Nature & Environment
The cheetah is now at risk of going extinct
By T.K. Randall
December 27, 2016 · 47 comments
Cheetahs have been declining in numbers for years. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Malene Thyssen
Conservationists have warned that the world's fastest land animal is on the verge of being wiped out.
There have been calls to update the iconic feline's status from "vulnerable" to "endangered" after it emerged that there are now only 7,100 individuals remaining on the entire planet - that's a decline of up to 85% in some areas with cheetahs occupying a mere 9% of the territory they once lived in.
The worrying figures were revealed following an investigation led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
"This study represents the most comprehensive analysis of cheetah status to date," said Dr Sarah Durant. "Given the secretive nature of this elusive cat, it has been difficult to gather hard information on the species, leading to its plight being overlooked."
"Our findings show that the large space requirements for cheetah, coupled with the complex range of threats faced by the species in the wild, mean that it is likely to be much more vulnerable to extinction than was previously thought."
Source: The Guardian
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