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Abstract or Description

Human influence has caused cheetah and elephant populations to become endangered, resulting in an essential demand to help conserve these African species. Scientific research has suggested that elephants favor savanna woodland and sand forest vegetation, and adjust their movement in order to avoid human interactions or unexplored areas (Druce, 2008). Elephants are threatened by habitat loss, hunting by farmers, and overexploitation through the ivory trade (Bagheera, 2012). Elephants are keystone species in their ecosystems, making them important targets for conservation efforts. Cheetahs are threatened by habitat loss, hunting by farmers, and prey decline (CCF, 2012). Cheetahs are predators in their ecosystems, also making them important species to protect (Bagheera, 2012). In order to maintain these species’ populations, scientists are promoting education of the problem, habitat protection, and scientific data collection to fully understand their behavior (CCF, 2012).

The goal of this study was to better understand the location of cheetah and elephant populations on the Hlambanyathi Game Reserve, South Africa. Experts from the reserve have monitored two cheetah groups called “SC and Cubs” and “Kal,” along with the total population of elephants present. Once spotted, the scientists record the GPS coordinates of the animals.

About the Author

Ellie Linden is a sophomore double majoring in biology and environmental studies: science with a focus in conservation biology. Ellie is from Andover, Connecticut and is also a member of the Colby Women’s Volleyball team.

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