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Failed management and removal of Cheetah from Metapopulation reserves

Five small fenced reserves in South Africa have removed Cheetah from their properties due to problems experienced. Three EZEMVELO KZN Wildlife reserves removed Cheetah due to inadequate fencing and consequent livestock losses in neighbouring communities. Rural communities in Zululand are known to be particularly hostile towards the presence of predators in neighbouring reserves. In one of these reserves a considerable portion of the reserve boundary was comprised of a river system that dried up in winter.

One reserve in the Eastern Cape is reported to have removed Cheetah from its premises when it’s predator density increased to uncontrollable levels. The consequent eradication of the reserves prey base implied that its Cheetah had to be moved to other reserves in the cluster. The lack of long-term management following the introduction of Cheetah onto one reserve in Gauteng resulted in an exponential increase in numbers. Reserve management did not have the capacity to deal with the situation and decided to remove Cheetah from the reserve all together. A similar incident occurred in an Eastern Cape Reserve however numbers were reduced to manageable levels after the capture and sale of 21 Cheetah. These incidents resulted in much bad publicity and contributed to the reluctance of many suitable reserves to reintroduce Cheetah.