CHEETAH CONSERVATION FUND
A project of Wildlife Survival Fund: Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.
IUCN Red List Status of Focal Species
About the Project
Livestock Guarding Program; Dogs Saving Cats
The cheetah has undergone severe decline throughout its range over the past century, often due to livestock-predator conflicts. Cheetahs, despite their classification as a protected species, have been heavily persecuted by Namibian farmers, who often resort to killing predators as a preemptive measure to prevent devastating livestock losses.
An excellent example of creating solutions to reverse the decline in cheetahs, or any persecuted apex predator, is Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Livestock Guarding Dog Program. Livestock guarding dogs have been used in Europe for centuries to reduce livestock losses from large carnivores. They are not bred to herd or move stock, which can trigger a predator to attack, but instead to place themselves between the stock and the threat and bark loudly. The dogs provide a nonlethal method of predator control.
Since the program’s inception in 1994, Cheetah Conservation Fund has bred, trained and placed more than 400 Anatolian shepherds, and more recently Kangal dogs, on livestock farms throughout Namibia, as well as in South Africa, Kenya and now Tanzania. To date, on farms where dogs are working, livestock losses have been reduced or even eliminated; farmers have reported up to an 80% decrease in livestock losses post-placement. The burden of convincing a farmer not to kill or harass a cheetah is greatly reduced
Cheetahs at Woodland Park Zoo
In 2014, Woodland Park Zoo opened a temporary cheetah exhibit with two adult females on view. The cheetahs can be found in the Wildlife Survival Zone, which spotlights how zoos connect conservation in the field with conservation on zoo grounds, including endangered species breeding.
To learn more:
Read the cheetah fact sheet