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Cheetah Monitoring

This cheetah project aims to protect and conserve the Tsavo ecosystem cheetah population for the long-term survival of the species. We work with stakeholders and communities in addition to governmental bodies to foster the coexistence with local residents and influence wildlife laws and policies. The project works with the Kenya Wildlife Service and Felidae Conservation Fund and is currently supported by Stichting SPOTS-Netherlands and several private donors.

Program Content

Volunteers field activity first week

Cheetah and predator spoor(pug mark) tracking for presence and distribution detection;
Camera-trapping (deploying, setting, checking camera units and downloading capture data for confirmation of cheetah presence , behaviour, and conflict incidents);
GPS data collection (of cheetah spoor and sightings)
Photographing cheetahs for identification and monitoring, via the project database, and conducting observations on cheetah behavior and interspecies competition.
The data you help collect near the periphery of the park will provide detailed information for managing human-predator conflict in this critical conservation area. All project data remains with the research team for ongoing studies, monitoring and program activities and is additionally provided to our in country affiliate, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) who manage the national parks of Kenya.

Community program second week

“A Tsavo Cheetah’s Ecosystem” Education programs in primary and secondary schools (working with the teachers on the structured educational material, which includes curriculum related activities, puppet and book stories, drawing, plays, and for the older students poster design and development for community display. Talks on the cheetah and its ecosystem and Tsavo will also be provided by the coordinator under the direction of the PI, with appropriateness given to grade level.
Periodically boma (livestock holding corral) improvement and other physical assistance tasks (not potentially dangerous)
The (multi-tribe) communities and villages bordering Tsavo East National Park are a threat, because of: 1) common lack of knowledge and education on predators and other wild animals, which, in turn, provokes fear, and 2) a threat to poorly managed livestock in all interviewed communities and inside the park boundaries.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1

Welcome

Transfer from airport according to flight time, meet with other team members, volunteer coordinator and Principle Investigator of Tsavo Cheetah Project at Tsavo Mashariki Camp.

DINNER around fireplace listening Taita musician group.

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator and Project Biologist
Day 2

Introduction to the project

MORNING: Introduction to the project, research, and Tsavo East National Park; Training on cheetah spoor identification, camera traps, and cheetah Identification work.

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator and Project Biologist

LUNCH: 12 o o’clock

AFTERNOON by 1:30: Guided, ranger- led field walk in the park with volunteer coordinator: Observe the Tsavo environs, record predator spoor sightings, (Voi Gate)

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator, KWS Ranger
Day 3:Fieldwork in the park

MORNING from 6.30am set out to check on camera traps, record spoor sightings, cheetah / prey distribution and abundance, photograph cheetahs for cheetah ID and monitoring (Buchuma Gate) Full day in the field with packed LUNCH; Return to Camp around 6pm.

DINNER from 8pm

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator
Day 4

Fieldwork in the park

MORNING: from 6.30am record spoor sightings, cheetah / prey distribution and abundance, photograph cheetahs for cheetah ID and monitoring (Voi Gate) Full day in the field with packed

LUNCH; return to Camp around 6pm.

DINNER from 8pm

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator
Day 5 Fieldwork in the park:

MORNING from 6.30am set out to check on camera traps, record spoor sightings, cheetah /prey distribution and abundance, photograph cheetahs for cheetah ID and monitoring (Buchuma Gate) Full day in the field with packed LUNCH; return Camp around 6pm.

DINNER from 8pm

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator

Day 6:

Day off

Free time or excursions.

TUTORS: Project Biologist

Day 7:

Report

MORNING Following late breakfast, write up individual reports on research findings in the field.

LUNCH time around 1 pm

AFTERNOON 3:30, discussions on research findings with PI and transfer of data, photographs etc to project, at the KWS education centre or Mashariki Camp.

DINNER around 8pm pizza !

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator and Project Biologist
Block 2 – Community Oriented Activities

DAY 8

Orientation on local communities / cheetah education programs at KWS Education Centre or Tsavo Mashariki Camp.

MORNING After breakfast at 8.30 pick up to go KWS Educational Centre. 9am talk and review practice sessions on education activities to take place in the schools and information on any local tribes in which volunteers will be interacting with / assisting.

LUNCH TIME At around 12 o o’clock: 2 hour break for lunch, / rest.

AFTERNOON 2pm: Orientation resuming through up to 6pm.

TUTORS: Half day with Volunteer coordinator, half with Project Biologist.

DAY 9:

Visit to White House Academy School or similar for education programs, in liaison with class teachers.

MORNING Pick up at 7.30 to be at School 8.20 Educational activities here the field coordinator will explain about the cheetah and its ecosystem to both secondary and primary school students (individual classes). The primary school talks will be played out with puppetry, story books and games, with the assistance of volunteers, along with the curriculum integrated cheetah activities aimed at all grade levels. Volunteers can even initiate additional ideas for approval.

or MORNING 7:00am leave for an excursion to the nearby Rukinga Sanctuary for cheetah scouting, visit the Wildlife Works clothes factory and other eco-product-initiatives. Return
for LUNCH between 1-2pm

LUNCH Together with teachers and students

AFTERNOON School activities continue into late afternoon, following a lunch break with the children at the school. Around 5pm, back to the camp.

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator

DAY 10 -11:

Two day visit Secondary school on Tsavo Park Road for educational program activities, talk on the cheetah and poster designing with students.

MORNING Walk to school up the road, to Arrive by 8: 30. Walk back to Camp for lunch LUNCH 12-1 pm Mashariki Camp

AFTERNOON Walk back to school at 1:00 pm to continue school education activities until around 4pm, walk back to Camp, free time until Dinner.

DAY 11:

AFTERNOON

Meet and discuss results and achievements of education programs and areas for possible improvement / implementation.

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator/ Project Biologist (pm)

DAY 12 -13:

Weekend Excursion to Lake Jipe, Tsavo West National Park

MORNING AND AFTERNOON: Lake Jipe excursion with a combination of leisure activities, game drives and interpretation on local flora and fauna, while scouting for cheetahs within sighting locations for identification photography and data recording. Set up the tents ( if raining period use of bandas )

BOX LUNCH

EVENING Enjoying the evening self-cooking on the fireplace watching the sunset on he Lake Jipe

TUTORS: Volunteer coordinator and Project Biologist

DAY 14

Departure

Transfer to the airport according to flight time.

Accommodation

Bushcamp, meals provided.

Rates

The project costs £1705 for 2 weeks

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