Alison is currently volunteering at CCF Namibia from the United Kingdom as a working guest. While there, she will be sharing her daily experiences with us so that we can have a first-hand look at what life is like as a CCF volunteer!
‘Today I went out with the scat detection dogs. These dogs have been trained to search out cheetah scat (aka, poo!). When they find any scat they are trained to sit to indicate where it is. These dogs enable us to cover a much wider area than humans could do on foot and their noses are also a lot more accurate than human noses for identification. This was a training exercise on CCF property, which doesn’t actually have many wild cheetahs, ready for the real thing.’
‘The dogs need to keep training to practice for longer expeditions in areas that are more densely populated with wild cheetahs. The cheetah scat is analysed to see where the cheetahs go, what they eat and what food they are losing to their competitors. Because cheetahs have such huge home ranges and are very shy they are not easy to track in a traditional manner.’
‘Genetic analysis of scat is a non-invasive method of obtaining information about cheetahs in the wild – the overall population, demographics, sex ratio and kinship.’
Tune in tomorrow for Alison’s thirteenth day!
To find out how you could volunteer at CCF Namibia, please read our pages on Internships and Working Guests.