My travels have been extensive this year. In February I traveled to the first meeting organized in the Museum National of Natural History in Paris where a cheetah group for the North African region was formed. I then traveled to Kenya to work with CCF Kenya and Mary Wykstra’s team in their annual Kenya cheetah meeting. Mary and her team have really developed a great growing organization and their research and education programmes taking root in the country.
In March, on the way to the US, I spent a week in the Ahaggar Mountains in Algeria with several other biologists from the Sahal Saharan Interest Group (SSIG) looking for signs of cheetah and desert gazelle. Although we did not see any cheetah (here's one someone else spotted), we observed much scat at trees and learned about them from local nomadic people - cheetahs are known to catch small stock and camels.
We have identified Algeria as an important country for cheetah and they are eager to get involved in cheetah conservation. Last year, during one of our conservation biology training courses at CCF Namibia, we had Farid in attendance. We will continue to work closely with him as he takes a lead in Algerian cheetah work.
- Laurie Marker