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About

Mara Predator Conservation Programme
Kenya, Supported by Wildscapes since 2013

The global cheetah population is rapidly dwindling and with less than 10,000 individuals left in the wild, cheetahs are vulnerable to extinction. At present, the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the two remaining strongholds for the global cheetah population. Whilst in the Serengeti there has been long-term cheetah project running in excess of 25 years, no comparable project has as yet been established in the Mara – until now.

Mara Cheetah Project (MCP now the Mara Predator Conservation Programme MPCP), founded by the Kenya Wildlife Trust and led by Dr Femke Broekhuis of Oxford University’s Wildlife Research Unit (WildCRU), will determine the current status of cheetahs in the Greater Mara ecosystem and to identify the major threats that could be causing declines in the current cheetah population. The data will initially be collected during a two-year period using an array of data collection techniques including behavioral observation, faecal analysis, historic data and interviews with herders. So far the proposed study area for this project will only include the Masai Mara National Reserve and four adjoining conservancies; Mara North Conservancy, Olare Orok Conservancy, Motorogi Conservancy and Naboisho Conservancy.

Central to the project will be the involvement of Kenyan citizens both in terms of employment and training. Research assistants will play a significant role both in conducting research and communicating the projects findings. The project also aspires to educate the communities living in the greater Mara ecosystem about the importance of wildlife such as cheetahs. The education program will include activities such as film shows, lectures and workshops at the Koyiaki Guiding School and visits to local schools.

Beginning in 2016 through the first time use of GPS collars Wildscapes Foundation supported the gathering of important scientific information and data to understand the influencing trends on the east african cheetah population.  In 2021 Wildscapes Foundation was proud to facilitate a grant that allowed for the funding of the purchase, deployment and monitoring of three GPS collars.  The grant also allowed for funding towards some much needed refurbishment of the Predator Hub Information Centre, which is an interactive space for MPCP staff to engage with visitors and local school children (through our wildlife clubs programme) better showcasing our research and community conservation activities.

Updates

Ruka & Rafiki

 

Ruka & Rafiki

 

November 2021

IMANI, KISARU, SILA SUBS, RUKA & RAFIKI
Updates by the Mara Predator Conservation Programme on cheetahs in the Greater Mara Ecosystem

In 2021, Wildscapes Foundation was proud to facilitate a grant that allowed for the funding of the purchase, deployment and monitoring of three GPS collars.  The grant also allowed for funding towards some much needed refurbishment of the Predator Hub Information Centre, which is an interactive space for MPCP staff to engage with visitors and local school children (through our wildlife clubs programme) better showcasing our research and community conservation activities.

LINK to view Cheetah Update

 


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Cheetah (M01), part of a five-male coalition, with a GPS radio-collar in the Maasai Mara, Kenya

Cheetah (M01), part of a five-male coalition, with a GPS radio-collar in the Maasai Mara, Kenya

July 2018

John, Thanks to your generous support we managed to collar several cheetahs in the Maasai Mara to get a better insight into their ecology and the threats that they face. We recently used the data from the collars to determine which landscape features cheetahs prefer and avoid. We found that cheetahs:

  • Preferred semiclosed habitat (Vachellia woodland and Croton thickets) to open grasslands, possibly because semiclosed habitat increases hunting success and minimises negative encounters with other predators.
  • Avoided areas with high human disturbance, which could have serious implications for connectivity.
  • Preferred the conservancies and the reserve to areas that were not set aside for wildlife.

Warm wishes,

Femke Broekhuis, PhD Scientific Associate Kenya Wildlife Trust, Nairobi Kenya

2016
​Through the first time use of GPS collars we are supporting the gathering of important scientific information and data to understand the influencing trends on the east african cheetah population.

Wildscapes-Mara Cheetah Project-First GPS collaring of cheetahs in the Masai Mara for scientific research.

Wildscapes-Mara Cheetah Project-First GPS collaring of cheetahs in the Masai Mara for scientific research.

Wildscapes-Mara Cheetah Project-First GPS collaring of cheetahs in the Masai Mara for scientific research.
We are excited to announce that John's daughters, Siana and Mara have their name on a cheetah collar! This is very exciting as this is the first time there have ever been GPS tracking collars placed on cheetah in the Masai Mara reserve for scientific research. We are so excited that Siana and Mara can begin to have a connection to the place where their names have originated. And on their favorite animal no less. - Exciting day!

Reports

KWR-Mara Predator Conservation Programme-The End of the Mara's Famous Five Musketeers-April 2022
KWR-Mara Predator Conservation Programme-The End of the Mara's Famous Five Musketeers-April 2022

BIODIVERSITY
Cheetah Behavior
The End of the Mara’s Famous Five Musketeers

KWT-Mara Predator Conservation Programme-Cheetah Updates-Nov-15 2021
KWT-Mara Predator Conservation Programme-Cheetah Updates-Nov-15 2021

IMANI, KISARU, SILA SUBS, RUKA & RAFIKI
Updates by the Mara Predator Conservation Programme on cheetahs in the Greater Mara Ecosystem

Mara Cheetah Project-Living on the edge: Multiscale habitat selection by cheetahs in a human-wildlife landscape
Mara Cheetah Project-Living on the edge: Multiscale habitat selection by cheetahs in a human-wildlife landscape
Mara Cheetah Project-Cheetah Chat: November-December 2017
Mara Cheetah Project-Cheetah Chat: November-December 2017
Mara Cheetah Project-Annual Report 2016
Mara Cheetah Project-Annual Report 2016
Mara Cheetah Project-Cheetah Chat: July-August 2016
Mara Cheetah Project-Cheetah Chat: July-August 2016
Mara Cheetah Project-Cheetah Chat: May-June 2016
Mara Cheetah Project-Cheetah Chat: May-June 2016
Mara Cheetah Project-Cheetah Chat: January-February 2016
Mara Cheetah Project-Cheetah Chat: January-February 2016
Mara Cheetah Project-Annual Report 2015
Mara Cheetah Project-Annual Report 2015