Counting cheetahs in South Africa’s Kruger National Park

30 September 2014

If counting African wild dogs in the Kruger sounds like a fantastic adventure, then join the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and South African National Parks Honorary Rangers’s sixth wild dog and fourth cheetah photographic survey.

Launched on 24 September, South Africa’s Heritage Day, in Kruger National Park, the survey runs from 24 September 2014 to 24 June 2015.

“By launching this project on Heritage Day we are celebrating both the African wild dog and the cheetah as key components of South Africa’s natural heritage,” said Kelly Marnewick, the EWT’s carnivore conservation programme manager

Louis Lemmer, SANParks Honorary Rangers national chairperson, asked visitors to the Kruger to “become involved as citizen scientists and help ensure the conservation of these iconic animals’.

The African wild dog is South Africa’s most endangered carnivore and there are less than 450 left in the country. Cheetahs are classified as vulnerable with less than 1000 remaining in South Africa.

“The Kruger National Park is a conservation stronghold for both species and is home to the largest protected population of cheetahs and wild dogs in South Africa.” said Marnewick.

Win with your park pics

Each cheetah and wild dog has a unique coat pattern. Photographs from the survey will be used to identify each animal and provide a population estimate. The 2004 photographic survey estimated there were around 151 wild dogs and about 412 cheetahs in the Kruger National Park.

It is important to know how many of the animals there are to make sure they survive in adequate numbers.

To participate in the survey, enthusiastic conservationists can submit photographs or videos of any cheetahs or African wild dogs spotted in the Kruger National Park between 24 September 2014 and 24 June 2015 to the following:

Entrants stand the chance to win a number of prizes, including:

  • One Nikon D7100 + 18-140mm lens;
  • A Nikon D3100 + 18-55mm DX for the best children’s entry (under 18);
  • Two stays in the Kruger National Park including accommodation and conservation fees for two persons for three nights mid-week, excluding Friday and Saturday nights, outside school holidays; and
  • Painted Wolf wine hampers.

Ideally the side view of both sides of the animal needs to be seen in the photographs, but any photographs are helpful.

All entries must be submitted with a name, country, email, phone number, and age. Entrants must send only one entry per entry method.

For the children’s category (under 18) entrants must provide the date of sighting, location, and the total number of animals in a group

For more information on the survey, visit the Endangered Wildlife Trust, or South African National Parks.

Source: South African National Parks