Conserving Cheetahs in Northern Tanzania
Cheetahs have experienced tremendous losses in their geographic range throughout the African continent. With a total population estimated at less than 10,000 free-ranging animals, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the cheetah as a vulnerable species. In East Africa, only 6% of their historic range remains.
The Maasai Steppe is a critical area for immediate cheetah conservation action. Of the four areas in Tanzania containing important resident cheetah populations, the Maasai Steppe contains the largest percentage of unprotected cheetah habitat. Though approximately 92% of this ecosystem is represented by village lands, few conservation efforts focus on the long-term existence of cheetahs outside of the two national parks (Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks).
The Northern Tanzania Big Cats Conservation Initiative is contributing to the active conservation of the cheetah in this great landscape by helping local communities to protect important cheetah habitat in village lands and to reduce bush meat poaching. Meanwhile, our educational efforts are promoting the increased awareness and knowledge of this unique cat among the Maasai people.