June 8, 2016

First Cheetah Collared on HiP!

First Cheetah Collared in HiP

A cheetah conservation project success story!

The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP) cheetah population is one of the most important cheetah populations in KZN, being one of the oldest and most stable in the region with the first cheetah introductions having taken place in the 1970s.[caption id="attachment_12751" align="alignnone" width="1028"]

First Cheetah Collared in HiP

Wildlife ACT monitor Kelsey Hattingh[/caption]However, relatively little was known about how this population was performing in the past decade. For this reason, a cheetah research project was initiated by Wildlife ACT in partnership with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife in 2011. The cheetah conservation project entailed an extensive camera trap survey to identify individual cheetahs and to establish their home ranges and population demographics. The project further involved the compilation of ID kits for park management, and ultimately the collaring of individuals for ongoing, detailed cheetah monitoring.[caption id="attachment_12752" align="alignnone" width="1028"]

First Cheetah Collared in HiP

Wildlife ACT monitor Marumo Nene[/caption]With the generous support of Woolworths and Andrew Bone from the Forever Wild Foundation, the first cheetah on HiP was collared with a GPS collar early in May 2016. This will provide even more detailed movement and habitat use data that will serve as a crucial tool for park management, who are in the planning phase of introducing more cheetah to this population with the intention of introducing greater genetic diversity.[caption id="attachment_12753" align="alignnone" width="1028"]

First Cheetah Collared in HiP

Big thanks to all those involved![/caption]The collaring of more cheetah is scheduled for this year. This important cheetah conservation project is one component of the work being done to better understand the dynamics of the predator guild of HiP.

Find out how you can contribute to the Cheetah Conservation Fund

If you would like to join us on this project and volunteer with cheetah,you can find more information under our Endangered Species Monitoring Program

Text by: Kelsey HattinghConservation Volunteers: Douglas Rooney & Ciara CorbettPhotos by: Kelsey Hattingh, Douglas Rooney & Ciara Corbett