human-wildlife conflict. Cheetahs are forced to live on unprotected landscapes and come into close proximity to humans due to a huge reduction in suitable habitat.  In many parts of their range cheetahs and other predators are viewed as vermin and a threat to the livelihoods of the farming community. During the 1980’s, livestock and game farmers halved the cheetah population in Namibia in retaliation for livestock losses. We are working to redress the balance and protect the worlds remaining cheetah populations, and our latest campaign focuses on this part of our work.

Future Farmers of Africa (FFA) – a proven solution

To protect wild cheetahs, CCF works with farmers to investigate, develop, and implement predator-friendly livestock and wildlife management techniques. Over the years we have implemented multiple programmes to benefit the communities, farmers, and wild cheetahs.

Through our FFA work, we have reduced human-wildlife conflict incidents by 80% in the areas in which we are operating. This initiative, funded by you, our supporters, is a beacon of hope for wild cheetahs.

Here’s how it works:

Community outreach

CCF staff are engaged in community outreach efforts across Namibia as part of our Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) projects. At every outreach workshop CCF provides educational materials to farmers in the field, outlining technical improvements and suggestions to help mitigate livestock losses. These include kill identification and livestock housing.
As part of our community outreach, CCF also provides education programmes for schools and institutions, educating the public on the nature of the cheetah and their value to the ecosystems they inhabit.

Model Farm

CCF’s Model Farm demonstrates how farming can coexist with wildlife. It gives the farming community the opportunity to come and see best practice first-hand and complete farming coursework. The Model Farm also allows farmers from different communities to network, and we encourage farmers to return 3-4 times per year.

Farmer Carnivore Help Hotline

The Farmer Carnivore Help Hotline number is for farmers across Namibia to contact CCF directly 24/7 to freely discuss any issues relating to cheetahs and other carnivores on their farms. These calls can include anything from a reporting problem with animal and livestock predation to requesting information on carnivore ecology.

Livestock Guarding Dog Programme

CCF’s renowned Livestock Guarding Dog Programme has been highly effective at reducing predation rates and thereby reducing the inclination by farmers to trap or shoot cheetahs. CCF breeds Anatolian Shepherd dogs, a breed that have guarded small livestock against wolves and bears in Turkey for millennia. They bond with their herd and use their imposing presence and loud bark to scare away potential predators. For farmers with a dog, livestock losses are reduced by up to 90%.

There is hope

One of CCF’s most unique accomplishments is shifting the attitude of the nation’s farmers towards the cheetah. Before CCF, farmers viewed cheetah as worthless vermin and were killing 800 to 900 each year. By proving economic value in having a healthy, thriving cheetah population and by keeping the farmland ecosystem in balance, CCF demonstrates how humans, livestock and wildlife can share land and thrive.

Our current campaign aims to support our human-wildlife conflict work, helping us to save cheetahs. Please consider making a donation.

By donating, you will help us:

  • Expand our FFA programme in to THREE new conservancy areas in Namibia.  These areas, which are remote from CCF Namibia HQ, have been identified as human-wildlife conflict hot spots.
  • Replicate the success of our Namibia FFA programme in Somaliland.  Research has recently identified wild populations of cheetah in Somaliland, and we must act now to support the communities neighbouring this vulnerable population.  CCF is adapting our successful programmes developed in Namibia for implementation into this new location to support pastoral farmers.

Thank you for your support!

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