Qui di seguito eccovi il rapporto delle nostre attività come riportate dal Cheetah Conservation Fund nella sua relazione annuale.
Purtroppo è redatta in inglese, ma riassume tutto cio’ che abbiamo fatto nel 2016.
Betty von Hoenning
5. Cheetah Conservation Fund Italia (CCF Italia)
CCF Italy has been very busy this year with the organisation of the CCF Italia association, travelling to Namibia, and focusing on the main events of Dr. Marker’s Tour in Italy in May in Ancona, Verona-Bussolengo and Padua.
There are 35 members of the association, and efforts are underway to enlist more.(Meanwhile the Members are 63! Betty)
On 8-9 January 8, CCF Italia’s founder Betty von Hoenning represented CCF at the 66th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, where resolutions relevant to illegal cheetah trade were adopted (see section IV.F.3. Illegal Wildlife Trade).
Apart from private personal donations made directly by individuals whom we directed to the CCF web site, CCF Italia sent a first donation of 3.300 € to CCF Namibia in August and another of 500 € in December, for a total amount of 3800€.
– A fundraising Pizza Dinner hosted by Rossella Clai, Counsellor of CCF Italia in Albignasego (Padua), on the occasion of her birthday, was held on 7 February.
– Primary School Introduction of the Cheetah, from February to June, with 26 children involved and four teachers (Primary School of Campiglia Cervo, BI, NW Italy). The meetings were held during regular school time, for two hours, in February and April, involving children and teachers.
During the month of December, CCF Italia published its 2017 calender on social media. The calendars were prepared by our associate Francesca Zirafi from Sicily, who volunteers as art director. Up to the end of December, 140 calendars have been printed. CCF Italia also sent an e-mail to its members
(with information on 2017 fees).
A Cheetah Run on 28 May, was held during the school trip to a famous park in the near town of Biella.
– On 20 March members of CCF Italy participated in the Sport and Wildlife day in their hometown of Albignasego (Padua) with a CCF Italy booth displaying CCF items and handing out information about CCF’s activities. CCF Italy Member Rossella Clai has been elected Town Counsellor of her hometown but is still active with CCF Italia.
– On 20 August, Rossella set up an information desk during the event “Young festival” in Albignasego, Rossella. Items from CCF Namibia and t-shirts where offered for sale.
– CCF Italia’s Vice President, Matilde Venturi, organised two photographic events called “The Travellers’ Thursday,” at the Public School in Desenzano (BS). The first event was held in May. Matilde talked about CCF for an audience of 100 people. The second event was held in September, and she showed her new videos of this year’s trip to Namibia to 100 participants and many new supporters, including veterinarians, who eventually joined CCF Italia as members.
CCF Italy has initiated plans for three or four events to be held between May and August 2017.
Dr Laurie Marker’s Tour in Italy: 6-9 May 2016
– Ancona: Dr Marker held a lecture during the Annual Vet Association Assembly in the Mole Vanvitelliana, where we had also the opportunity to sell our items. CCF Italy had the assistance of Professor Giacomo Rossi, a pathologist and Professor at the University of Camerino who invited Dr Marker and conducted a study about cheetah gastritis due to helicobacter. The student Sara Mangiaterra of the same University went to CCF Namibia from December to February 2015 to collect data from CCF’s cheetahs to compare to the captive cheetahs held in the Zoo Parco of Falconara, near Ancona. CCF Italy had also a meeting with the students at breakfast time and a dinner offered by the association. During the Ancona meeting, Members of CCF Italy Betty von Hoenning, Matilde Venturi and Duncan Campbell were present, along with Domenico Marrali from Sicily. On 7 May, we were invited to the Zoo Park Falconara where Dr Marker was followed by many fans coming from many parts of Italy. Members of CCF Italy had a walk inside the Park, where Laurie answered questions and made a radio/TV interview with a local station. A dinner with 60 people followed, which gave Dr Marker the opportunity to meet many new friends, included a video of CCF. The Zoo donated a check of 1000€ to CCF Italia, which will be part of their lump donation of this August. They also sold new sweaters (of CCF’s orphans) and items from Namibia.
– Verona: A lecture inside the Parco Natura Viva in Bussolengo in the presence of Dr.Cesare Avesani Zaborra was held on 8 May 2016 during Mother’s Day, followed by a drive through the Park to watch the four cheetahs in their big, new enclosures, with children and parents and fans of the Veneto area. An interview of Dr Marker was conducted and was broadcasted on national TV (Canale 5) later in the same month, which gave a great visibility to CCF’s activities. A donation was made by the audience, Dr Marker signed photographs and many registered as members of the Italian association. Betty and Matilde, Dr Marker and her assistant Tess were joined by Rossella Clai and Marina Mastropietro for the day, which concluded with a pizza dinner at the hotel, together with CCF’s corporate sponsor GEPARD, which joined us to present their production to Dr. Marker.
– On 7 August, Betty von Hoenning held a fundraiser at the organisation’s address in Campiglia Cervo. CCF signs were on display whilesold CCF merchandise were offered for sale.
– December 21: A conference about “Namibia and its Jewels: Cheetahs”, was held at the Fondazione CRB, which is the foundation of CCF Italia’s bank, Cassa di Risparmio di Biella, as part of the bank’s corporate responsiblity programme.
– Padua: Dr Marker lectured at the University of Padova on 9 May with students and Professors who had previously visited Namibia and CCF for a study trip in 2015. The lecture was held in the Aula Magna of the Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food, Legnaro, hosted by Professor Marco Patruno and Professor Barbara Demori.
At the end of December, and resulting from the PNAS study on declining cheetah populations, which
received ample media coverage in Italy, Betty gave an interview to Italy’s national TV Canale 5 for the program “Noah’s Ark”. Canale 5 showed footage of CCF and Dr Marker. The interview is scheduled
to air on 15 January 2017, and it is expected to generate great interest, along with donations and calendar orders.
Ieri sera, come ogni anno da 19 anni fa, il CCF organizza la serata di Gala per raccogliere fondi e riunire i sostenitori di tutta la Namibia. Ho partecipato anche io nel 2010, ed è una bella serata nel segno del rispetto dell’ambiente e della lotta all’estinzione di questa specie iconica.
Abbiamo tra l’altro notato che i parei creati dalla nostra vicepresidente Matilde Venturi sono stati venduti all’asta silenziosa a favore del CCF.
Dopo il corso di Big Five del 10 e 11 giugno al Parco Le Cornelle, sabato 1. Luglio siamo state con la presidente di AETEMP e la veterinaria dr. Gabriella Fazio e la nostra vicepresidente Matilde Venturi a Falconara presso il Parco Zoo per proporre il nostro corso che si terrà a Falconara tra novembre e febbraio prossimi.
Il 2 luglio abbiamo presentato la nostra associazione ed il progetto di collaborazione con AETEMP e CONSERVATION GLOBAL a Perugia presso l’Hotel Gio Wine& Jazz, su invito dell’Ordine dei Medici Veterinari della Regione Umbria e grazie al dr. Maurizio Ritorto che è diventato nostro Socio CCF Italia.
È stata una mattinata certamente interessante, con un pubblico attento e partecipe, anche perché ci siamo collegati con la Direttrice di CONSERVATION GLOBAL, Nathalie Belet in Sudafrica, che ha spiegato la parte di progetto che si svolge sul campo ( in Sudafrica e Namibia) e ci ha poi collegati con Will e Grant Fowlds, di Project Rhino, che hanno spiegato la loro attività sul campo e hanno risposto alle molte domande del pubblico in sala.
Siamo molto felici di questa collaborazione che speriamo contribuirà a sensibilizzare sempre più veterinari., studenti e anche i turisti consapevoli che non si accontentano più di una semplice vacanza, ma desiderano imparare e vedere con i propri occhi come e dove avviene la conservazione di tanti animali a rischio estinzione, contribuendo così direttamente con una donazione.
Crediamo che questo tipo di vacanza corrisponda a quanto ci avete chiesto da più parti, e attendiamo l’esito della prima visita di luglio al Cheetah Conservation Fund da parte di studenti universitari di Lugano, con Conservation Global, che costituisce per noi il banco di prova della nostra collaborazione.
Attendiamo anche le vostre adesioni o che ci segnaliate il vostro interesse per questo tipo di viaggio per il 2018.
Buone vacanze da tutti noi, e ricordatevi dei nostri ghepardi!
Dr. Laurie Marker, Contributor
Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund
Adopt A Cat Month
06/27/2017 11:43 am ET
Adopt A Cat Month is a yearly observation, during the month of June, started by domestic animal shelters. Coinciding with “kitten season”, from early spring through the summer, this is the time when shelters busy themselves looking for homes for millions of domestic cats. During June, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) celebrated Adopt A Cat Month by asking for support to keep cheetahs in their wild homes.
Cheetahs are the smallest of the big cats and are a unique and very old species. Around 10 to 12,000 years ago, a climate shift at the end of the last ice age caused a mass extinction of many species and few cheetahs survived leaving them with a very limited gene pool. Today, habitat loss, human/wildlife conflict, and the illegal pet trade have contributed to a further shrinking of the population, with the current cheetahs’ range reduced across eastern and southern Africa with a very small population in Iran. While the domestic cat became more popular and widespread over the past 10,000 years becoming a favored pet around the world, the cheetah has become a threatened species on the brink of extinction.
CHEETAH CONSERVATION FUND
Lighter colors denotes historic range & darker colors denote current range
Cheetahs Don’t Have an Overbreeding Problem.
Adopt A Cat Month messaging usually focuses on the overpopulation of cats, cheetahs don’t share this problem. There are currently less than 8,000 cheetahs remaining in the wild and they are considered extinct in more than 20 of their former range countries. The biggest threats to survival are human/wildlife conflict and loss of habitat. Captive cheetah breeding is not as successful as many large carnivores, leaving the wild population more important for species survival.
Cats of all species from cheetahs to gray tabbies, have a wide range of breeding behaviors. Domestic cats experience estrus on a regular cycle corresponding to day lengthening and warmer weather. In tropical areas where day length doesn’t change very much, female domestic cats will breed year-round. Cheetahs in captivity on the other hand have very unpredictable breeding cycles that correspond to environmental stimulus on an individual basis. Knowing when a female cheetah is ready to mate involves lots of behavioral observation, fecal testing, and patience.
The Cheetahs in Your Neighborhood
Domestic cats have a reputation for killing birds and small mammals when they live partially or fully outside. As a result the reaction to outdoor cats can be very negative; they can be thought of as pests, killing song birds and small mammals, and as a result are poisoned or trapped. Like feral domestic cats, cheetahs and other predators have also been viewed as vermin; they were thought to threaten livestock and livelihoods.
When I started CCF in 1990, Namibian farmers were killing cheetahs by the hundreds per year. People did not know how to live alongside predators and they didn’t really understand the value of predators within the landscape. Among the many successful educational outreach programs we offer at CCF, like farmer education and livelihood training, the resident and ambassador cheetahs at our Education and Research Centre in Namibia have helped educate people about how to live with cheetahs on their lands.
DR. LAURIE MARKER
Chewbaaka as a cub
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One of our first orphaned cheetahs to fill the role of ambassador was Chewbaaka, a 10-day old cub which was rescued in July 1995. He required round-the-clock care as he needed to be bottle fed him. Throughout his infancy, he formed a close bond with me. Releasing him back into the wild was not an option as he did not have an aversion to people, one of the many key factors for successfully releasing a cheetah.
Chewbaaka became an important part of CCF’s educational outreach programs. He met local farmers and school learners, politicians and celebrities, and he was photographed and filmed for multiple documentaries, allowing people from all over the world to see his speed and grace. He helped many people form an emotional bond and connection to the cheetah.
CCF has since had many orphan cubs. Although Chewbaaka passed away in 2011 at 16 years of age, every July we celebrate him through Chewbaaka’s Wild Cheetah Challenge, a matching campaign to help in our efforts to secure a future for the cheetahs though our education, ecology, biology, and conservation programs.
The Future for the Cheetah
CCF’s work has been focused on creating a stronghold for cheetahs in Namibia and other countries where the wild population is still viable. Helping cheetahs in their current range to survive, has made it possible to stabilize the population in regional pockets. By connecting current rangeland and encouraging population flow we can slowly bring cheetahs back into their former range.
Our efforts toward education, proving the value of predators in the ecosystem, has turned the tide of popular opinion in Namibia; the nation is now known as “The Cheetah Capital of the World”. It is my hope that the cheetah will once again range freely across Africa. That is the goal we work towards every day, and it’s a goal that you can help make a reality. Adopt A Cat Month is now ending, but your support is still needed. Help us by symbolically sponsoring one of the remaining 8,000 wild cheetahs. Beginning July 1st donations will be doubled up to $225,000 as we celebrate Chewbaaka’s Wild Cheetah Challenge.