Cheetah cubs the Masai Mara - the last cheetahs in Kenya?
Cheetahs and the Maasai Mara hold a special place for me and this reflected in my pictures and my books. Cheetahs are officially listed as a vulnerable species, and their numbers are on the decline. I am were therefore very excited to hear about the new Maasai Mara Cheetah Project launched by the Kenya Wildlife Trust http://kenyawildlifetrust.org
He faced out, that the Masai Mara reserve has had one of the most stabile cheetah populations in Kenya with more than 60 individuals over the last decades, but now, they have an dramatically decline down to only 25 individuals. And in Masai Mara National reserve, no cheetah cub has survived over last two years. The Kenya Wildlife Trust’s Mara Cheetah Project aims to determine the status of Cheetah in the Mara and identify the major threats to the current population. This study will have important implications for cheetah conservation both in Kenya and in the rest of Africa and will be the foundation for a long-term research project of the highest calibre.
The cubs that survive start following their mother at around 6 weeks. They practice hunting though play with each other. After a year and a half, their mother leaves them to breed again. The cubs stay together until the females reach sexual maturity at around two years. At that point, other male cheetahs chase the male cubs off. But the male offspring often stay together for life, forming a group called a coalition. Coalitions are beneficial because they help male cheetahs gain territory.
These photos were made possible only with special permission, thanks my good friend James Sindiyo. Because, unfortunately, more and more tourists disturb the animals in the Masai Mara just because of the photos. Of the three babies, unfortunately, has survived only one babies .... well that's unfortunately the nature. I'm very proud of this family have watched so closely, and thus to show you these unique pictures to.
As animals built for speed, cheetahs have weak jaws and small teeth and are unable defend their young against lions, hyenas, jackals, birds of prey, and other predators. The cheetah may be a predator, but it is also preyed upon. A recent studies in Kenya and the Serengeti park in Tanzania show that 90 per cent of cubs die before reaching the age of three months. So a mother cheetah's maternal role is critical to the survival of the species, which has been considered endangered since the Sixties.
The global cheetah population is rapidly dwindling and with less than 10 000 individuals left in the wild, cheetahs are vulnerable to extinction. Unfortunately the remaining populations will continue to decline unless something is done. To save the last cheetahs in Masai Mara please support "Maasai Mara Cheetah Project", Femke Broekhuis and Nelson Ole Keiwua by Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MaraCheetahProject.
@ by Uwe Skrzypczak - www.serengeti-wildlife.com
Check out my website for a listing of my 2015 AFRICAN BIG CAT PHOTO WORKSHOPS in the Masai Mara. Do not wait too long, my AFRICAN WILDLIFE PHOTO WORKSHOPS are up very quickly!