By Shannon Lane @Shannonroselane

A CONSERVATION group has created a ‘cheetah school’ to inform the villages of Botswana about the declining species

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The conservation advise farmers on the different markings of large cats

Over the past century, the world’s cheetah population has declined by 90 per cent and less than 7000 currently exist in Africa - with one of the highest remaining cheetah populations in Botswana, South Africa.

However, these cheetahs live outside protected areas, in farmland regions where they come into conflict with people.

The cheetahs are affecting local people and their livestock

The remaining cheetah population is under significant threat from lethal persecution by farmers concerned about the welfare of their livestock, and one conservation group is hoping to create peace between man and beast.

Cheetah Conservation Botswana (or CCB) is a multidisciplinary organisation that combines scientific research, community engagement and education programs to help ensure a future for cheetahs in Botswana and around the world.

Doug Gimesy visited the area to see how the conservation help locals and cheetahs

CCB works with communities to promote coexistence and improve perceptions of cheetahs as a threat to their livelihoods, to sensitise them to the role of carnivore species in the ecosystem and assist farmers with livestock protection.

This is achieved through support visits, training workshops, a livestock guarding dog program, farmers networks and direct community engagement.

Cheetah populations are on a steep decline

Wildlife photographer Doug Gimesy visited the Kalahari desert, Botswana to witness and document Cheetah Conservation Botswana's workshops.

Not only do the conservation engage with farmers, but also visit local schools and educational institutions to raise awareness amongst children, and encourage a feeling of national pride for the cheetah and other wildlife in Botswana.

Less than 7000 cheetahs exist in Africa

In groundbreaking research, Cheetah Conservation Botswana have also successfully trained local Tswana dogs as livestock guarding dogs, and provide training support and free veterinary care to farmers who use them in the Kalahari region of Botswana.

The conservation promotes coexistence and improving perceptions of cheetahs

The conservation group hope that partnering with communities and the government will ensure a more sustainable future for people living with carnivores.