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You are here: Home / Publications / Bibliographies and Resource Guides / Information Resources on Big Cats   / Cheetah - Conservation  Printer Friendly Page
Information Resources on Big Cats
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Cheetah - Conservation

Caro, T. (2000). Controversy over behaviour and genetics in cheetah conservation. Conservation Biology Series (Cambridge); Behaviour and Conservation, Cambridge University Press: The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 2RU, UK; Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY, 10011-4211, USA, 2: 221-237 p. ISBN: 0521665539.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, behavior, conservation, genetics, mortality.
Notes: book chapter.

Crooks, K.R., M.A. Sanjayan, and D.F. Doak (1998). New insights on cheetah conservation through demographic modeling. Conservation Biology 12(4): 889-95. ISSN: 0888-8892.
Abstract: A combination of demographic techniques was used to investigate how variation in survival and reproduction might influence the population persistence of wild cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). The models used detailed demographic data from recently published, long-term ecological projects on cheetahs of the Serengeti, Tanzania. The findings indicate that juvenile survivorship has a relatively small impact on population growth rate in comparison with the large effects of adult survivorship, a result that is consistent across a range of vital rates and is robust to deviations caused by sampling error and environmental variability. Overall, the findings provide new insights into the current debate on cheetah population dynamics and suggest caution in the interpretation of ecological data for conservation and management.
Descriptors: wild cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, conservation, new insights, demographic modeling, survival, reproduction, wild, juvenile survivorship, adult survivorship, Serengeti, Tanzania.

Durant, S.M., S. Bashir, T. Maddox, and M.K. Laurenson (2007). Relating long-term studies to conservation practice: The case of the Serengeti Cheetah Project. Conservation Biology 21(3): 602-611. ISSN: 0888-8892.
NAL Call Number: QH75.A1C5
Abstract: Although detailed, long-term scientific studies provide potentially crucial information for conservation, they are rare. Moreover, there is often a disjunction between scientists and managers that can affect whether scientific results are applied to help solve conservation problems. Long-term studies can promote increased communication between scientists and managers and hence offer an opportunity for constructive engagement between the two groups. We examined direct and indirect impacts of a 30-year study, the Serengeti Cheetah Project (SCP). Much of what is currently known about wild cheetahs comes from the SCP. In particular, the SCP has demonstrated that cheetahs have a combination of semisociality and ranging patterns that is unique among mammals. This system arises because cheetahs need to be mobile to avoid predators and competitors, yet maintain access to prey; this results in densities much lower than for other large carnivores and a requirement for large areas of heterogenous and connected habitat. The SCP started as a research project, but expanded into a national program, developing capacity for carnivore conservation within Tanzania. Long-term studies such as the SCP are uniquely placed to establish effective working relationships between scientists and managers, engage local and national institutions, and strengthen national capacity for biodiversity conservation. This process is best realized through the establishment of frameworks for conservation that seek to align scientific research with management needs. Long-term studies also play an important role in identifying international priorities for conservation. Nonetheless, the integration of science and management in conservation is a two-way process that requires concerted efforts by both sides to improve and maintain dialogue. Ultimately, conservation depends on people, and maintaining a commitment to a particular area over many years--such as through implementation of a long-term research project--helps establish mutual trust and respect, particularly when combined with development of local and national capacity for scientific research and conservation management.
Descriptors: Cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, capacity development, conservation management, long term conservation studies, Serengeti Cheetah Project, Tanzania.

Fickel, J., A. Wagener, and A. Ludwig (2007). Semen cryopreservation and the conservation of endangered species. European Journal of Wildlife Research 53(2): 81-89. ISSN: 1612-4642.
Descriptors: endangered species, semen cryopreservation, conservation, extinction, resource banking, sperm, reproduction techniques.

Grisham, J. (1997). North American species survival plan for cheetah Acinonyx jubatus. International Zoo Yearbook 35(0): 66-70. ISSN: 0074-9664.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, species survival plan, zoos, North America, long term management, long range goals.

Lindsey, P.A., R. Alexander, L.G. Frank, A. Mathieson, and S.S. Romaanach (2006). Potential of trophy hunting to create incentives for wildlife conservation in Africa where alternative wildlife-based land uses may not be viable. Animal Conservation 9(3): 283-291. ISSN: 1367-9430.
NAL Call Number: QH75.A1 A54
Abstract: There is a lack of consensus among conservationists as to whether trophy hunting represents a legitimate conservation tool in Africa. Hunting advocates stress that trophy hunting can create incentives for conservation where ecotourism is not possible. We assessed the hunting preferences of hunting clients who have hunted or plan to hunt in Africa (n=150), and the perception among African hunting operators (n=127) of client preferences at two US hunting conventions to determine whether this assertion is justified. Clients are most interested in hunting in well-known East and southern African hunting destinations, but some trophy species attract hunters to remote and unstable countries that might not otherwise derive revenues from hunting. Clients are willing to hunt in areas lacking high densities of wildlife or attractive scenery, and where people and livestock occur, stressing the potential for trophy hunting to generate revenues where ecotourism may not be viable. Hunting clients are more averse to hunting under conditions whereby conservation objectives are compromised than operators realize, suggesting that client preferences could potentially drive positive change in the hunting industry, to the benefit of conservation. However, the preferences and attitudes of some clients likely form the basis of some of the problems currently associated with the hunting industry in Africa, stressing the need for an effective regulatory framework.
Descriptors: cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, sport hunting, community conservation, game ranching, African wild dogs, hunting, preferences, attitudes, regulatory framework.

Marker Kraus, L. and D. Kraus (1997). Conservation of strategies for the long-term survival of the cheetah Acinonyx jubatus by the cheetah conservation fund, Windhoek. International Zoo Yearbook 35(0): 59-66. ISSN: 0074-9664.
Descriptors: cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, wildlife management, conservation strategies, farm management, habitat loss, livestock farming, long term survival, conservation fund.

Marker, L.L., A.J. Dickman, M.G.L. Mills, R.M. Jeo, and D.W. Macdonald (2008). Spatial ecology of cheetahs on north-central Namibian farmlands. Journal of Zoology 274(3): 226-238. ISSN: 0952-8369.
NAL Call Number: QL1.J68
Abstract: Knowledge of a species' ranging behaviour is both fundamental to understanding its behavioural ecology and a prerequisite to planning its management. Few data exist on the spatial ecology of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus outside protected areas, but such areas are particularly important to their conservation. Cheetahs on Namibian farmlands occupied exceptionally large home ranges, averaging 1651 kmpo (pl1594 kmpo), with no detectable effect of sex, social grouping or seasonality. Despite such large ranges, cheetahs tended to utilize intensively only a small fraction of that area: 50% of the fixes were located within an average of 13.9pl5.3% of the home range. Ranges were not exclusive, overlapping on average by 15.8pl17.0%, with male cheetahs showing more intra-sexual range overlap than did females. Coalitions of males appeared to select for a dense, prey-rich habitat, but this preference was not apparent for other social groupings. Conflict with humans is an important contributor to the species' decline, and these large, overlapping cheetah home ranges result in the movements of each individual cheetah encompassing many farms (21 based on the average home-range size). Consequently, many cheetahs may be exposed to a minority of farmers attempting to kill them, and also that many farmers may see the same cheetahs, thereby gaining an exaggerated impression of their abundance. Conservation priorities for cheetahs outside protected areas are the development of techniques for conflict resolution, as well as the maintenance and restoration of suitable habitat and promotion of land-management practices compatible with the continued existence of large carnivores.
Descriptors: cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, ranging behavior, carnivores, home range size, ecology, Namibian farmlands, conservation, Namibia.

Marker, L.L., A.J. Wilkerson, R.J. Sarno, J. Martenson, C. Breitenmoser Wursten, S.J. O'Brien, and W.E. Johnson (2008). Molecular genetic insights on cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) ecology and conservation in Namibia. Journal of Heredity 99(1): 2-13. ISSN: 0022-1503.
Abstract: The extent and geographic patterns of molecular genetic diversity of the largest remaining free-ranging cheetah population were described in a survey of 313 individuals from throughout Namibia. Levels of relatedness, including paternity/maternity (parentage), were assessed across all individuals using 19 polymorphic microsatellite loci, and unrelated cheetahs (n = 89) from 7 regions were genotyped at 38 loci to document broad geographical patterns. There was limited differentiation among regions, evidence that this is a generally panmictic population. Measures of genetic variation were similar among all regions and were comparable with Eastern African cheetah populations. Parentage analyses confirmed several observations based on field studies, including 21 of 23 previously hypothesized family groups, 40 probable parent/offspring pairs, and 8 sibling groups. These results also verified the successful integration and reproduction of several cheetahs following natural dispersal or translocation. Animals within social groups (family groups, male coalitions, or sibling groups) were generally related. Within the main study area, radio-collared female cheetahs were more closely interrelated than similarly compared males, a pattern consistent with greater male dispersal. The long-term maintenance of current patterns of genetic variation in Namibia depends on retaining habitat characteristics that promote natural dispersal and gene flow of cheetahs.
Descriptors: cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, genetics diversity, conservation of natural resources, ecology, molecular biology, population, homing behavior, microsatellite repeats, social behavior, Namibia.

Marker, L.L. and A.J. Dickman (2003). Morphology, physical condition, and growth of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus). Journal of Mammalogy 84(3): 840-850. ISSN: 0022-2372.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus jubatus, physical condition, growth, morphology, sexual dimorpism.

Merola, M. (1994). A reassessment of homozygosity and the case for inbreeding depression in the cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus: implications for conservation. Conservation Biology 8(4): 961-971. ISSN: 0888-8892.
Descriptors: cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, homozygosity, inbreeding depression, population genetics, population studies, genetic diversity, wildlife management.

Muntifering, J.R., A.J. Dickman, L.M. Perlow, T. Hruska, P.G. Ryan, L.L. Marker, and R.M. Jeo (2006). Managing the matrix for large carnivores: a novel approach and perspective from cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) habitat suitability modelling. Animal Conservation 9(1): 103-112. ISSN: 1367-9430.
NAL Call Number: QH75.A1 A54
Abstract: Effective management within the human-dominated matrix, outside of formally protected areas, is of paramount importance to wide-ranging carnviores. For instance, the largest extant population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus currently persists on privately owned Namibian ranchlands, and provides an excellent case study to examine and design matrix conservation approaches. Although human-caused mortality is likely the principal threat to this population, ancedotal evidence suggests that 'bush encroachment', the widespread conversion of mixed woodland and savannah habitats to dense, Acacia-dominated thickets, is another probable threat. A better understanding of cheetah habitat use, outside of protected areas, could be used to directly influence habitat management strategies and design local restoration and conflict mitigation efforts. To identify specific habitat characteristics associated with cheetah use, we used radio-telemetry locations to identify areas used intensively by cheetahs on commercial Namibian farms. We then compared the habitat characteristics of these 'high-use' areas with adjacent 'low-use' areas. A binary logistic regression model correctly categorized 92% of plot locations as high or low use, and suggested that cheetahs may be utilizing 'rewarding patches' with better sighting visibility and greater grass cover. We discuss the possible reasons for kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros, Namibian cheetahs' preferred prey, exhibiting significantly lower abundance in high-use areas. Using habitat characteristics to identify areas intensively utilized by cheetahs has important implications for guiding future habitat restoration and developing effective predator conflict mitigation efforts.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, carnivores, habitat use, habitat modeling, habitat characteristics, effective management, protected areas, Nambia.

Wielebnowski, N.C., K. Ziegler, D.E. Wildt, J. Lukas, and J.L. Brown (2002). Impact of social management on reproductive, adrenal and behavioural activity in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Animal Conservation 5(4): 291-301. ISSN: 1367-9430.
Descriptors: cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, social management, impact, reproductive activity, adrenal activity, behavioral activity, husbandry regimen, social behavior, non- invasive hormone monitoring.

Woodroffe, R., L.G. Frank, P.A. Lindsey, S.M.K. ole Ranah, and S. Romaclach (2007). Livestock husbandry as a tool for carnivore conservation in Africa's community rangelands: a case-control study. Biodiversity and Conservation 16(4): 1245-1260. ISSN: 0960-3115.
NAL Call Number: QH75.A1 B562
Abstract: Conflict between people and wildlife is a major issue in both wildlife conservation and rural development. In African rangelands, species such as African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), lions (Panthera leo), leopards (Panthera pardus), and spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) may kill livestock and are therefore themselves killed by local pastoralists. Such conflict has led to the extirpation of these species from many areas, and also impacts the livelihoods of local livestock farmers. To investigate the possibilities for coexistence of people, livestock, and large predators in community rangelands, we measured the effectiveness of traditional livestock husbandry in reducing depredation by wild carnivores, using a case-control approach. Different measures were effective against different predator species but, overall, the risk of predator attack by day was lowest for small herds, accompanied by herd dogs as well as human herders, grazing in open habitat. By night, the risk of attack was lowest for herds held in enclosures ('bomas') with dense walls, pierced by few gates, where both men and domestic dogs were present. Unexpectedly, the presence of scarecrows increased the risks of attack on bomas. Our findings suggest that improvements to livestock husbandry can contribute to the conservation and recovery of large carnivores in community rangelands, although other measures such as prey conservation and control of domestic dog diseases are also likely to be necessary for some species.
Descriptors: Lycaon pictus, Acinonyx jubatus, predator control, African lion, carnivore-conservation, Community conservation, human wildlife conflict, livestock depredation, livestock husbandry, vertebrate pest-management.

Zhang, B., Y. Une, F. Ge, X. Fu, J. Qian, P. Zhang, J. Sawashita, K. Higuchi, and M. Mori (2008). Characterization of the cheetah serum amyloid A1 gene: critical role and functional polymorphism of a cis-acting element. Journal of Heredity, The 99(4): 355-63. ISSN: 0022-1503.
Abstract: Amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis is one of the principal causes of morbidity and mortality in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), which are in danger of extinction. For practical conservation of this species, therefore, it is critical to elucidate the etiology of AA amyloidosis, especially to understand the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of serum amyloid A (SAA), a precursor protein of the AA protein. In this study, the structure and nucleotide sequence of the cheetah SAA1 gene including the 5'-flanking promoter/enhancer region was determined. Putative nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kappaB) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein beta (C/EBPbeta) cis-acting elements, which play key roles in SAA1 transcriptional induction in response to inflammation, were identified in the 5'-flanking region of the cheetah SAA1 gene. Fortuitously, a single nucleotide polymorphism was identified in the captive cheetah cohort in the putative NF-kappaB cis-acting element and had a remarkable effect on SAA1 transcriptional induction. These results provide a foundation not only for clarifying the etiology of AA amyloidosis in the cheetah but also for contriving a strategy for conservation of this species.
Descriptors: captive cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, serum amyloid A1 gene, characterization, critical role, functional polymorphism, Amyloid A amyloidosis, morbitity, mortality, etiology, nucleotide polymorphism, conservation.



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