Thursday, 22 November 2007
We have been busy. Last night we finished sending our eLetter/Notes from the Field to over 14,000 members of our Cheetah Family. Unfortunately, we don't have e-mail addresses for everyone, so, if you did not receive it, and would like to in the future, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and e-mail address. We are trying to do away with paper mailings, so that more money can be allocated to saving cheetahs and of course to contribute to climate change efforts.
We just posted a year-end message from Dr. Laurie Marker on our web site. It describes what we have done, and what we have yet to accomplish. We hope you take the time to look at it at http://www.cheetah.org/?nd=3155, or simply go to the Videos section of our web page from the top menu.
Regardless of whether or not you received our eLetter, please know that we are very thankful to you for your support. Your donations are what keep us going, and what keeps cheetahs running!
With many cheetah purrs,
Patricia and everyone at CCF (staff and cheetahs)
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
On Friday 16 November, one of CCF's most important resident cheetahs, Chewbaaka, had a special house call by Otjiwarongo veterinarian for an infected eye. For the last couple of weeks, the famous ambassador cheetah was observed to have a sensitive and weepy eye. The eye became worse, showing signs of broken vessels in the retina and haziness. The local veterinarian, Dr. Axel Hartman, from the Otjiwarongo Veterinary Clinic was contacted and arrangements set to more closely observe the cause of the problem. Chewbaaka, CCF's 12 year old ambassador cheetah, was orphaned when he was 3 weeks old and has been at CCF ever since. As the star of many TV documentaries, he was anesthetised and treated in the CCF clinic where samples were taken for further analysis.
Sunday, 11 November 2007
We are about to send out the latest cheetah updates to our sponsors within the nexyt couple of days. If you have not received an update this year, it could be because we do not have your e-mail address. Please send your e-mail address to us to info(at)cheetah.org. No updates are sent by mail in an effort to help conserve the environment, and to direct more of your kind donations to our programs to save the wild cheetah.
With many thanks,
Patricia - Cheetah Conservation Fund
Monday, 5 November 2007
Approximately 95% of the cheetah population in Namibia resides on farmlands in the north-central region of the country, with only small populations of cheetah found in the southern part. This causes human wildlife conflict as farmers are worried about predators taking livestock. As part of our conservation and education programs we offer farmer training programs that focus on livestock and predator management. With the help of sponsors we are able to offer these courses which include training, food, and shelter to the farmers. Their only responsibility is transport to CCF. We have had a very positive response and continue to fill courses. Starting with two basic courses we have now added many based on the needs of farmers. Successful farms are important for the conservation of the cheetah and other predators. Some of the courses offered include Integrated Livestock and Predator Management, Practical Farming Course, Livestock Marketing and Management, Financial Farm Management, Sustainable Utilisation of Game on Commercial Farmland, Small Stock Management, and Introduction to Sustainable Livestock Farming for Learners Grade 9 - 12.
Last week we had 28 farm workers on site participating in the Practical Farming Course which is designed for the farm workers. This course focuses less on management and more on hands on day to day issues. The course starts with the farm ecosystem and how their actions affect the system as a whole. Next they are taught herd health including what to look for in terms of illness, what medications they should have on hand and how to properly dispense them, and problems and solutions that may arise during birthing. On the photo below, the group learns vaccinations. Proper nutrition is also taught such as what times of the year different supplements may be needed. The participants also learn more about the use and training of livestock guarding dogs as they are the ones interacting with these dogs on a daily basis. To teach them more about the different predators on the farms we set up kill id sites which include a carcass, tracks and other signs that will help them determine which predator is causing the problem. Through this hand on exercise they learn ways to deal with their individual problems and often uncover misconceptions about the different predators.
We look forward to the next year of courses and are always grateful for the help from our sponsors. Keeping the cost off the farmers is very important for the success of the courses.