For animal conservationist Lauren Pfeiffer (BSc(Hons) ’16), rescuing orphan cheetah cubs and raising endangered African painted dogs is all part of day’s work at Namibia’s Cheetah Conservation Fund.
With a passion for animals and their preservation, Lauren studied a Bachelor of Science (Honours) for high achievers at Flinders University, specialising in Animal Behaviour and Conservation.
‘It was great meeting so many lecturers and fellow students who were also passionate about animal and environmental conservation,’ says Lauren. ‘I was introduced to different aspects of conservation and how research plays a major role when conserving a species.’
Lauren says this is now more important than ever. ‘We are currently at the start of a mass animal extinction and major action needs to be taken now if we want to save the world we live in.’
As Personal Assistant to the Director and Founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Lauren is playing her part to conserve the local animal species from extinction.
‘My knowledge about genetics from my degree has helped me to understand the population bottleneck the cheetah has gone through in the past, and how important it is to maintain genetic diversity when conserving a species,’ says Lauren.
‘At Flinders I developed research skills that now enable me to report and present scientific findings,’ says Lauren. ‘I’m also able to explain the science behind conserving a species to visiting media groups who film documentaries.’
Lauren joined the Cheetah Conservation Fund in the hope of learning animal husbandry skills but along the way she has also learnt about the interaction the cheetah has with its environment, how to deal with human/wildlife conflict and how to monitor predator/prey relationships.
‘The cheetah is Africa’s most endangered big cat, less than 7,500 individuals remain in the wild,’ says Lauren. ‘It’s a great feeling knowing my efforts are actually making a difference.’
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