|Date||19 Jan 2002|
Cheetah populations are declining dramatically. With less than 15,000 cheetahs remaining in the wild, the species is now threatened with extinction due to loss of habitat and prey, a diminishing gene pool and human persecution. It is thought that some 12% of this world population is to be found in Botswana.
Being relatively timid creatures, cheetahs are mostly found outside conservation areas on large commercial farmlands and communal farming areas, where they do not have to compete with stronger predators. However many farmers perceive cheetahs as a threat to their livestock and shoot them.
We are proposing to carry out a nationwide questionnaire survey to assess the status and distribution of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), focusing on their role in livestock/predator conflicts. The results of this survey will allow us to identify priority areas, to which we can focus education and information programmes in non lethal methods of predator control, appropriate livestock management and encourage rural communities to manage their land through sustainable use of wildlife. We hope that the cheetah will act as a flagship species for the biodiversity of these areas.
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