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Laurie L. Marker

Laurie L. Marker
Cheetah Conservation Fund

DPhil

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165
Publications
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (165)
Article
Early deprivation of adult influence is known to have long‐lasting effects on social abilities, notably communication skills, as adults play a key role in guiding and regulating the behavior of youngsters, including acoustic repertoire use in species in which vocal production is not learned. Cheetahs grow up alongside their mother for 18 months, th...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid decline of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) throughout their range and long-term studies of captive breeding has increased conservation action for this species including the study of chronic diseases. Gastritis is one of the captive diseases that leads to high mortality presented with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and weight...
Article
Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) are utilized worldwide as a non-lethal strategy to alleviate human-wildlife conflict. However, while studies show their effectiveness, resulting in reductions of livestock loss, there is limited research into the factors that influence individual dog variation. One factor which may be important is the proximity of the...
Article
Large carnivores are frequently released for conservation purposes, but early efforts struggled with inadequate monitoring and reporting, resulting in poor understanding of success. Although managers have improved release practice and monitoring, the use of orphaned, captive-raised large carnivores for release remains controversial because of the p...
Article
Full-text available
Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are classified as “vulnerable” species due to the low numbers persisting in the wild. Gastrointestinal diseases are very common in this species when they are kept in captivity, in particular gastritis. Clinical signs are predominantly characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and anorexia. In this study, we evalua...
Article
African wild dogs (AWDs; Lycaon pictus) are an endangered canid species facing drastic decline throughout their range due to habitat fragmentation and persecution by humans over livestock depredation, resulting in dens destroyed and adult members of packs and pups often being killed. Breeding of captive AWDs is challenging due to high juvenile mort...
Article
Full-text available
Flashing lights can work as an effective visual deterrent to protect livestock in kraals at night against wild carnivores.
Article
Many rangelands worldwide are threatened by human population growth, so there is an urgent need for understanding how we can preserve functional diversity across these systems. The conservation and restoration of mammalian carnivores (order Carnivora) is critical because they impart important trophic cascading effects. Land use practice on rangelan...
Article
Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) are used all over the world to help in carnivore conservation by mitigating human-wildlife conflict. In Namibia, LGDs are used in cheetah conservation to prevent depredation of stock and reduce retaliatory killings. However, behavioral problems in the dogs, such as chasing wildlife and harassing livestock, exist leadi...
Article
People who live in areas with high diversity often do not have access to training opportunities because of the gaps in critical training areas, although a wealth of opportunities are available to conservation practitioners. There is a need to offer cost-effective, strategic, evidence-based, sustainable, equitable, and adaptive capacity-building tra...
Thesis
Cheetahs are on the list of the most endangered feline species of Africa. To have an effective conservation effort it is important to have a global idea of their health, their behaviour, their environment, and their genetic. This multidisciplinary vision is the leitmotiv of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. A lot of African felines have blo...
Article
en Scent-marking sites may facilitate interspecific information gathering and could help to minimise the risk of encounter with interspecific competitors. Recent evidence from South Africa shows that cheetahs avoid dominant predators at scent-marking sites, which may delay or inhibit intraspecific communication in cheetahs. However, little is known...
Article
Double-brooding is an avian breeding strategy where birds produce at least two successful nests in a single season. Double-brooding is seen most frequently in small passerines for which the breeding season is lengthy enough that they can easily fit in multiple nesting attempts. Such a pattern of breeding is therefore less common among large birds w...
Article
Full-text available
Preventing human-wildlife conflict is key to maintaining viable predator populations. In Namibia, over 90% of cheetahs are found outside of protected areas, therefore risk of conflict with farmers is high. Since 1994, the Cheetah Conservation Fund has implemented a programme to prevent livestock depredation using livestock guarding dogs (LGDs). Lon...
Article
Full-text available
Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are a keystone predator of savanna systems in Africa, yet their populations have dramatically declined due to pressures such as human-wildlife conflict, loss of habitat, and most notably the illegal trade in live cheetah cubs as pets. We provide the most extensive dataset relevant to seized and non-intercepted illegal tr...
Article
Livestock depredation has severe socio-economic impacts on local communities. Consequently, carnivores are often persecuted because of actual or perceived threats to livestock. Perceptions of threats are often shaped by underlying socio-cultural values, which make resolving human conflicts with carnivores complex. We conducted questionnaires with l...
Article
OBJECTIVE: To establish a reference interval for glomerular filtration rate (GFR) determined by measuring serum clearance of a single IV dose of inulin in clinically normal cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and compare serum symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) concentration in cheetahs with GFR. ANIMALS: 33 cheetahs housed at 3 institutions. PROCEDURES: A...
Article
Assessing trends in abundance and density of species of conservation concern is vital to inform conservation and management strategies. The remaining population of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) largely exists outside of protected areas, where they are often in conflict with humans. Despite this, the population status and dynamics of cheetah outsid...
Article
The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is listed as a vulnerable species by the International union for the conservation of nature (IUCN), including two critically endangered subspecies, the Saharan cheetah, and the Iranian cheetah, so it is imperative that we understand variation in cheetah morphology to make good decisions regarding the conservation of t...
Chapter
Full-text available
As cheetah populations continue to decline and cheetah habitat becomes increasingly fragmented, the need for cheetah translocation and reintroduction programs becomes stronger. The majority of translocations into free-ranging environments have been into areas with existing cheetah populations, through which valuable knowledge to guide future reintr...
Chapter
Full-text available
The captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) population is an important component in conservation planning. Cheetahs have been recorded in zoos since 1829 in Europe. Since then the global captive population has grown to 1722 in 2014, due to a combination of collection from the wild and increasingly successful captive breeding efforts. Between 1956 and 20...
Chapter
In cheetah, the captive population has historically been beset by multiple degenerative and infectious diseases that have had an impact on cheetah health and breeding programs. In contrast, the free-ranging population has been relatively free of these same diseases. Although research into feline infectious peritonitis mortalities at a few zoos in t...
Chapter
Human livelihoods have shifted from dependency on the lands' natural resources to exploitation of resources through increased human populations and intensive farming. Particularly in rural communities, the link between biodiversity and traditional livelihoods was rooted in cultural values that have now been largely lost. Land-use changes often caus...
Chapter
Cheetahs have unique social and mating systems, as well as hunting techniques. Males are either territory holders defending small territories or floaters roaming in large, overlapping, undefended home ranges. Both spatial tactics are adopted by solitary males or coalitions of males. Females are solitary unless accompanied by offspring. They give bi...
Chapter
Cheetahs rely heavily upon unprotected land for their habitat requirements, so frequently come into conflict with humans because of their potential to predate upon livestock and farmed game. However, the costs imposed by cheetahs vary, and these costs do not always have a clear-cut relationship with the intensity of conflict caused. Here, we descri...
Chapter
Cheetahs are often found outside of state-owned protected areas and require landscape scale management not provided by individual farms. Collaborative ventures between landowners or users have a potential to provide management at the spatial scale intrinsic to the species. And, collaborative networks can fill gaps in the landscape not protected by...
Chapter
It is estimated that, between November 2005 and December 2015, over 1000 cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) have been removed from the wild for the illegal pet trade, or killed for their pelts and other body parts for clothing, ornaments, traditional ceremonies, and folk remedies. The main problem is the smuggling of young cheetah cubs snatched from their...
Chapter
In the course of human history, cheetahs have consistently been a part of human societies in various forms, although their primary role seems to have been as hunting animals. In Africa, they had significant roles in religion, mysticism, and hunting. This was true particularly in northern Africa, where they were highly present in Egyptian culture. I...
Chapter
With only an estimated 7100 free-ranging adult and adolescent individuals left worldwide, the cheetah's (Acinonyx jubatus) survival requires the scaling up of conservation action. This chapter highlights the threats presented in this book and summarizes the actions being undertaken by cheetah conservationists, non-government organizations, and gove...
Chapter
In this chapter we provide an overview of educational programming used across cheetah conservation organizations, and include considerations for designing, implementing, and evaluating such programs for success. Examples are taken directly from existing organizations, and resources and references are provided to assist future practitioners.
Chapter
From allozymes in 1983 to whole genomes in 2015, genetic studies of the cheetah have been extensive. In this chapter we provide an overview of the available literature. Overall, patterns of genetic variation provided evidence of low variability and suggest this loss occurred thousands of years ago. Differences between published subspecies were supp...
Chapter
Mitigating conflict between livestock farmers and cheetahs is key to conserving the species. Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) have been used to reduce livestock losses to carnivores around the world. In Africa, cheetah conservation organizations have introduced purebred Anatolian Shepherds, encouraged the use of local dogs, and have experimented with...
Chapter
Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) populations have dramatically declined due to habitat loss and fragmentation, declining prey base, conflict with livestock and farmed game, and illegal trade. Anthropogenic climate change multiplies all of these threats, increasing risks to future cheetah survival. Rising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations prolong atmosp...
Chapter
Full-text available
Cheetah reproductive physiology is well studied, with extensive research conducted on both ex situ and in situ populations. Cheetahs reproduce throughout the year and maintain a unique social structure, compared to other felids, that is critical to their reproductive success. Free-ranging cheetahs have increased fecundity compared to counterparts h...
Chapter
As wild cheetah populations continue to decline, captive populations in zoological institutions, breeding and conservation centers grow in importance. Though similar in many aspects to other species in the felid family, cheetahs exhibit unique adaptations that can make their captive care more challenging. They are more susceptible to stress induced...
Chapter
Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) populations are subjected to a variety of complex, interacting anthropogenic and natural pressures. Understanding the causes of population decline is essential for being able to develop management strategies aimed at arresting the decline or reversing negative trends. Population Viability Analysis (PVA) uses computer mode...
Chapter
Preservation and protection of land have been common means to achieve species conservation, but could be argued to have limited effectiveness for wide-ranging species, such as the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), that live predominantly outside protected areas (PAs). Some regions outside PAs are reported to have higher cheetah densities than PAs because...
Chapter
The cheetah has experienced a dramatic decline in its distribution, with an adult and adolescent population of 7100 individuals remaining in the wild. Southern and eastern Africa have the largest populations, whereas west, central, and northern Africa have considerably smaller populations as a regional total. In Asia cheetahs are critically endange...
Chapter
Considerable research has been conducted on cheetah ecology. Cheethas can exist in a wide variety of habitats from thick shrub to open grassland, and habitat selection is based on a variety of factors, including visibility, prey density, and avoidance of competitively superior predators. Cheetahs naturally occur at low densities and require a prey...
Chapter
Live capture, tagging, and sampling of free-ranging animals are important means of acquiring health, genetic, and ecological data for wildlife conservation and management. We summarize best-practice procedures for capture, anesthesia, handling, sample collection, and marking of cheetahs. In all capture events involving anesthesia, data collection s...
Chapter
Worldwide, decline in ungulate species abundance has a direct detrimental impact on cooccurring predator species. The objective of this chapter was to assess the conservation status of ungulates in North and West Africa, and the likely consequence for the endangered northwest African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki). Many of the cheetah's prey spec...
Chapter
Built for speed, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is adapted for a running lifestyle. This chapter covers musculoskeletal and thermoregulatory adaptations that contribute in making it the world’s fastest land mammal. It also covers physiological and morphological traits relating to characteristics of the cheetah’s physical appearance, vocalizations,...
Book
Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation reports on the science and conservation of the cheetah. This volume demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of research and conservation efforts to study and protect the cheetah. The book begins with chapters on the evolution, genetics, physiology, ecology and behavior of the species, as well as distribution rep...
Book
Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation reports on the science and conservation of the cheetah, both in situ and ex situ . This volume demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of research and conservation efforts to study and protect the cheetah. The book begins with chapters on the evolution, genetics, physiology, ecology and behavior of the species...
Article
Full-text available
The dwindling wildlife species of our planet have become a cause célèbre for conservation groups, governments and concerned citizens throughout the world. The application of powerful new genetic technologies to surviving populations of threatened mammals has revolutionized our ability to recognize hidden perils that afflict them. We have learned ne...
Article
The tiger (Panthera tigris) is most recognized for its dark stripes against an orange background. Less well known are three other pelage color variants: white, golden and stripeless snow white (Figure 1A).
Article
Multiple anesthesia protocols have been used in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Twenty healthy, captive cheetahs were immobilized with dexmedetomidine (15.8 6 1.9 lg/kg), butorphanol (0.22 6 0.03 mg/kg), and midazolam (0.18 6 0.03 mg/kg) by intramuscular injection. Induction, recumbency, and recovery times were recorded, and physiologic parameters...
Article
Multiple anesthesia protocols have been used in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Twenty healthy, captive cheetahs were immobilized with dexmedetomidine (15.8 ± 1.9 μg/kg), butorphanol (0.22 ± 0.03 mg/kg), and midazolam (0.18 ± 0.03 mg/kg) by intramuscular injection. Induction, recumbency, and recovery times were recorded, and physiologic parameters...
Article
Full-text available
Establishing and maintaining protected areas (PAs) are key tools for biodiversity conservation. However, this approach is insufficient for many species, particularly those that are wide-ranging and sparse. The cheetah Acinonyx jubatus exemplifies such a species and faces extreme challenges to its survival. Here, we show that the global population i...
Article
Establishing and maintaining protected areas (PAs) are key tools for biodiversity conservation. However, this approach is insufficient for many species, particularly those that are wide-ranging and sparse. The cheetah Acinonyx jubatus exemplifies such a species and faces extreme challenges to its survival. Here, we show that the global population i...
Article
Full-text available
Namibian cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are known to use specific trees when choosing sites for scent-marking and these are normally large and visually conspicuous trees, often referred to by Namibian farmers as “playtrees”. The aim of this study was to identify the physical and ecological attributes of known scent-marking trees within a fixed area an...
Article
Full-text available
As a well-studied felid with limited genetic diversity, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) has shaped much of the scientific debate surrounding inbreeding depression. The species survived a population bottleneck ~. 12,000 years ago and was extirpated from >. 75% of its historical range in the last century. Modern cheetahs produce poor-quality semen, a...
Article
Full-text available
Savanna ecosystems are subject to desertification and bush encroachment, which reduce the carrying capacity for wildlife and livestock. Bush thinning is a management approach that can, at least temporarily, restore grasslands and raise the grazing value of the land. In this study we examined the soil microbial communities under bush and grass in Na...
Article
Full-text available
Systemic amyloid A (AA) amyloidosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among captive cheetahs. The self-aggregating AA protein responsible for this disease is a byproduct of serum amyloid A (SAA) protein degradation. Transcriptional induction of the SAA1 gene is dependent on both C/EBPβ and NF-κB cis-acting elements within the promoter reg...
Article
Full-text available
Cheetahs and other apex predators are threatened by human-wildlife conflict and habitat degradation. Bush encroachment creates one of the biggest forms of habitat change, thus it is important to understand the impact this has on habitat use. We investigated habitat preferences of five male cheetahs in Namibian farmlands degraded by bush encroachmen...
Article
Full-text available
Savanna ecosystems are subject to desertification and bush encroachment, which reduce the carrying capacity for wildlife and livestock. Bush thinning is a management approach that can, at least temporarily, restore grasslands and raise the grazing value of the land. In this study we examined the soil microbial communities under bush and grass in Na...
Article
Full-text available
Background Patterns of genetic and genomic variance are informative in inferring population history for human, model species and endangered populations. Results Here the genome sequence of wild-born African cheetahs reveals extreme genomic depletion in SNV incidence, SNV density, SNVs of coding genes, MHC class I and II genes, and mitochondrial DN...
Article
A 9-yr-old male cheetah ( Acinonyx jubatus ) housed at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia developed cutaneous lesions consisting of alopecia, erythema, ulceration, and crusting on the left fore and hind limbs. Histopathology of skin biopsies in conjunction with indirect fluorescent antibody and polymerase chain reaction testing confirmed a di...
Article
Full-text available
Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) conservation is interconnected to social, economic, and environmental factors. Since the 2003 World Parks Congress, cheetah conservation practitioners have been applying human -wildlife conflict resolution strategies throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Future Farmers of Africa training has taught farm management skills to over...
Article
Full-text available
When protected carnivores harm people’s livelihoods, conservationists often seek non-lethal mitigation strategies. Large carnivore translocation is one such strategy but it has shown limited success. Many reported examples used methods that likely contributed to their failure. We conducted six leopard (Panthera pardus) translocations (three males,...
Article
Alpha2-adrenergic agonists are used to immobilize many veterinary species, but use has been infrequently linked to urine contamination of semen collected via electroejaculation. The objective of the study was to compare the α2-agonists medetomidine and dexmedetomidine on urine contamination of semen in anesthetized cheetahs ( Acinonyx jubatus ) dur...
Article
Full-text available
The conflict between predators and livestock farmers is a threat to carnivore conservation. Livestock guarding dogs are promoted as a non-lethal, environmentally friendly method to mitigate this conflict. As part of a farmer–carnivore conflict mitigation programme, the Cheetah Conservation Fund breeds Anatolian shepherd (also known as Kangal) dogs...
Article
Full-text available
Conflicts between wildlife and humans are of global importance and are increasing. These conflicts may negatively impact wildlife, humans, and other resources, primarily livestock. Human safety and economic well-being can be adversely impacted by depredation of livestock and perpetuation of wildlife-borne diseases in agricultural systems. Conversel...
Article
Burrowing animals such as warthog (Phacochoerus africanus), Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) and aardvark (Orycteropus afer) are able to compromise the integrity of fenced-in farmlands by digging holes under game fences. These holes provide access for predators to enter the farm where they can kill livestock or captive game animals. Data c...
Article
Full-text available
Neurological signs like ataxia and hind limb paresis have often been reported in cheetahs (Aci-nonyx jubatus), lions (Panthera leo) and snow leopards (Panthera unica). As a cause, copper and Vitamin A deficiencies have been discussed. Many cases were seen in cheetahs and lions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) within the last years. The aim of this...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Captive cheetahs commonly have gastritis associated with Helicobacter infection that is thought, in part, to be associated with stress responses. The impact of temperament and management on stress responses and gastritis was evaluated by assessing temperament, fecal glucocorticoid metabolites, and gastric biopsies in 36 (18.18) captive cheetahs hou...
Article
Full-text available
Conservancies provide the opportunity for land-occupiers to manage natural resources in a collaborative, sustainable, and profitable manner. Human–wildlife conflict, however, has limited their success due to the financial loss of crops, livestock and game by certain wildlife species. Questionnaires (n = 147) were conducted in five conservancies and...
Article
Full-text available
The success of livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) in mitigating farmer–predator conflict relies on the perceptions of farmers that use them. Purebred LGDs are provided to Namibian farmers by the Cheetah Conservation Fund as a farmer–predator conflict mitigation measure.We examined the perceptions of farmers using 164 of these LGDs by analyzing data col...