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Natural World

The cheetah is now at risk of going extinct

December 27, 2016 | Comment icon 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 | Comments (47)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #38 Posted by johnnydanger 6 years ago
Shame the human race aren't advanced enough to let nature be and stop killing everything.
Comment icon #39 Posted by DarkHunter 6 years ago
Humans are not killing off cheetahs in numbers large enough to be the cause of them going extinct.  Approximately 95% of cheetah cubs born in the wild die within three to six months due to a mixture of predators, like lions and hyenas, and genetic issues.  You can not reasonably expect an animal with a 95% infant mortality rate to survive when the litter size is only between 3 to 5 cubs and a gestation period of 3 months.  Add in that cubs stay with the mother for 15 to 24 months and female cheetahs won't breed till either all of her cubs are dead or left on their own and you have a species th... [More]
Comment icon #40 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
Thanks for chiming in without having read one word of this thread and the real shame is an education system and culture that teaches their kids to hate the human race and blame it for every possible problem on this massive planet.  
Comment icon #41 Posted by Parsec 6 years ago
Fair enough.  I wonder if you'll remember your own words next time you'll need a doctor. 
Comment icon #42 Posted by johnnydanger 6 years ago
No worries. Now Google cheetah hunting and tell me we don't contribute to the issue. You are what is known as a bell end 
Comment icon #43 Posted by Ryu 6 years ago
Well..I will probably be blasted for this but..oh well. I kind of agree with Monk in that we cannot go around trying to save every lost cause around us considering we can't even solve our own problems to begin with. Cheetahs are going extinct for a variety of reason; the declining gene pool is one of them. They are being shoved aside by other predators like lions and while habitat loss is a situation created by humans, I really do not see the utility in saving cheetahs. Other creatures have gone extinct in the last few hundred years and I certainly did not see our planet plunge into chaos or s... [More]
Comment icon #44 Posted by DarkHunter 6 years ago
I did google search cheetah hunting, cheetah poaching, how many cheetahs due people kill each year, and a few other variations of that simple question and all I got was largely the same results over and over again which were that cheetahs are going extinct and people were to blame.  I did find a sources that said, without any citing, in Namibia, which has the slightly less then half the total current cheetah population, between 100 and 120 cheetahs per year were killed by farmers and poachers.  Given that cheetahs are more sparse in other locations it is unlikely that such high amount of killi... [More]
Comment icon #45 Posted by oldrover 6 years ago
Ooooooh you...you, you... beast! Conservation of large predators is a big issue. I come down in the 'save everything you possibly can camp', largely because I Know how it feels to spend most of your spare time studying a recently extinct species. Anyone who's ever looked at an illustration of a great auk, or the photo of a quagga, or most poignantly a film or photo of a thylacine and thought, 'Oh boll****', will know what I mean.  But, obviously people come first. I don't apologise if that offends anyone because if I had to make my living from the land/livestock I'd do whatever I could to make... [More]
Comment icon #46 Posted by Ryu 6 years ago
Ugh! That one hurt!!!! Lots of animals have gone extinct in just the past one hundred years or so and many were because of humans. It could have been prevented, true enough, but the world is still going regardless. It is not my intent to say that we shouldn't try to save some species but at the same time, everything has its cycles and it seems that cheetahs are heading towards the end of their cycle too. They are specialized, as one mentioned, but also perhaps too specialized. Their gene pool has been dwindling so too many related cats are breeding. But yeah, trying to hunt while someone is ro... [More]
Comment icon #47 Posted by jps 6 years ago
My dad used to tell me that Cheetah and wild dog were quite common when he was younger, growing up in the early 1900's. I remember going through his old slides, holding them up to the sunlight to be able to see, and I can distinctly remember a proud looking guy with rifle in hand posing with multiple carcasses of these animals. Seems the early farmers wiped out most of these predators to make room for sheep farming. Similar to what happened to the Thylacine and many other animals. I agree that extinction is a natural occurrence. The problem is that species are able to respond to natural climat... [More]


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