The Action for Cheetahs in Kenya (ACK) mission is to promote the conservation of cheetahs through research, awareness and community participation in Kenya. ACK works closely with local wildlife authorities and land holders to develop policies and programmes which support wildlife conservation and human livelihoods for the long-term development of sustainable human and wildlife zones. The project receives technical and financial support from the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and works in affiliation with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). ACK links with other large carnivore programmes through Carnivores, Livelihoods and Landscapes (CaLL), a Kenya non-profit organization.
The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is classified as Vulnerable (IUCN 2008). Current study results show that Kenya holds 1200 – 1400 cheetahs with over 75% residing on land outside protected areas. Cheetahs have been extirpated from 25% of their historic Kenyan range in the last 20 years (KWS 2010). The goal of this project is to promote cheetah population sustainability in Kenya through coexistence with people.
The objectives are:
- Identify factors affecting cheetah livestock predation and mitigate conflict;
- Understand cheetah habitat and prey selections;
- Influence public and administrative changes to positively affect cheetah conservation-management protocol.
The project focuses on two regions (Salama and Samburu) which are identified as a high priority in the National Cheetah and Wild Dog Strategic Plan and follows methods recommended by the Global Cheetah Master Plan.
Current research includes conflict evaluation, GPS-collars, habitat survey, and faecal analysis. Results identify factors influencing cheetah habitat selection and issues affecting livestock predation. This information assists in problem animal-control measures to prevent the killing of cheetahs and promotes ecological awareness through community education and school programmes. ACK community development projects support sustainable activities to alleviate poverty that empower participants to be leaders in the community and encourage positive conservation attitudes.