SAFE Cheetah Conservation Projects

In mid 2015, AZA SAFE worked with cheetah conservation experts including representatives from the AZA community, IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group, seven national governments, and a multitude of NGOs to identify and prioritize conservation actions. AZA SAFE also sponsored a cheetah survey methodology training session for Chadian field personnel in early 2015. The results of subsequent surveys will directly inform the National Action Plan for cheetahs in Chad. Following these two meetings, a 3-year SAFE Conservation Action Plan was developed using SAFE’s new collaborative process to address priority conservation needs and includes projects that are aimed at achieving population sustainability. These projects fall within four thematic areas including conservation capacity, public action, research, and Species Survival Plan® (SSP).  Each project, designed to incorporate collaborator expertise to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, is comprised of detailed goals, actions, timelines, budgets.  All projects are coordinated by AZA members who work closely with project collaborators to execute conservation actions, achieve successes, and identify future needs. More detailed information about each project can be found in the Cheetah Call for Participation.

Conservation Capacity Projects Public Action Projects Research Projects Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Projects
 

Carnivore Positive Landscapes Project

☑ AZA Project Coordinator needed.

Contact SAFEcheetah@aza.org to learn more about this project and the Project Coordinator role.

Project Collaborators:
Project funding opportunities available. ☐ Project funding partially secured. ☐ Project funded.   
Project Description Conservation Challenge Addressed Critical Actions to Date
Establish Carnivore Positive Landscapes in focal communities to help people and cheetahs cohabitate effectively. Land use and livestock-related livelihood practices in cheetah range countries often lead to human-carnivore conflict.
  • AZA SAFE is seeking a coordinator for this project.
 

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Monitoring and Enforcement Capacity Building Project

☑ AZA Project Coordinator needed.

Contact SAFEcheetah@aza.org to learn more about this project and the Project Coordinator role.

Project Collaborators:
Project funding opportunities available. ☐ Project funding partially secured. ☐ Project funded.   
Project Description Conservation Challenge Addressed Critical Actions to Date
Maximize capacity for in situ cheetah monitoring and law enforcement in focal areas. Additional capacity is needed among key stakeholder groups and current capacity building programs are insufficient or need to be expanded.
  • AZA SAFE is seeking a coordinator for this project.
 

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Southern African Managed Reserve Metapopulation Project

☑ AZA Project Coordinator needed.

Contact SAFEcheetah@aza.org to learn more about this project and the Project Coordinator role.

Project Collaborators:
Project funding opportunities available. ☐ Project funding partially secured. ☐ Project funded.   
Project Description Conservation Challenge Addressed Critical Actions to Date
The health and genetic diversity of cheetahs managed within fenced reserves is maximized. Managers of populations of cheetahs and other African wildlife within fenced reserves in Southern Africa lack the necessary tools to optimally maintain the individual and population-level health of these animals.
  • AZA SAFE is seeking a coordinator for this project.
  

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Snaring Abatement Project 

☑ AZA Project Coordinator needed.

Contact SAFEcheetah@aza.org to learn more about this project and the Project Coordinator role.

Project Collaborators:
Project funding opportunities available. ☐ Project funding partially secured. ☐ Project funded.   
Project Description Conservation Challenge Addressed Critical Actions to Date
Animal snaring rates in focal cheetah range areas are reduced. Snaring is a widespread and indiscriminate threat to African wildlife, including the cheetah.
  • AZA SAFE is seeking a coordinator for this project.
 

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Public Engagement Project

Project Coordinator: Mike Chedester

Project Collaborators:
Project funding opportunities available. ☐ Project funding partially secured. ☐ Project funded.   
Project Description Conservation Challenge Addressed Critical Actions to Date
Public engagement efforts are implemented to increase knowledge of cheetahs and the threats they face and provide measurable calls to action. Currently available tools and programs to effectively engage key stakeholder groups and the general public in conservation of the cheetahs are insufficient.
  • The Project Coordinator and Collaborators developed a set of conservation messages, resources, and other tools to consistently recognize International Cheetah Day across AZA-accredited facilities in 2016. 
  • Work has begun on development of an educational poster that will provide information that is useful for stakeholders in range countries, and engaging for AZA audiences.
 

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Cheetah Distribution, Demographics and Population Connectivity Studies Project

☑ AZA Project Coordinator needed.

Contact SAFEcheetah@aza.org to learn more about this project and the Project Coordinator role.

Project Collaborators:
Project funding opportunities available. ☐ Project funding partially secured. ☐ Project funded.   
Project Description Conservation Challenge Addressed Critical Actions to Date
Key knowledge gaps about cheetah distribution, demographics and population connectivity are identified and addressed in focal areas. Cheetah populations are poorly studied in many portions of its range and assumptions about connectivity of populations are not adequately tested.
  • AZA SAFE is seeking a coordinator for this project.
  

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Cheetah SSP Sustainability Project

Project Coordinators: Adrienne Crosier and Dusty Lombardi

     

Project Collaborators:
Project funding opportunities available. ☐ Project funding partially secured. ☐ Project funded.   
Project Description Conservation Challenge Addressed Critical Actions to Date
Conservation impact and efficacy is maximized through a collaborative and adaptive process that is applied throughout the CAP's development, implementation, evaluation and ongoing management processes. An approach and process that draws from the strengths and expertise of the entire cheetah conservation community is needed to protect the species.
  • The Project Coordinator is connecting with current collaborators and identifying new ones to prioritize conservation actions, and review budgets and timelines.
  • Biological samples are being collected from SSP animals for genetic analyses.
  

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