Association of Zoos and Aquariums

ACK Mary's picture
Thu, 2011-11-24 10:37 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
05_Cheetah Presence and Salama Site Cosmas Wambua and Mary Wykstra overlooking the hills of the Salama area

I attended the annual AZA conference in Atlanta, Georgia in September 2011. I presented an update of ACK studies to the Cheetah Species Survival Plan and the Felid Taxon Advisory Group. Each presentation was brief – just enough to update people interested in cheetah conservation. I spoke about the draft results from the national cheetah survey and its link to the regional cheetah strategies. I also introduced a photo by Guy Combes of a spotless cheetah seen in the Athi-Kapiti and Malili areas of southern Kenya.
The need for grants and donations for camera trapping and fecal studies were the main focus of the presentations this year. These studies will assist us with a better understanding of the relationship of the Salama and Athi-Kapiti regions as the corridor of cheetah movement between the Nairobi and Amboseli ecosystems. Salama represents an area of dense human settlement and subsistence farming. Athi-Kapiti represents commercial ranching on the edge of local development. Dr. Paula Kuhumbu is a part of the conservation efforts, leading a team of interested land holders and conservation partners in forming a conservancy and land trusts to assure the Athi-Kapiti ecosystem remains intact for both productivity and wildlife needs. ACK is now linked with the Athi-Kapiti conservation efforts through expanding the Salama study area. It is our hope that we can assist with the conservation of this key cheetah area through the research knowledge needed to make educated conservation policy decisions for the future of the region.