What do you need to know about Ajubatus Foundation?
Established in 1992, the Ajubatus Foundation epitomizes the freedom of spirit, grace and dynamism of conservation initiatives and has grown into a highly influential initiative which is at the core of all our activities.
Our founding principles and ethics are based on the Preservation and Promotion of our Wilderness Heritage and we are committed to the conservation of iconic African wildlife species under threat from human activities – cheetah, lion and most recently, rhinoceros.
The Ajubatus concept of providing specialist research into endangered species was first mooted in the mid 1990′s with initial emphasis being placed on the cheetah-Acinonyx jubatus, from which the name Ajubatus has been taken. The fastest land mammal on earth and heralded for its grace and elegance, there is a growing concern that this animal might, in time face extinction both through loss of habitat and predator competition.
In late 2006, the Ajubatus Foundation identified a need for research on the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus), populations along the southern and western seaboard of the Cape Province had collapsed and the penguin population was in quite a perilous state. Through a dynamic and far reaching approach, funding was provided for the takeover of the Sea Point Lighthouse in Cape St. Francis and the development of a Marine Bird Hospital and Rehabilitation facility. Not content with the establishment of the Marine Bird Facility, the Foundation adapted one of the lighthouse residences into a coffee shop and restaurant and facilitated local community support through monthly events.
Subsequent to the African Penguin initiative, Ajubatus facilitated research on the cheetah in private game reserves bordering the Kruger National Park. Objectives of this research were to understand the population composition, movement patterns and genetic variability of the highly endangered cheetah.
2010 was not only a landmark year for South Africa as a country, but for Ajubatus it heralded the initiation of a vitally important project aimed at understanding the influence of Bovine Tuberculosis on the lion population of the Kruger National Park. Collaring of sample animals in a series of prides, regular monitoring of their movements, behaviour and interactions with other lions and carnivores in general is helping researchers to understand the dynamic impact of this disease on Kruger’s top predatory species. This is a long term project which will be running till at least 2015 providing opportunities for research, the involvement of graduate students and ultimately assisting with the conservation of lions in the Kruger National Park.
The plight of the rhinoceros is the new challenge which Ajubatus is tackling head-on. To develop an effective protection strategy for these animals, particularly in the Kruger National Park where rhino deaths due to poaching are high, it is necessary to first understand the ecology of this species in that environment. Ajubatus and its sponsors are developing the technology and providing state-of-the-art rhino tracking equipment to the researchers in Kruger.