WHAT WE DO


WHY ?

The Cheetah -Acinonyx jubatus- is a unique feline which could soon perform its last run given the sharp and constant fall in the number of members around the globe.


It is ranked as "vulnerable" on the IUCN red list of threatened species, that is to say critically endangered. The scientists who are specialists of this feline go even further and rank it first, way before the symbolic Polar Bear on its dwindling ice field, in their list of great mammals which could disappear in the coming decades unless there is a spectacular change in the situation.

 

In the short term, the Cheetah is endangered in the Maasai Mara National Reserve! There used to be many of them in this legendary park in the past, however now only a few dozens of these felids have survived.

 

As it has been expelled from areas now occupied by farmers, the Cheetah has found refuge in the heart of the reserve where it finds itself in direct competition with the many other great predators threatening its existence. The young cubs in particular face a high and dramatic mortality rate of 90 % in their first weeks after being born, which is of course far beyond any  figures that would be necessary for the survival of the species.

The Cheetah For Ever program is an original project within the limits of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. It aims at reducing the mortality rate of the Cheetah cubs during the key moment following their births and till they are 5 or 6 months old when they can more easily escape countless dangers and countless predators.

 

Brigades of Massai tribe members and rangers in vehicles will check on the females with cubs night and day and act directly on four main threats :

 

  • Predation (leopards, hyenas, jackals, pythons...)
  • Destruction ( lions, buffalos, stray dogs and the ones belonging to the farmers ...)
  • Poaching (cub extraction and trafficking, illegal trade.. )
  • Disturbance (farmers and their herds illegally occupying land within the reserve, careless tourism operators .... )

 

Besides direct action on the ground, we are setting up information and education programs, planting programs (native plants) and training schemes for adults (drivers, guides , tourism operators) and for young Maasai kids living in the villages neighbouring the reserve.

We thus wish to make them sensitive to the interest of protecting their invaluable natural heritage.

 


Reducing today's high mortality rate among cheetahs will no doubt allow a good balance of the ecosystem of the Maasai Mara National Reserve and  its neighbouring conservation areas and at the same time bring about a fast and significant natural increase of the members of this species, one of the most charismatic ambassadors of the African savannahs.