The fastest animal on land, the cheetah is now under threat. Among population declines for the wildlife species in Africa and small area of Iran, where 7,100 cheetahs remain, human encroachments are pushing the predator out of 91 % of its historic habitat.
Cheetah should therefore be defined as endangered instead of less vulnerable on the official watch list of threatened species worldwide.
About 77 % of cheetah habitats fall outside wildlife reserves and other protected areas, the study said, needing outreach to governments and villages to promote tolerance for a carnivore that sometimes hunts livestock.Besides habitat loss, cheetahs face:
- Attacks from villagers,
- Loss of antelope and other prey that are killed by people for their meat,
- An illegal trade in cheetah cubs,
- The trafficking of cheetah skins
- Threat of getting hit by speeding vehicles.
Know More About the Cheetah
Scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus
Speed: 110 - 120 km/h (In Short Bursts, Running)
Conservation status: Vulnerable (Population decreasing) Encyclopedia of Life
Mass: 21 - 72 kg (Adult)
Height: 66 - 94 cm (Adult, At Shoulder)
Trophic level: Carnivorous
- The Cheetah has been recorded as running at 95 feet per second.
- Cheetahs are found in southern Africa and Iran.