Below some excerpts from the attached pdf file namibia-cheetah-conservation-strategy... Legislation and policy on the cheetah 4. International. There is no international law mandating protection - that is, prohibiting hunting or fencing off habitat - for endangered species. It is up to each individual nation to determine how it wants to protect any endangered species occurring within its borders. The only aspect of endangered species conservation where an international treaty plays a major role is in international trade, which is governed by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The cheetah has been listed on CITES Appendix I since 1975, and probably will remain there under newly developed listing criteria. Appendix I listing prohibits commercial trade in the cheetah. When Namibia joined CITES in 1992, other member nations voted to allocate a special export quota for Namibian cheetahs, allowing 150 live animals and/or sport hunting trophies to be exported every year. Namibia has not yet used its full quota, exporting only 42 cheetahs in 1994 (25 live animals and 17 hunting trophies). However, at least 150 cheetahs were removed from the Namibian population that year, primarily by commercial farmers seeking to protect their livestock and game. 5. National. The cheetah is classified as “protected game” under the Nature Conservation Ordinance of 1975. It is prohibited to hunt cheetahs without a MET permit except “in defense of a human life or to prevent a human being from being injured or protect the life of any livestock, poultry or domestic animal of such owner, lessee or occupier whilst the life of such livestock, poultry or domestic animal is actually being threatened.” People who kill or capture cheetahs under such circumstances are required to report to MET within ten days. It is also forbidden to keep or transport cheetahs without a permit from MET. Import or export without a CITES permit is also prohibited. 6. Recent MET policy on the cheetah. In practice, the stricture that cheetahs may only be hunted to protect human life or while actually threatening livestock has been ignored. Many farmers have over the years shot or removed cheetahs from their land on a precautionary principle, viewing them as a potential threat to life or livestock. Some farmers have taken more than 100 cheetahs from their property over a decade (Myers 1975, Marker-Kraus et al. 1996, Africat unpubl. data). MET has not challenged their right to do so, as it would be practically impossible to stop farmers from removing cheetahs if they want to, and MET conflict with farmers over cheetahs would quite possibly harm the cause of predator conservation. 7. Trophy hunting. Believing that enhancing the economic value of cheetahs is the best incentive to encourage farmers to tolerate cheetahs on their land, MET initiated a trophy hunting policy for cheetahs in 1982. At present, MET is cooperating with the Namibian Association of Professional Hunters (NAPHA) by incorporating their “Cheetah Compact” into its trophy hunting program. Farmers signing the NAPHA Compact agree to conserve cheetahs on their farm, and if one is trophy hunted, to donate N$1,000 of the trophy fee to a fund for cheetah conservation. The MET permit office has helped to link farmers reporting cheetah problems to professional hunters with clients seeking cheetah trophies. Population estimates 11. Environmental change. The environment of central Namibia has changed greatly since pre-colonial times. What was formerly large expanses of waterless grassland has been criss-crossed by fences, watered by boreholes, and thickly covered with bush. Because these changes have actually benefited many ungulate species, leading to an increase in their number, the cheetah has benefited as well. The fact that large competing predators such as the lion and spotted hyena have been kept from populating the farms probably also benefits the cheetah by increasing cub survival. 12. Early 1900s. A survey of district magistrates in Southwest Africa in 1926 produced a population estimate of 3,010 cheetahs. While this has low reliability as a number, it indicates that the cheetah was widespread in Namibia at that time, and relatively abundant compared to lions and hyenas. Being an arid- adapted species capable of satisfying its moisture requirements from its prey, the cheetah was able to live in waterless stretches of country where more moisture-dependent predators could not. 13. 1970s. Two estimates of the number of cheetahs put forward in 1975 differed by as much as a factor of four. Norman Myers, conducting a pan-African cheetah survey, estimated the Namibian population at 1,500 with a maximum of 3,000, and feared it was declining under pressure of an international market for live animals. The Department of Nature Conservation (DNC, now the Ministry of Environment and Tourism) carried out a massive farm survey which led to an estimate of 5,000-6,252 cheetahs, and officials considered the cheetah population to be increasing under the prevailing conditions of good rains and abundant graze for its ungulate prey base. However, this population estimate probably included cubs, and should be reduced to 2,500-3,500 to count only adults and sub-adults. 14. 1980s. Conflict between cheetahs and livestock farmers increased, and farmers removed up to 1,000 cheetahs per year in the early 1980s. The DNC carried out a radio telemetry study of farmland cheetahs in one of the conflict hot spots, and researcher Dieter Morsbach, based on the resulting density estimate, put the number of cheetahs in Namibia in the mid-1980s at 2,000-3,000. He believed the population to be declining due to the high level of removals by farmers. 15. 1990s. MET carried out another farm survey in 1992 which produces a population estimate of cheetahs of 4,688. Subtracting for cubs as above reduces this estimate to 2,350. MET research projects in Etosha National Park and former eastern Bushmanland also produced local density estimates. These local estimates were combined with Dieter Morsbach’s to obtain a maximum likely cheetah population in Namibia of 2,905 adult and sub-adult cheetahs. 16. Summary of population estimates. All of the various population estimates have their flaws. A figure between 2,000 to 3,000 adult and sub-adult cheetahs in Namibia is probably appropriate. Factors affecting population viability 17. Cheetah removals. Cheetahs are removed from the population largely by commercial farmers seeking to protect their livestock and game. Most of the cheetahs are killed, but some are kept in captivity or exported live. Some are trophy hunted. According to records from the MET permit office, from 1978-1995 an average of 419 cheetahs were killed each year in defense of livestock, 98 were captured live, and 20 were trophy hunted. Annual removals averaged 533, and altogether over 18 years at least 9,500 cheetahs were removed from the population. In addition, anecdotal reports suggest that cheetah removals in the 1960s and early 1970s ranged from 200 up to 700-800 per year. There has been a very strong male bias in the offtake, with adult and sub-adult males making up to 90% of the total “harvest” in some years. 18. Under-reporting of removals. There are indications that removals have been and still are under- reported to the MET permit office. If only 50-70% of removals are reported, as many as 10,000-15,000 cheetahs could have been killed by livestock owners over the past 20 years. 19. Decreasing trend in cheetah removals. From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, an average of 827 cheetahs were removed annually, declining by a factor of nearly three to 297 cheetahs per year from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. 20. Adequacy of the cheetah’s prey base. An analysis of the farmland cheetah’s prey base was carried out based on game population estimates and cheetah predation rates from the MET research in Etosha National Park. The wild prey base appears adequate to support about 2,000 adult and sub-adult cheetahs. 21. Decreasing trend in cheetah predation on livestock. Livestock appears to comprise a minor but not insignificant component of the farmland cheetah’s diet. Cheetahs could take up to ten head of livestock per farm per year according to farmers surveyed by the Cheetah Conservation Fund, but records of the Department of Veterinary Services (Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development) indicate a much lower level of cheetah predation. Livestock losses to cheetahs have shown a decreasing trend from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. Recommendations 39. Enhancing the economic value of cheetahs. Cheetahs have more cost than value, and are seen as a liability because of their predation on livestock and game. Land owners may be more willing to tolerate the presence of cheetahs on their property if the potential value of the animals mitigates their potential cost. The main economic value of cheetahs is for trophy hunting. Although it is a small industry, it is set up to have wider benefits to cheetah conservation beyond encouraging the tolerance of individual farmers, through the NAPHA Cheetah Compact which allocates a portion of the trophy fee to a fund for cheetah conservation. It is also recommended that MET cooperate with the private sector to increase the tourism value of cheetahs on private land. Training on the use of radio telemetry should be offered to game farmers who want to give tourists an unparalleled opportunity to observe wild cheetahs with a research perspective. Part 1. Introduction to the cheetah and current international and domestic legislation and policy 1.1. Purpose of the Namibian Cheetah Conservation Strategy ... This strategy will also serve to educate other interested parties about the situation of the cheetah in Namibia. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has been requested to allow American hunters to import Namibian cheetah trophies. They suggested that a national conservation strategy for the cheetah in Namibia would help them to evaluate the request by providing information on population viability and management, and by showing that American trophy imports would actually help support cheetah conservation. In addition, a Population and Habitat Viability Analysis evaluated the status and conservation of Namibian cheetahs in Otjiwarango in February 1996. MET can offer this National Cheetah Conservation Strategy as a framework for other organizations and individuals seeking involvement with this species’ conservation.