Home range use of free-ranging cheetah on farm and conservation land in Botswana

22 July 2009

Cheetah ( Acinonyx jubatus) movements should be considered when developing management strategies for long-term survival and coexistence with humans. Although work has been done in Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania little data on the home range and territory size of cheetah in Botswana has been published. This study aimed to estimate male and female home range sizes and daily movement on farmland and a game reserve in Botswana. Cheetahs were monitored from October 2003 to April 2007. The cheetah were fitted with cell/GPS or VHF collars and released back into their home range. Single male home ranges were 494 km2 and 663 km2 and a coalition of two males had a home range of 849 km2 (fixed kernel method). The females’ home ranges were 241 km2 and 306 km2 (fixed kernel method). Females travelled a mean distance of 2.16 ± 0.07 km/day (range; 0–20 km/day) compared to 6.13 ± 0.30 km/day (range; 0–39 km/day) in males. Female maximum daily travel increased from 4.17 km/day when cubs where in the den to 8.16 km/day when cubs had left the den.