Saving Namibia's Cheetahs

Cheetahs, the world's fastest land mammal, were once found throughout Africa and Asia, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Mediterranean and throughout the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.

Yet in just 100 years, numbers in the wild have plummeted from more than 100,000 to around 10,000 today.

In Namibia, the Cheetah Conservation Fund is working to save the mammal and its habitat through education, conservation, public policy, science and research.

Russell Beard travels to Namibia in southwest Africa to see how initiatives such as restoring habitats, rehabilitating and releasing injured cheetahs, and dissuading livestock farmers from shooting the big cats could save this species. 

How it works: Way out Wind 

In the race to harness stronger, steadier winds, wind turbines have moved further out to sea - and now into the sky.

A range of air-borne devices are being developed to turn high altitude breezes into electricity. One design uses free flying kites that can go as high as 800 metres. As the kite is launched and climbs up into the sky, it pulls a rope from a drum on the ground and this motion is used to generate power.

Another system under trial consists of a wing fitted with many small turbines, hundreds of meters up. Wind drives the turbines and electricity is then transmitted down the tether to the ground station and onto the grid.

Whilst it is too soon to say which of these designs will take off, the huge amount of wind power available at high altitudes is certainly a prize worth chasing.

In this  earthrise  animation we explore the pioneering designs that could shape the way we harness the power of wind in the future.

Pangolin Rangers 

A shy, secretive, reptile-like mammal that lives in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains is under threat. Hunted for its scales which are used for medicine, the native Sunda pangolin has now been placed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's endangered list, with serious concerns about its future.

However, an innovative community-based conservation programme run by Conservation International is helping to not only safeguard this rare scaly mammal, but also combat logging and other forms of deforestation in the region.

From extensive anti-poaching patrols to financing agricultural equipment to give locals an alternative livelihood, the programme is already showing signs of success.

Nidhi Dutt travels to Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains to join rangers as they combat poaching and to witness the release of a pangolin back into the wild.

Source: Al Jazeera