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Projects implemented by the Rangewide Programme
Support for implementation of the national action plan for cheetah and African wild dog in Ethiopia(funded by)
In November 2010 Ethiopia drafted their national action plan for cheetah and African wild dog. Under this plan the critical need to collect recent and accurate data on the distribution of the two species within the country was identified, as was the urgent need to assess where cheetahs were been taken from the wild illegally to be traded as pets into the Middle East, and how such trade could be prevented. To assist with these two objectives, Columbus Zoo provided generous support to the RWP (East Africa office) to develop posters to encourage submission of sightings of cheetah and wild dog in Ethiopia, and a second poster to help farmers correctly identify cheetah as many people confuse cheetah with leopard or serval. All posters were developed in both English and Amharic.
The funding was also used to assess the extent of illegal trade and the RWP contributed to a major training workshop organised by IFAW in Djibouti in July 2011 to help increase the capacity of law enforcement agencies in monitoring and preventing illegal trade. This project has extended in a consultancy with the aim of documenting all evidence of such trade, the drivers, demand and to explore why the current CITES restrictions on trade are not effective.
The conflict landscape for cheetah and African wild dog in Southern and East Africa: using spatial predictive modelling of distribution, status and levels of conflict to determine possible drivers of conflict and potential impacts of climate change(funded by)
Conflict between large predators of Africa and the human communities they coexist with is one of the main threats to their survival. Wide ranging species such as cheetahs and wild dogs suffer particularly from the impacts of conflict with humans, as encounter rates are high giving their ranging behaviour.
The range wide conservation planning process has identified the critical importance of improving our understanding of what drives conflict between cheetahs and wild dogs and humans, in order to implement appropriate mitigation measures across the range within which they occur. Understanding the drivers of conflict will also help to predict how the conflict landscape will change with changes in climate, allowing for efficient scenario planning.
As the two species have been studied in detail in many different areas within their range, and conflict between them and human communities has also been documented widely, we propose to use this substantial amount of data already available, incorporating other biological and human data layers (examples include ecoregions, prey populations, human footprint, cultural areas and land use) to explore the drivers of conflict using a spatial analyst approach. The range wide planning process is collaborative, providing the opportunity to collate information from a wide variety of habitats, land uses and cultural areas.
This project has received funding from the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, in addition to funding from the Howard Buffet Foundation for the tuition fees for a doctoral student to carry out the work. The project will commence in Oct 2011 with the registration of Mr Alex Lobora, the student chosen by the Range Wide Programme given his experience in spatial analysis. Mr Lobora is a Tanzanian who currently works for the Tanzania Wildlife Institute. In the meantime, Dr Ogada and Dr Purchase will work to collate all information available within the two regions from collaborating partners.