What we do
Cheetah Conservation Project Zimbabwe aims to conserve cheetahs through applied research, education, collaboration and capacity building. We are currently carrying out a country wide cheetah population survey. In addition, we monitor individual cheetahs based on the sightings and pictures we receive from the public. Whenever we can, we provide education and raise awareness about cheetah. In order to build capacity in carnivore conservation we work with Zimbabwean students.
Cheetah population survey
Within Zimbabwe, there was little to no up to date information available about the population status of the cheetah. Which is why Cheetah Conservation Project Zimbabwe has been travelling through the country to interview wildlife professionals and others about the cheetahs and carnivores in the area. This way we get an insight in where cheetahs occur, how many there are and what challenges they face, which enables us to set priorities for conservation.
© Brent Stapelkamp
Since the start of the project in 2012 we have collected hundreds of cheetah sightings and pictures from all over the country. Each cheetah has a unique coat pattern which allows us to identify and follow individuals. We have so far identified 86 cheetahs which we add to a national data base. Thanks to the sightings and pictures people send us, we have been able to follow some of these animals throughout their lives without actually seeing them.
Education and awareness
Cheetah Conservation Project Zimbabwe tries to promote the co-existence of cheetahs and humans by raising awareness and providing education for children and adults. We raise awareness by distributing educational material, for example posters explaining the differences between cheetah and leopard and posters explaining a cheetahs adaptation to speed. In addition, we give presentations and provide education to children by using interactive games.
In order to build capacity in carnivore conservation, our field team consists of Zimbabwean students. Some are joining us as part of their attachment year, some are joining us after graduation to gain additional experience. Cheetah Conservation Project Zimbabwe is affiliated to the National University of Science and Technology, department of Forest Resources and Wildlife Management and collaborates with the Mushandike Wildlife College.