VULNERABLE

Cheetahs: South African Treasure in Trouble

Cheetah Lying Down, South AfricaHoward and Devon Buffett inhabit many worlds across Africa, but their Jubatus Cheetah Reserve north of Johannesburg is symbolic of this remarkable couple’s commitment to both conservation and the enormously challenging human component. Howard says, if you don’t solve the poverty, hunger and water crises, you’re never going to solve the problem of disappearing wildlife. The cheetah is one of those iconic African species in trouble. Fewer than 15,000 survive with only 200 living in the wild in South Africa. A species known to have existed throughout much of the world for five-and-a-half million years, the cheetah’s future is likely to be cut short because of human ignorance, the destruction of the animal outright and/or its habitat. Amid this tumult of habitat fragmentation, Jubatus represents a 12,400-acre microcosm of precious biodiversity and the good will: the informed and tenacious vision the Buffetts’ and their team of dedicated conservationists who work daily with two cheetahs in particular, Peter and Howie, have exemplified. They may help scientists understand what it will take to save cheetahs for future generations. And the methods used to provide an oasis for these two gorgeous creatures: translocations, research into genetic corridors, breeding behavior and ecology – may prove applicable to other big cats in trouble throughout the world.

For more information:

> Howard Graham Buffet bio