The Cheetah, the world’s fastest land mammal and one of evolution’s true marvels is at risk. The global cheetah population is rapidly dwindling and with less than 10,000 individuals left in the wild, cheetahs are vulnerable to extinction. Unfortunately the remaining populations will continue to decline unless something is done.
The Kenya Wildlife Trust set up the Mara Cheetah Project (MCP) in order to determine the threats that cheetahs face in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem and to develop sustainable solutions to tackle them.
- Determine the current and long-term status of the cheetah population
- Collect baseline data on cheetah ecology and behaviour
- Identify the threats that cheetahs are facing
- Develop sustainable solutions to deal with threats
Cheetah Monitoring: Animals often act as indicators of the quality of the environment. By monitoring individuals the MCP collect baseline data and determine the current number of cheetahs in the Greater Mara Ecosystem and determine to health and status of the cheetah population and the Mara as a whole.
This long-term project will have important implications for cheetah conservation both in Kenya and in the rest of Africa.
Project Director: Dr. Femke Broekhuis
Femke was born in Zambia and raised in Botswana where her love affair with wildlife started. Femke began studying cheetahs in 2007 as part of her Masters dissertation, supervised by Dr. Sarah Durant, investigating cheetah habitat selection in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. From there she joined the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust (BPCT) to lead the cheetah project and begin her D.Phil research with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at the University of Oxford. She spent four years studying cheetahs in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, investigating whether the spatio-temporal behaviour of lions and spotted hyaena influenced that of cheetahs. In June 2013 she was entrusted by the Kenya Wildlife Trust (KWT) to start up the Mara Cheetah Project.
The study area covers the Greater Mara Ecosystem (> 3000 km²) in the South-western corner of Kenya, which includes:
- Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Mara Triangle
- Mara North Conservancy
- Lemek and Ol Churro
- Mara Naboisho Conservancy
- Olare Motorogi Conservancy
- Ol Kinyei Conservancy
- Ol Derikesi
Tony Lapham Predator Hub
For more information on this project visit their website: www.maracheetahs.org.