Individual study: The Matusadona cheetah project: lessons from a wild-to-wild translocation
Purchase G.K. (1998) The Matusadona cheetah project: lessons from a wild-to-wild translocation. Proceedings of a Symposium on Cheetahs as Game Ranch Animals, Onderstepoort, 83-89.
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Translocate predators away from livestock to reduce human-wildlife conflict
A study in 1994–1998 in a woodland savanna protected area in northern Zimbabwe (Purchase 1998) found that a population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus translocated to reduce livestock losses, persisted over four years and that translocated animals reproduced in the wild. At least 13 adult cheetahs and four cubs, were alive four years after the translocation of 17 individuals. Translocated cheetahs bred at least five times and at least two cubs survived to adulthood. In 1993–1994, fourteen adult cheetahs and three cubs were released into Matusadona National Park. Cheetahs had been captured in commercial ranches where they were causing livestock losses. At the time of release, the park had no resident cheetahs but had a high density of lions (0.31/ km2) and hyenas (0.13/ km2). Cheetah numbers were estimated until July 1998, from sightings by visitors and park workers.
(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)