The global cheetah population is rapidly dwindling and with less than 10 000 individuals left in the wild, cheetahs are vulnerable to extinction. At present, the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the two remaining strongholds for the global cheetah population. Whilst in the Serengeti there has been a long-term cheetah project running for over 25 years, surprisingly little is known about the cheetahs in the Greater Mara Ecosystem. As a result the Kenya Wildlife Trust set-up the Mara Cheetah Project in June 2013. Using a research-driven conservation approach the main objectives of the project are to:
- Determine the current and long-term status of the cheetah population
- Collect baseline data on cheetah ecology and behaviour
- Identify the threats that cheetahs are facing
- Develop sustainable solutions to mitigate threats
This long-term project will have important implications for cheetah conservation both in Kenya and in the rest of Africa.