Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)
The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is an international not-for-profit organization registered in Namibia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Italy. A new CCF foundation is being incorporated in China. In addition, CCF has Memoranda of Understanding with partner fundraising organisations in the Netherlands, France, and Germany.
To see a world in which cheetahs live and flourish in co-existence with people and the environment
To be the internationally recognised centre of excellence in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. CCF will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people.
Organisation Focus Programmes:
The Cheetah Conservation Fund follows 3 fundamental tiers: Research, Education and Conservation
- Health and Reproduction
- The Life Technologies Conservation Genetics Laboratory
- Scat Detection Dogs
- Behaviour Demographics, Home Ranges, and Reintroduction
- Cheetah Census Research
- Ecological Research
- Investigating Human and Wildlife Conflict
Education / Conservation
CCF’s International Research Conservation and Education Center. The Center is open to the public daily and offers educational activities, programmes for visiting school groups, and training for Namibian and foreign university students.
CCF’s education center and Cheetah Museum displays provide detailed information about the cheetah: its history, physiology, importance within the ecosystem, conflict with humans, and what CCF is doing to ensure the species’ survival for future generations.
CCF’s Education Team presents two-day or longer environmental courses for school groups with overnight accommodation provided at the CCF educational campsites. In addition to school groups, regional youth groups, youth officials, teachers, health officials and farmers participate in specially designed programmes at CCF’s Center.
School Outreach Programmes
Along with educational activities conducted at the Center, CCF’s Education Team presents outreach programmes at schools and community events throughout Namibia. Since 1994, over 300,000 students have participated in a CCF outreach programme.
Farmer Training And Community Outreach As 90 percent of Namibia’s wild cheetahs live on farmlands and come into conflict with farmers, livestock and game farming interests, CCF conducts a specific environmental education programme for the farming community. CCF makes presentations at individual farms, farmers’ association meetings and agricultural shows, highlighting proven cheetah behavioral characteristics and predator-friendly livestock management techniques. CCF’s Education Team conducts week-long training courses for communal conservancies, emerging and re-settled farmers, and extension officers. Topics include cattle husbandry, herd and veld management, disease and vaccination programmes, business principles and inventorying conservancy resources. Other topics include basic conservation training on sustainable wildlife utilization and the role and value of predators, predator kill identification and other ‘predator-friendly’ farming practices. Over 3,000 participants have undergone training at CCF’s Center. Several training courses are conducted each year.
International Training Courses
Because cheetah conservation is interconnected to social, economic, and environmental factors which are of national concern, African conservation managers must be equipped with the best training available. CCF has hosted several education and conservation biology courses for wildlife professionals, as well as courses on natural resource management, environmental education, conservation biology, game capture, and integrated wildlife, livestock and predator management.
Human-Wildlife Conflict Management
For communal farmers with cows, sheep, and goats—many of whom are poor—the loss of even a single animal can be devastating. Cheetahs and other predators are seen, not as a valuable component of a thriving ecosystem, but as a threat to their livelihoods. During the 1980’s, livestock and game farmers halved the Namibian cheetah population, indiscriminately removing nearly 10,000 cheetahs. In 1990, in response to this, CCF developed Future Farmers of Africa, to teach about Human-Wildlife mitigation. CCF also works with farmers to investigate, develop and implement predator-friendly techniques for livestock and wildlife management techniques, which have been adopted by and increasing number of farmers and as a result fewer cheetahs are being killed.
Livestock Guarding Dog Programme
This programme has been highly effective at reducing predation rates and thereby the incidences of reducing farmers trapping or shooting cheetahs. CCF breeds Anatolian shepherd and Kangal dogs, bred in Turkey for millennia to guard small livestock against wolves and bears. Namibian farmers now take them as puppies so that they bond with the herd and learn to use their size and loud bark to scare away potential predators. This effort has already reduced livestock loss from predators by over 80 percent.
CCF has been a participant in Namibia’s innovative Conservancy movement since its inception. CCF has been working with the local communal farmers and populations that surround the Waterberg plateau, creating a conservancy and economic development area known as the Greater Waterberg Landscape. Habitat Restoration with Bushblok In 2001, CCF, together with USAID) worked to establish a habitat improvement programme that would be ecologically and economically viable. CCF identified a business opportunity: processing encroaching bush into high-heat, low-emission, compacted logs for use as a cooking fuel or for home heating, and CCF Bush (Pty) Ltd. Was established to manufacture the Bushblok product.
CCF as a long-time proponent of encouraging environmentally sound farming practices by awarding producers who follow such practices certification as “predator-friendly” producers, who can consequently charge a premium for their products. CCF also conceptualized the notion of “Cheetah Country Beef” as a label for cattle farmers using predator-friendly farming techniques, and CCF’s Dancing Goat Creamery products, as well as Bushblok, are Certified Wildlife Friendly® by the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network. CCF continues to look for opportunities to promote predator-friendly farming practices through eco-labeling.
Dancing Goat Creamery/Livelihood Development
This enterprise is part CCF’s efforts to secure the livelihoods of the human communities that live alongside the cheetah,. The Dancing Goat Creamery produces and sells dairy products made from CCF’s goat milk, thereby demonstrating to small livestock farmers a viable source of supplemental income that can make their farms more prosperous. CCF is also undertaking efforts to produce honey via an apiary, and experimenting in grape growing for winemaking, as other efforts at developing supplementary income streams for communal farmers.
Illegal Cheetah Trade
In some parts of the world, cheetahs are considered a prestigious possession, and can be bought through street markets and the internet. CCF estimates that only about one in six cubs removed from the wild survive such transactions, due to malnutrition or inadequate treatment. The growing popularity of cheetahs as pets has the potential to decimate wild populations that are already reduced. (CCF) has been an active participant in the fight against illegal wildlife trade since 2005 and has been working with CITES, governments and non-government Organisations to address enforcement and collaboration, procedures for the placement of confiscated cheetahs and cyber-crime.
CCF has close links with other countries where cheetah live, including Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Iran, Algeria and more recently, Angola. CCF is eager to support their conservation efforts by distributing CCF materials, lending resources and support, and providing training through Africa and the rest of the world. CCF has also been working in an advisory capacity with the Wildlife Trust of India to discuss the best strategies for re-introducing cheetahs in India. Countries in which CCF maintains ongoing collaborations: Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Iran, and the Sahel area of North and West Africa,