In partnership with Panthera and APN, the CCI supervises the biannual camera trap monitoring of cheetah and leopard in the Pendjari Complex in Benin to better understand the long-term population dynamics of these two carnivores and help assess species density and spatial distribution (2017-2019-2021).
To date, three camera trap surveys of cheetah and leopard were conducted in the Pendjari Complex (including Pendjari NP and hunting areas) to trial a new approach for surveying cheetah (focused on high points that provide cheetah with viewing opportunities such as termite mounds and gravel pits) and to establish baseline indices of abundance. We combined both cheetah and leopard to provide added value to the surveys, and because we identified illegal trade in spotted cat skins to be a key threat in this landscape.
Based on the unique identification of cheetah individuals, the first two surveys provided density estimates of 0.4 cheetah (± 0.66 SE) per 100 km² in 2017 and 0.32 (± 0.11 SE) per 100km² in 2019 (i.e. no significant change in population density between the two surveys).