Last Friday, April 1, 2022, the Selati Wilderness Foundation (SWF) successfully collared one of their two male cheetahs in the Selati Game Reserve.
According to Lindsey Jones, operations and marketing manager of the reserve, cheetahs were first introduced to the Selati in 2015. “The advantage of re-introducing cheetah onto the reserve was based not only on the conservation of this unique species but also aimed at enhancing the biodiversity and balancing the ecological aspects of the reserve,” she told the Herald.
“Why is it important to protect cheetahs?” she asked. “Today, there are estimated to be only 7 100 cheetahs left in the wild. Cheetahs are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list of threatened species. “The collar will allow the research team to monitor the cheetah,” she said.
Monitoring of specific individuals assists with understanding the species population within a protected area. “Furthermore, careful and strategic monitoring can allow better observation of animal behaviour and helps us to understand and protect them better,” she said. She also added that the operation was made possible thanks to people who are passionate about conservation and who attended the conservation experience.
In return, they got a hands-on experience with the cheetah and were able to learn more about the species from the veterinarian, Dr. Joel Alves, and the Selati research team.
“The purchasing of the cheetah collar was supported by the IUCN Save Our Species, and co-funded by the European Union through a recent grant the foundation received, whilst veterinary costs were funded by the donors who attended the event. IUCN Save Our Species aims to improve the long-term survival prospects of threatened species.
“It also focuses on supporting the species habitats and working with the communities who share this habitat. It achieves success by funding and coordinating conservation projects into multiple initiatives across the globe,” she said. Follow Selati Wildlife Foundation on Facebook to find out when their next operation will take place and how you can get involved in their work.