Buffelsdrift Game Lodge want to ensure the existence and increase of free-roaming cheetah population in their natural habitat and to contribute to the genetic variation of free-roaming cheetahs.
Despite all the projects conserving the cheetah bloodline, there are still many other challenges to overcome. The biggest challenge is habitat destruction due to farming and development. Cheetahs, like all other large predators, are heavily persecuted by livestock farmers. To conserve habitat for species such as the cheetah are a massive challenge to overcome.
Meta population reserves are small and can only accommodate between two to thirty cheetahs. They, therefore, must be managed to ensure genetic integrity, to prevent inbreeding. We prevent inbreeding by means of exchanging cheetahs to other Meta population reserves. Wild cheetahs are particularly susceptible to translocation complications, especially when subject to stressful capture. Currently, for every ten transfers, you unfortunately, lose one cheetah.
Our main focus currently is
- To relocate Cheetahs between Meta population reserves to prevent inbreeding.
- To increase the resident range of Cheetahs in South Africa through reintroductions into free-roaming fenced reserves.
- To educate tourist and voluntourism about this magnificent predator, who can easily become compromised without active conservation efforts.
This project offers the opportunity to be part of the research of free roaming cheetahs. It is necessary to understand demographic responses (e.g. the cheetah’s dietary response to new habitats and prey response to the introduction of the cheetah) of predator and prey in closed systems. Monitoring this species in closed systems allows for a better understanding of how cheetahs behave in fenced reserves. This contributes to improved cheetah management and to establish the minimum requirements for sustaining cheetahs on smaller fenced reserves.