Status of the cheetah in Tanzania in the mid 1990's
This paper presents the results of a field interview survey and a literature review of the status of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in Tanzania. The survey was conducted between September 1993 and May 1994. The presence of cheetahs was documented in 30 areas (seven national parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, six game reserves, 13 game controlled areas, and 3 open areas), where a minimum of 366 cheetahs was estimated based on the sightings collected. In each of the 30 areas, cheetah status was evaluated in terms of distribution, frequency of observation, relative abundance, perceived trends in total numbers, and, where possible, minimum density estimates. The densities estimated, ranging from 1 cheetah per 40 km2 to 1/925 km2, were lower than the average density in Africa. Estimators of abundance, frequency of observations, and trends tended to indicate a better cheetah status in the northern acacia savannas than in the southern miombo savannas. Family groups and large groups of adults where common in the north, while sightings of lone adults predominated in the south. Recommendations for the conservation of cheetahs in Tanzania include: starting a nationwide monitoring of populations using this study as a blueprint and its results as a baseline; maintaining spatial connections between currently established cheetah populations; and favouring semi-nomadic pastoralism over farming and intensive ranching on rangelands.
Journal of East African Natural History Vol. 89 (1&2) 2000: pp. 85-100