Guardians of the Spotted Ghost: An In-Depth Discussion on Cheetah Conservation in India

This program was not recorded, or the recording has not been made public.

More than 75 years ago, cheetahs thrived in India but were subsequently eradicated due to hunting and other factors. Starting 12 years ago, Dr. Laurie Marker, the executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), began collaborating with the government of India and its scientists to reintroduce cheetahs to the landscape.


In September 2022, this effort reached a significant milestone when the Namibian government delivered eight wild cheetahs to India. These iconic, spotted big cats made history by arriving on a specially outfitted 747 aircraft. This is just the beginning of a larger, multi-year agreement to help conserve the species through India’s Project Cheetah.


A popular species around the world, many people are surprised to learn cheetahs are in peril. One of the oldest of the big cat species, with ancestors tracing back about 8.5 million years, cheetahs were once widely dispersed throughout Asia and Africa in great numbers. Today, they occupy less than nine percent of their historic range, with fewer than 7500 individuals remaining in the wild.


Co-founder of Infinite Safari Foundation and board member of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Alan Feldstein will discuss Project Cheetah, its logistics, and its crucial role in the survival of this incredible species.


Adventurers Club member (#1094), Alan is a “recovering” lawyer who traveled to Tanzania in 2000.  It changed his life and he has not looked back. In 2005 he summited Mt. Kilimanjaro and then tracked chimps in the Mahale Mountains.  It was there he met his future East African Ground Partner who shared a love of kayaking.  In 2008 he took his children to Africa and on that trip became one of the first people to kayak off the coast of Tanzania.  It was there and then that he decided to leave the practice of law and share his passion for Africa and adventure to create Infinite Safari Adventures.  His company creates unique custom itineraries for its clients in 12 different countries throughout Eastern and Southern Africa. In addition to being a member of ACLA, Alan is also a member of the Explorers Club. He sits on the boards of the Cheetah Conservation Fund and The Bird School Project. He is also the co-founder of the Infinite Safari Foundation whose mission is supporting conservation, education, and humanitarian initiatives in Africa.  Alan is also an avid nature photographer, whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Wavelength Magazine, and the calendar. He is the author of The Best African Safari – Tips from an Obsessive Planner a definitive guide to help people plan their best safari.


This program was organized by Alan Feldstein #1094.