Bellebenno release – The girls are going well and have not killed for a few days. Last week they killed a Red Hartebeest and an Eland calf. In typical cheetah behaviour, they are the most active during the cooler hours of the day and prefer to spend their midday under a shady tree. Meantime, Matti is almost finished with mapping their weekly movements around the release site so it will be exciting to see how they are progressing.
Ryan and Aymeric are still working on data entry whenever they are back in the office. They have continued with the giraffe feeding ecology project when the cats are sleeping. So far they have over 20 focal samples (which is a really good effort).
Student Intern, Sanne Kreijtz from van Hall Larenstein University in the Netherlands has been working on an ongoing project burning hair samples that have been taken from wild cheetah scat. The hair is extracted, washed and burnt into a plastic slide and then analysed under a microscope to see what the cheetahs are eating.
CCF's 2010 Biodiversity Study is coming to a close. The study has involved CCF Bush harvesting the acacia tree in areas with the aim of improving the habitat for the cheetah. The process has to be monitored closely to minimise any negative impact or loss of biodiversity in the areas. We are looking at how the local birds, reptiles and mammals, especially wild cheetahs, respond to the newly harvested area.
Finally, we have Earthwatch volunteers here for this week, so the next two weeks will be quite busy with game counts and data entry. They are always such a good bunch of people. One of them has, amazingly, been on 42 previous Earthwatch expeditions!
Best wishes from Namibia,