Education is the key in high predator conflict locations where knowledge on individual species' behavior is rare or non-existent. The Tsavo Cheetah Project engages with local primary and secondary schools in addition to community forums to interactively instill cheetah (and other predator) facts to all age groups.
Providing residents with advice and physical assistance on livestock protection methods, is a common occurence of the project. Boma (livestock holding corral) improvement or construction is just one method to keep local residents 'predator-friendly'.
In such a vast area with a broad range of habitats, cheetah identification and monitoring can be challenging. In Tsavo, habitat is not primarily open plains and grassland, like in the Mara or Serengeti... An example is "Amri" a solitary male cheetah, who I just happened on, during a spoor tracking drive in the park. From previous sighting information, I knew I was in his, and other cheetahs', home range, but with thick bush, long grass and woodlands, these opportunistic sightings are not frequent enough..
"A Tsavo Cheetah's Ecosystem" education programs; learning through curriculum activities and interactive fun!
Captures of both diurnal and nocturnal predators assist in providing the project with
verification of species presence; both on community land and within park
Valentina and the Mama waterbuck
There's a seven hour story, here, and only a fraction of the photos posted to tell it. I have seen this female's tracks since
late November. Now finally with a new project camera and a stroke of luck, I am able to see her close enough and even spend the
day with her. All my other Tsavo E. cheetahs have been given Swahili names that begin with "A", so far. However, on Saint Valentine's Day, I felt it right to make an exception.