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Terms of use & usage of information

This page states the terms of use for visitors of the Kalahari-meerkats.com website, Friends of the Kalahari Meerkat Project, and gives information about copyright and information usage.




Terms of Use

By submitting your membership application to become a Friend of the Kalahari Meerkat Project (FKMP), you agree to the following terms.

  1. Validity: Your membership is valid for one year starting with the date your Friends login is created, and for the group(s) you have chosen. To extend the membership for another year, the fee is due again. You can choose additional groups anytime. If you decide to subscribe to additional groups  ("upgrade your membership") within one month after the initial activation of your membership, you will just pay the difference between the initial and the new level. Later membership upgrades are calculated on a pro rata temporis basis.
  2. Information rights/copyright: As a Friend of the Kalahari Meerkat Project, you will gain access to a wealth of research data that is not available to the public. The kalahari-meerkats.com website and the information provided to Friends contain content (e.g. text, photographic and graphic images, sound, and video samples, and other protected material) which is derived in whole or in part from material supplied by the Kalahari Meerkat Project (KMP), and is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. It is for your personal, noncommercial use, and you may not modify, copy, sell, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, or license any content from this site, to other individuals, groups or publicly (e.g. on the Worldwide Web, in discussion forums, or on Wikipedia) during the membership, or after the membership was terminated or not renewed. The KMP and FKMP retain the ownership and copyright to this private and privileged information, and share it in an honour system with the member. The data reserved for Friends may be discussed in the FKMP forum.
  3. Termination of membership: The FKMP reserves the right to immediately terminate a membership if the member publicly damages the interests or reputation of the FKMP or the KMP, or if a violation or infringement of the copyright as stated in point 2 is detected. In such a case, the membership, and the associated rights, are canceled by the FKMP without appeal, or refund of the membership fee.
  4. Types of information: It is at the sole discretion of the KMP and the FKMP to decide what information is shared. Especially information on current research cannot be made available due to conflicts with scientific publication practice. The information is presented for an audience interested in meerkats, with an interest in or affinity to scientific research. The presentation strives to remain neutral in language, but the facts presented may contain data that are not suitable for all audiences, including e.g. death, or violence between meerkats. The FKMP or KMP cannot be held liable for any negative consequence arising from the use, or inability to use, the material provided to Friends, or on this website. You can see a sample of the content provided here. If you are dissatisfied with any material, or with any of the FKMP's terms and conditions, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using or visiting the kalahari-meerkats.com website, and unsubscribe from information the FKMP provides via email. Dissatisfaction with the content provided explicitly does not entitle a refund of the membership fee.
  5. Scientific independence: The KMP alone decides on the direction and methods of scientific research performed with the meerkat groups. The FKMP or its members have no influence on the operation and strategy of the KMP.
  6. Changes occurring in groups: By supporting the KMP's research, you may receive information about an established meerkat group living in its natural environment. Your group can experience changes, or splits to form new groups. If the group is last seen, e.g. if it is taken by a disease, or disappears for other reasons, you may choose another group and will retain your rights as a Friend of the Kalahari Meerkat Project, and will receive further periodic information. The membership fee is not refundable however. If a Friends package contains more than one group, the possibility to choose a replacement group becomes available only if all groups in the respective Friends package are last seen. It is also possible to subscribe to lost groups to receive information about them. 
  7. Accounting: The KMP or independent researchers at the KMP will use the funds contributed by Friends or other sources for project-related expenses. The KMP or the grant recipient are responsible to account for the usage of funds contributed by memberships. A statement of funds usage can be obtained on request from the FKMP, after the end of the fiscal year (31st October).
  8. Payment: Contributions like membership fees or Friends visit fees are fixed in British Pound, and may vary in US Dollars, depending on the exchange rate. The FKMP can change fees without prior notice, but paid fees of present members are not affected. Membership fees are not refundable.
  9. Communication by Friends or website users, data protection: Communications to the FKMP, or in the FKMP forum, are public and not private. The content of these communications by yourself and others are not to be considered an endorsement by the FKMP, and shall not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by the FKMP or KMP. Your communication in the forum, or via email to the FKMP or KMP, shall remain the property of the FKMP, and can be used for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, without compensation to the author or provider. The FKMP complies to privacy protection laws for any data that are shared by email or other personal communication to the FKMP, and will not share your personal data with any third party other than the KMP. If you choose to share your personal data in the forum, you do so at your own risk and liability.
  10. Modifications: These Terms of Use may be modified by the FKMP at any time and will be binding at the time of implementation. Members have the responsibility of reviewing the Web sites' terms and conditions.

Usage of information and other content

This section gives details about the usage of information and content found on kalahari-meerkats.com.


Public information that can be discussed anywhere, by anyone

Examples of things that may be discussed are:

  • Anything that is stated in the public Life History charts to be found under Life History - Current Report (e.g. pregnancies, deaths, rovings, dominants etc.)
  • The name lists that can be found under Life History - Naming
  • Information mentioned inte FAQ on individual meerkats.
  • Information made public by the FKMP team (Pronker or Evi).

An example: It is mentioned in the public Life History report chart that the Whiskers males emigrated to Lazuli, and that Wollow became dominant at the Lazuli. More information on this event is not available for the public however.

Private information that may only be discussed by Friends, and only in the Friends burrow

All information that can only be accessed by logging in is private information and may not leave the Friends Burrow. Such private information is mainly found in the Friends Burrow section of the FKMP website. Furthermore, several of the visitor diaries in the Friends visit - Visitor's reports section are marked as "Friends only" and are thus also private information.

Things that are considered private information, for example, are:

  • Information in the Chronologies, Name lists and Family Trees you receive when becoming a Friend.
  • Information in the detailed life history reports (e.g. the cause of death of a meerkat, the events surrounding a dominance change, the chronology of events within a month)
  • Information in the Meerkat Profiles
  • Information in the "General information" section, like top 10 rovers, oldest meerkats etc.
  • Information in the "Backstage Meerkat Manor" section, like role call, episode summaries.
  • Any other information about individuals or groups discussed in the Friends Meetingplace, including background information posted there by the FKMP team (Pronker or Evi).

The copyright rules for pictures and movies

The following rules may guide you regarding usage of pictures, movies and other multimedia content found anywhere on kalahari-meerkats.com:

  • You may download pictures from the public website sections and the FKMP gallery, and use them for your own personal, non-commercial use. This means you can use them as your computer wallpaper, print them and put them on your wall etc.
  • You may not use them for commercial purposes, i.e. as illustration in a newspaper article, a book etc. or on any item that you sell or trade.
  • We are aware that a lot of personal websites have sprung up that use pictures copied from our website. This is accepted for websites (e.g. discussion forums) created by individuals for non-commercial use, as long as you include a reference to the FKMP website as the source of the pictures.
  • Organisations (both commercial and non-commercial) have to have our explicit permission to use content from kalahari-meerkats.com, for each content item used.
  • Special rules apply if you want to use meerkat pictures for educational reasons (at school, in a museum). Please contact us in case you want to do this.
  • Pictures that are found in the Friends-only sections of kalahari-meerkats.com (e.g. in the Friends packages, Friends burrow, or in visitor galleries marked as Friends-only) may not be shared with anyone, nor used on any websites.


Please contact us via email (friends @ kalahari-meerkats.com - omit the spaces) in case you have questions to these rules, or wish to obtain our permission for the use of content from Kalahari-meerkats.com.


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