SME Charity Challenge
To celebrate International Cheetah Day on 4th December, CCF UK is calling for SMEs to sign up to its Charity Challenge. However you choose to take part, all funds raised will go directly towards saving the unique and majestic cheetah from extinction. In the lead up to Christmas, donations (up to £1,000 per organisation) will also be matched by a generous Work for Good donor. By working together, we can help save a species – what an amazing concept.
Why? Human-wildlife conflict, habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade continue to push wild cheetah populations to the edge of extinction. The cheetah population has decreased by 92% in the last 100 years and there are now just 7,100 cheetahs left in the wild, occupying less than 10% of their historic range.
As 90% of wild cheetahs live outside protected areas, this puts them in closer contact with humans, which exacerbates conflict and makes them easier targets for poaching. Each year, an estimated 300 cheetahs are poached and smuggled to be sold in the illegal pet trade and 80% die before they reach the Middle East. For a species with low populations numbers to begin with, losses to trafficking threaten the cheetah’s very existence. CCF has the capability to save the cheetah for good but we can’t do it alone.
*Join our fight to save the cheetah. *As well as making a contribution towards CCF's conservation goals, company giving can also provide huge benefits for businesses including enhanced company reputation, motivated employees and an increase in profits.
There are many ways your company and employees can get involved in the challenge, including *giving through sales. *The cheetah’s unique markings make it one of the most distinctive creatures on the planet. As part of the SME Charity Challenge, why don’t you consider donating a % of profits from the sale of one of your most unique products? Alternatively, you could:
• Give when you succeed and make a donation when you have secured a new client.
• Give a day by donating 100% of one day’s earnings.
• Give alongside your employees and provide match-funding.
• Give a gift in kind and donate vital equipment to support work in the field.
You can also use the challenge as a way to engage and inspire your teams.
Record breaker challenge: The cheetah is the fastest land animal, reaching speeds of 70km/hr. Why not challenge your employees to see who can break the daily sales record, who can close the most deals, who can generate the biggest profit – and more –all in aid of saving the cheetah!
Office quiz: The cheetah is an apex predator, top of the food chain, and without it there would be serious repercussions that would affect all species in their ecosystem - including humans. Why not organise an quiz to see who comes out on top in your office.
*Sponsor a cheetah: *CCF cares for a number of orphaned or injured cheetahs that can’t be released back into the wild as they do not have the skills or capability to survive. Sponsor a cheetah and help to cover annual care costs.
Africa Geographic: Social media’s role in advertising illegal wildlife trade, including cheetah trafficking
An analysis of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) research establishes that dozens of cheetahs are being advertised for sale each year via popular social media platforms. Further, it infers the Internet’s role in driving the trade of cheetahs is prominent, and engaging social media companies should be part of any solution. The analysis, which covers the period between January 2012 and June 2018, aims to determine the extent to which illegal cheetah trade exists online and to document the most relevant threats.
Cheetahs are listed under Appendix I of the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). This means trade in wild-born cheetahs is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. However, CCF data analysis shows that 1,367 documented cheetahs were offered for sale through 906 adverts, which is approximately one-fifth (20%) of the world’s remaining wild cheetah population. Cheetahs are on a swift decline, dropping from an estimated 100,000 individuals a century ago to fewer than 7,500 today.
The most utilised platforms are Instagram, 4Sale (a mobile app) and YouTube, comprising fifteen countries. However, the Gulf Cooperation Council accounted for over 90% of the adverts, with Saudi Arabia totalling more than 60% of those. The analysis focused on the three top sellers, all of whom are based in Saudi Arabia and posted 20% of all adverts. Of these sellers, one alone accounted for 12% of all adverts analysed and was found to offer multiple species that include lions, tigers, jaguars, wolves, gibbons and chimpanzee.
“The illegal trade in live cheetahs impacts the smaller, fragmented populations in East Africa most. Mitigating the threat requires a concerted effort by governments to not only to confiscate the animals, but to embark on a major awareness campaigns to reduce demand for endangered species as pets”, said Dr Laurie Marker, CCF Founder and Executive Director. “Already vulnerable cheetah populations, particularly those in Ethiopia and Somalia, are at risk of local extinction because of poaching for the illegal pet trade”.
CCF estimates put the number of smuggled cheetahs out of East Africa at 300 per year. Many more die before being shipped to the Middle East.
“CCF maintains a ‘safe house’ in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, where a team of animal keepers are caring for eleven confiscated cheetahs. Eight were confiscated within a three-week period, and two were just three-weeks-old when intercepted. One of the youngest died a few days after confiscation”, said Patricia Tricorache, CCF’s Assistant Director of Illegal Wildlife Trade.
CCF has been working to counter poaching and trafficking since 2005. Since 2011, CCF has assisted the Somaliland government with the surrender or confiscation of 50 cheetahs. On 28 August, a landmark victory was achieved in Somaliland courts when two subjects charged with wildlife trafficking were sentenced to three years in prison and fined $300 USD and their vehicle seized – the first conviction for illegal cheetah trade in Somaliland.
Call to End Cheetah Poaching and Cheetah Trafficking
HARGEISA, Somaliland (7 Sept. 2018) – Dr Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), issued the following statement today from her hotel room in Hargeisa, where she is providing around-the-clock care for a severely malnourished and dehydrated cheetah cub. Along with its sibling, the cub was stolen from its mother in a remote region of the country and held by villagers in retaliation for livestock predation. In addition, Dr Marker is monitoring the health of six cheetah cubs intercepted from smugglers on 5 August near the port city of Berbera. The cubs range between three and seven months of age and are being housed in a temporary shelter. All are in poor health. Working in collaboration with Somaliland’s Ministry of Environment and Rural Development, Dr Marker travelled from Namibia to provide emergency veterinary care for the animals.
“Cheetah poaching and cheetah trafficking in East Africa must be stopped, and it must end today. The wild cheetah populations in Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Kenya are already decimated, and the species is at risk for local extinction. Like most remaining populations in Africa, cheetahs in East Africa already face multiple threats, including human-wildlife conflict, loss of habitat and loss of prey base, fragmentation, and lack of genetic diversity. Taking individuals from the wild, whether in retaliation for predation or to eliminate a perceived threat, or to traffic in the illegal pet trade in the Middle East, will only lead to the species demise. Taking baby animals from their mothers when they are only weeks old is also just unbelievably cruel. It is heart-breaking to hold a tiny, helpless animal as it struggles for its last breath. I know, because this happened to me this week when one of the cubs died despite my repeated attempts to resuscitate it. I even called in a human doctor with oxygen, but our efforts were in vain. Cubs this young are extremely delicate, and we do not know how long they were deprived of food and water. Despite the odds being stacked against it, we will continue to fight for the second cub’s life. And we will continue to help our partners in Somaliland address the scourge of cheetah poaching and cheetah trafficking until eliminated”.
CCF has been working to counter poaching and trafficking since 2005. In 2011, CCF began building a network in Somaliland and establishing working relationships with local government authorities. Since then, CCF has assisted with the confiscation, care and placement of 49 cheetahs. On 28 August, a landmark victory was achieved in Somaliland courts when two subjects charged with wildlife trafficking were sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of U.S.$300 – the first conviction for illegal cheetah trade in Somaliland.