The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) occurs widely spread in certain geographical areas in South Africa. These areas mainly include a large portion of the Northern Province and certain areas in the North West Province. The main land use activities in these areas are Agricultural related. These large tracts of land and the richness of wildlife create the ideal niche for large predators. Unfortunately this situation often brings landowners and predators into conflict with each other. The main reason for this conflict is the financial implications that predation has on the farming activities in these areas.
Predators are part of a complex ecological system. Throughout the world, predators and their habitat are vulnerable to many pressures. A growing human population, disease, reduction in prey populations and excessive utilization can reduce predator populations. Predator conservation depends on many factors including protection, maintaining and enhancing habitat.
Human misconceptions and negative attitudes towards predators have caused the endangerment of certain predator species in Southern Africa. Endangered species exist in low population numbers and need intensive long-term management in order to survive.
The survival of predators depends on people and their ability to manage the wild populations and protect the habitat. Cheetahs need large areas in which to roam; they are usually not found close together in great numbers. Loss of habitat and a limited geographical range threatens the survival of these predators.
WORKING TOWARDS THE CONSERVATION OF THE WILD CHEETAH IN SOUTH AFRICA