Field Research and Conservation in Africa
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ACK Congratulates Elena
Dr. Elena Elena Chelysheva, Russian zoologist, received affiliation with KWS and her three year research permit from the Ministry of Education to conduct her long-term research. In 2012, Elena will head the Kenya “Meru-Mara Cheetah Project” aims to evaluate Cheetah population status in regions with different types of anthropogenic influence (Masai Mara National Reserve versus Meru Conservation Area). Elena will work with other carnivore programmes in the two regions to identify cheetahs and conduct survey of social structure.
Elena has a broad knowledge of captive and wild cheetah ecology and behavior – over 25 years of experience. She is a former Carnivore Department supervisor of the Moscow Zoo Conservation Center (Russia) and worked with in other institutions including: Moscow zoo (Russia), private zoo (UAE), Gilman Foundation White Oak Conservation Centre (USA). In 1999-2000 Elena worked as a full time volunteer at Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia.
In 2001-2002 she worked with KWS in the Masai-Mara National Reserve and developed a method of cheetah identification that enabled the project to identify all cheetahs photographed in the study area based on tail, shoulder and hip patterns.
In 2008 Elena obtained her PhD from Russian State Agrarian Correspondence University after completing thesis on cheetah conservation and social behavior of captive cheetahs and implications of social structure of wild cheetahs. Studying captive cheetah behavior Elena discovered that cheetah females can form alliances similar to coalitions of males. She has received several reports of female coalitions in Botswana and in Kenya, and will focus on social structure as she spends the next three years in Kenya. Starting in March 2012 – her project, the Kenya Meru-Mara Cheetah Project aims to evaluate Cheetah population status in regions with different types of anthropogenic influence (Masai Mara National Reserve versus Meru Conservation Area).
Elena has great enthusiasm for cheetahs. In addition to being a thorough researcher, she is also a talented artist. Look for items drawn by Elena on herweb site soon, and help support her work thorough making a purchase. The photo of the two pieces of are are from 2011 (plate painted with image of Nataanywe) and from 2000 (pastel drawn in Namibia). We welcome her as an affiliate researcher in Kenya. Through collaboration we welcome Elena’s passion for cheetahs into our team!!!
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