Executive Director for the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) Dr Laurie Marker has said they met their year-end challenge fundraising goal of a total of N$275 000 meant to conserve the cheetah as Namibia continue to maintain her position as the Cheetah capital of the world.
“Thanks to all our CCF supporters and cheetah friends, we are starting off 2018 with the capability to make ambitious plans for the year. We received an overwhelming show of support during the final week of 2017 and I am so pleased to announce that we achieved our fundraising goal for the year end campaign, ‘’Home Range for the Holidays,” said an excited Marker.
Marker indicated that there is now an approximate number of 7 100 cheetahs left in the wild and 2016’s official figure put the population of the tear-marked cat at an estimate figure of 3 500.
The figure itself demonstrates how close the cheetah has come to near extinction, especially so if it is to be considered that before the First World War, a 100 000 cheetahs roamed the wilds.
The CCF says that in the last 60 years alone, the animal has become extinct in 25 of the 45 countries where they once lived.
With a range of activity earmarked for this year towards cheetah conservation, Marker said, “this year we want to expand our holistic research, education and conservation strategy and take our successful programs to the next level.”
CCF seeks to further consolidate its synergies with other conservation organisations around the globe all in a bid to save the cheetah from becoming extinct while research studies bent on increasing understanding of the cheetah will continue.
Marker says the fund will, “Welcome more overnight visitors from around the globe at Babson House and CCF’s new Cheetah View Lodge to create more international ambassadors for the species.”
“We will offer Future Farmers of Africa workshops in the most remote farming communities of Namibia, the hot-spots for conflict between farmers, cheetahs and wild dogs to improve the situation for all stakeholders,” she added.
As part of a government-led drive to invest in the conservation of cheetah, Speaker of Parliament, Peter Katjavivi, launched the Namibian Conservation Parliamentary Caucus (NACOPAC), which is a multi-party collaboration of parliamentarians committed to strengthening governance and sustainable economic development in Namibia and the region.