Vincent is a Conservation Biologist fighting for a healthy African cheetah population by single-handedly running the only cheetah metapopulation project with growing numbers.
Vincent can do more transportations of cheetahs between different protected reserves to introduce new healthy genes in populations across Africa.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Vincent van der Merwe
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Cheetahs have been wiped out from 91% of their historical range. Because of a destruction of the landscape, the cheetah populations have become small and fragmented, but they have also been heavily targeted for the illegal pet trade. The small groups of cheetahs spread out across Africa are now threatened by inbreeding, affecting the health and strength of their genes.
Vincent is the Cheetah Metapopulation Coordinator for Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Carnivore Conservation Program.
Relocates cheetahs between fenced reserves to prevent inbreeding.
Ensures healthy future genetics for African cheetah populations.
Vincent runs the only cheetah project with growing numbers.
Successfully reintroduced cheetah into Malawi, a country where they went extinct in the late 1980s.
Grown South Africa’s cheetah population (outside the Kruger and Kalahari) from 2017 cheetahs on 41 reserves to 357 cheetahs on 57 reserves.
Reduced incidences of inbreeding from 42% of reserves in 2011, to 11% of reserves in 2019.
Reduced the number of wild cheetah lost to captivity from eleven per year in 2011 to zero since 2013.
Vincent and the Endangered Wildlife Trust are on a mission to protect wildlife and habitats with a vision of a world where both humans and wildlife prosper in harmony with nature.