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Il Sudafrica: solo 600 ghepardi.

South Africa only has 600 cheetahs left
Cheetahs are a highly threatened species, and their plight was brought to the fore this week at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

October 4, 2016


There are currently 7,000 cheetah in Africa. But their habitat is confined to 12% of their historical range, according to Sarah Durant of the Zoological Society of London and Wildlife Conservation Society.

Cheetahs are currently listed as vulnerable under the IUCN Red List, as a result of the reduction of their historical range, and their ongoing decline. “The primary threats to cheetah are habitat loss, fragmentation, hunting and illegal trade, and loss of prey,” says Durant. “Road deaths, unregulated tourism, and snares are further threats. Many are also killed by farmers after threatening livestock,” says Durant. The small size and vulnerability of most cheetah populations means any trade in cheetah may threaten populations, says Durant.
file0001998582021The illegal cheetah trade will also be greatly affected by decisions made around COP17 discussions on demand reduction strategies, anti-corruption, wildlife cybercrime, and disposal of confiscated specimens.
In South Africa, there are 600 cheetahs in 79 facilities across the country. Here, they are worth a lot of money when sold as captive animals, and they are often sold between breeding centres and zoos, according to Kelly Marnewick from the Carnivore Conservation Programme at the Endangered Wildlife Trust. “But many of these captive-bred animals are being exported to different countries,” says Marnewick.
Also read: Save our African lions says CITES
Very often, facilities breeding cheetahs in captivity cannot trace individual animals, and are unable to provide information on the parentage of specific animals. The EWT has recommended that all captive-bred cheetahs should carry stud books that record births, deaths translocations and sales in order to better identify pitfalls in the system.
Currently, according to Marnewick, a lack of DNA analysis and lax trading systems threaten the survival of cheetah in South Africa. The EWT has also recommended that DNA analyses should prove captive parentage before trade can occur in these contexts. “These provisions can ensure cheetah trade in South Africa can be better controlled and work well,” says Marnewick.
Decisions made at the conference in the past week include movements to develop a cheetah trade resource kit that compiles relevant information and tools that assist the monitoring and controlling of trade in cheetahs. The standing committee recommendations on illegal trade in cheetah include raising public awareness about their plight.

“We need to develop awareness campaigns through social media and educational programmes.
Also read: How CITES works, and 5 species to look out for
cheetahTo reduce demand, we need to modify behaviour,” says Patricia Tricorache of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. One of the main dogmas that needs to be challenged, says Tricorache, is the status of cheetahs as symbols of wealth and power. In many cultures, where they are seen as status symbols, they are sold and bought as pets. “In our research, we found cheetahs for sale at markets and on the internet,” says Tricorache.
Another major obstacle in combatting illegal trade is the ease with which these animals are smuggled through borders. “It is important to stop cheetahs going through Somalia,” says Tricorache. “Northern Somalia is understood to be the main transit route for cheetah, mostly from Ethiopia into the Arabian peninsula through Yemen.”

Somalia has started a program to stop illegal trade of wildlife through law enforcement and awareness campaigns in rural communities, says Ahmed Sh. Mohamud Osman, Director of Somali Wildlife.
Also read: CITES COP17 turns spotlight on African continent’s poached animals
“This proves challenging in a context where civil war for over the last two decades has collapsed all government institutions, including the management of wildlife,” says Osman. As a result, illegal trafficking of cheetahs occurs through ports where there are no tight customs. “Corruption is the main factor that allows for trafficking of cheetah,” says Osman.
A major challenge facing the combatting of cheetah trafficking includes the handling of confiscated trafficked species. Often, according to Tricorache, there are not sufficient quarantine facilities available when cheetahs that have been found to be traded illegally have been confiscated. One of the recommendations is that the confiscation of live cheetahs should be done through rescue centres, says Tricorache. Last week, CITES delegates proposed the need for guidance on the immediate and long-term disposal of live animals seized in cases of illegal trade, including veterinary care and the contacting of potential rescue centres. Stricter measures around the illegal trade of cheetahs via e-commerce platforms and social media sites were also discussed.

Una nuova occasione per i ghepardi!

Cari Amici,pubblico il testo del comunicato stampa in inglese per motivi di tempo; appena possibile, lo leggerete in italiano. Grazie per la pazienza.Betty

Cheetahs get a new chance for survival as CITES CoP17 approves important decisions concerning their illegal trafficking




Success Stories

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Cheetahs get a new chance for survival as CITES CoP17 approves important decisions concerning their illegal trafficking

Johannesburg, South Africa (4 October 2016) – During Plenary Session today, seven important decisions to fight the illegal trade in cheetahs were adopted unanimously at the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES). CoP17, attended by delegates from over 180 member countries, is being hosted in Johannesburg by the South African Republic.

The cheetah faces many threats, such as habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and climate change. Cheetahs skins and bones are trafficked for traditional medicine or fashion. However, a little-known threat to the fastest mammal on earth is its trafficking for the illegal pet trade. In order to increase awareness and to deter dealers from utilising internet platforms, including social media to sell cheetahs, a decision to engage these platforms was approved. This is considered a crucial step, as an average of over 250 cheetahs are offered for sale every year –mostly on social media, according to ongoing research by the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). CCF was represented at CoP17 by Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, and Assistant Director for Strategic Communications and Illegal Wildlife Trade, Patricia Tricorache, who raised awareness among participants and worked alongside Parties and non-governmental organisations to promote awareness.

To support enforcement in the identification of cheetahs and parts and derivatives, as well as guidance on procedures after seizures, including DNA sampling, immediate and long-term care guidelines, and a list of suitable housing facilities, the Conference also approved two decisions concerning the development of a Cheetah Trade Resource Kit.

“Cheetah is the least aggressive of all the big cats, and thus a preferred pet for many people in some areas the world. Unfortunately, most of these animals are sourced from the wild, mainly northeast Africa, putting wild sub-populations under tremendous pressure,” said Dr Laurie Marker, CCF’s Executive Director. “The decisions adopted today at CoP17 are a very important first step, and the culmination of a 3-year effort by a coalition of many countries led by Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, who submitted the issue to CITES for the first time in 2013, and by a working group of member Parties and non-governmental organisations chaired by the State of Kuwait.”

Also adopted was a decision involving the creation of a CITES Cheetah Forum, which will become a valuable tool to enable all stakeholders, including CITES member parties, experts, and non-governmental organisations to share information about cheetahs, thus expanding the knowledge about the species.

In addition, an amendment proposed by the State of Kuwait involving the reporting on recommendations approved at the 66th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee Meeting (SC66) held last January in Geneva was also adopted today. SC66 recommendations call for improved enforcement, communications and collaboration among relevant countries, development of awareness campaigns to reduce demand, as well as cooperation in the placement of confiscated specimens.

Member Parties as diverse as Kuwait, Ethiopia, Somalia, the USA, Kenya, the United Arab Emirates, Angola, the European Union, Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia joined their voices in support of these decisions, with some of them reiterating the need for funding to support their implementation.



Laurie Marker –,, (+1- 571- 2752426, 

Whatsapp: +264- 81-1247887)

Patricia Tricorache –, Whatsapp: +1-305-766-8229

About the Cheetah Conservation Fund

Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs. With field headquarters in Namibia – ‘The Cheetah Capital of the World’ — CCF is dedicated to saving the remaining strongholds of cheetah populations in the wild. CCF believes that understanding the cheetah’s biology, ecology and interactions with people is essential. CCF’s strategy is a three-pronged approach integrating research, conservation and education, beginning with long-term studies to understand and monitor the factors affecting cheetah survival. Results are used to develop conservation policies and programmes, many of which include helping human populations that live alongside cheetahs. CCF works with local, national and international communities to raise awareness, communicate and educate people about the species. CCF also provides training in a number of fields to help develop livelihoods for rural Namibians.


By: CCF Staff

Success Stories

Courtesy of David Stanton

Ogni anno ghepardi selvatici vengono catturati in natura e ne muore l’80%….grazie a BorntoBeWild.

Patricia Tricorache ha fatto la sua presentazione ora seguono Etiopia e Somalia. CITES Johannesburg, SA

Laurie Marker con la responsabile del commercio illegale del CCF Patricia Tricorache oggi discutono i ghepardi! CITES- Johannesburg SA

Messaggio di Laurie Marker in partenza per il CITES, Sudafrica

Un interessante articolo su BBC Science a proposito di …ghepardi!

Cheetah is now ‘running for its very survival’

Media captionEndangered species like the cheetah are being used as pets, as David Shukman reports

Pitiful scenes of cheetah cubs lying emaciated and bewildered highlight one of the cruellest but least-publicised examples of illegal wildlife trafficking.

Baby cheetahs are so prized as exotic pets that entire litters are seized from their mothers when they may only be four to six weeks old.

Each tiny animal can fetch as much as $10,000 on the black market and end up being paraded on social media by wealthy buyers in Gulf states.

But the trade exacts a terrible toll on a species that claims a superlative status as the fastest land animal on the planet but which now faces a serious threat to its survival.


Image captionThe lucky ones: These young cheetahs were rescued

According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, some 1,200 cheetah cubs are known to have been trafficked out of Africa over the past 10 years but a shocking 85% of them died during the journey.

Dr Laurie Marker, the trust’s director, describes the horrific conditions involved in shipping the animals from their habitats in northern Kenya, Somaliland and Ethiopia by land and sea to the Arabian Gulf.

“They’re probably just thrown into a crate, living in their own faeces, travelling for days without proper food, and many of them end up dead on arrival at wherever that place would be, and maybe one or two living out of a pile that are dead.”

And those that do make it into the hands of new owners usually die rapidly because they are denied the chance to exercise and are given an inadequate diet.


Image captionThe animal is used to living in huge home ranges of 800 sq km

Dr Marker says that they’re often kept in “chicken coop-sized pens” which are far too small for them.

“And this is an animal that is the fastest land animal that is used to living in huge home ranges of 800 sq km. Most of those cheetahs don’t make it over a two-year period of time in captivity.”

With the total of adult cheetahs living in the wild now numbering less than 7,000, the concern is that seizures of an estimated 200-300 a year could drive some of the remaining populations, which are already diminished, to extinction.

The poaching comes on top of the long-running destruction of the cheetahs’ habitats. The animals tend not to thrive in the confines of national parks where other predators dominate, so they live outside protected areas and are more exposed to conflict with people.

The threat to the cheetah will be raised at the CITES COP17 conference being held in Johannesburg over the next fortnight.

Social media cheetahs

Image caption“You have the car and the boat but nothing tops having an exotic pet”

One criticism of the conservation movement is that it has recently been doing a better job highlighting the plight of the giants of African wildlife, the elephants and the rhinos, compared with other iconic species whose existence is equally at risk.

As a vet working in Kuwait, Jill Mullen saw for herself how easily cheetah cubs were imported despite the existence of controls under the CITES convention.

Now back in the UK, she told me how her surgery would see as many as six cubs in a single day. All of them would be suffering from dehydration, malnutrition and a common virus known as panleukopenia against which the cubs have no immunity.

Usually, only one of the six would survive.

“I would stand on the soapbox to explain to the owners why it was wrong to have these animals as pets, that they’re endangered in the wild, and are not designed to be kept in living rooms and in villas.

“But in the end I had to swallow the feeling that everything was wrong because that was my job.”

Ms Mullen found that most owners did not know about the CITES restrictions or care about them.

Media captionCheetahs being used as pets

“You have the car and the boat but nothing tops having an exotic pet and, if they can buy it, it doesn’t matter about the legality.”

During her time in Kuwait, there was an attempt by the authorities to clamp down, and vets like her were banned from handling cheetahs and other endangered animals. But she believes this drove the trade underground.

On the agenda in Johannesburg is a quest to raise awareness in buyer countries of the dangers the trade poses to the cheetah.

One idea is to persuade internet platforms to join the fight – many carry social media pictures taken by cheetah owners showing off their animals. Others allow dealers to offer cheetah cubs for sale.

Another initiative is to draw up plans for how to handle cheetahs if they are confiscated – if the authorities do get tough, large numbers may suddenly need to be housed.

Already when cheetahs become too big, or their owners find that they cannot care for them, the animals are released into the streets and found dead or weakened.

But there is a sense that time is not on the side of a species whose very fame may be the cause of its demise.

As Dr Marker puts it, “the cheetah is running the most important race of its life, and that’s for its very survival and its survival is in human hands”.