The Cheetah Emma Hoshino

  • Scientific Name: Acinonyx jubatus
  • Common Name: Cheetah, Hunting Leopard
The Cheetah derived from the Puma and the Jaguarundi around 6.7 million years ago. The endangered Cheetah faces the possibility of extinction due to a loss of habitat, ranching, and an increasing human population in areas that formerly served as their habitat. The species was listed as endangered in June 2, 1970.
Fastest animal in the World
Cheetahs are most commonly found in the Southern and Eastern parts of Africa. Some Cheetahs can also be found in Southern Algeria, Northern Niger and Iran.

There are numerous threats to Cheetahs; habitat loss due to human encroachment, Road construction, prey and conflict with humans, especially famers, loss of prey, high cub mortality due to predation by carnivores like lions and hyena, and illegal wildlife trade

Today, there are about about 6,700 Cheetahs in 29 populations left in the wild.

The overall population trend of the Cheetah is decreasing. The Cheetah population is declining in large part because of human influences like climate change and habitat destructions. Another reason is Cheetah cubs are common prey for Lions, Jackals, and Hyenas. The Cheetah was built for running not fighting and as a cub, they cannot run from prey. 90% of cubs born die within the first 3 months, 50% of which are destroyed by predators and the other 40% die due to to lack of genetic diversity. If there are no baby cubs, the cheetah species will continue to reproduce less and less. Loss of prey, conflict with humans, and habitat change are other reasons the specie is declining.

In Africa, cheetahs are found in a wide range of eco-regions. Dry open grassland is a popular spot for cheetahs because there they can run the fastest and catch their prey. They can also be found in thick forests and Hyperarid deserts. The cheetah is at the almost at the top of the food chain. Although in high areas of density they can lose 10% of their prey to lions. They like to feed on small hoofed animals such as antelopes, gazelles, and impalas. Cheetahs have a social organization. Females are solitary or accompanied by dependent young, and males are either solitary or live in stable coalitions of two or three. In areas where prey is migratory, female Cheetahs follow the herds, while male coalitions establish small territories which are centered on areas attractive to females.

The cheetah can be known as a keystone species. When a powerful predator such as the cheetah is removed from an ecosystem, the population of its natural prey increases. This has a rippling effect across the ecosystem, affecting a wide variety of organisms. Famine, disease and even wildfires can result from unchecked growth in other populations.

Basic ways to help prevent the extinction of cheetahs is to stop poaching. It is illegal and severely hurts their species. Humans should also limit the amount of habitat destruction for the Cheetah because the loss of habitat is one of the biggest reasons cheetahs are declining. There are many organization, protests, and funds that all go towards the cheetah to help keep them alive. Nearly all range states in Africa are involved with the Range Wide Conservation Program for Cheetah and African Wild Dogs. These programs have supported them in the development of regional strategies and national conservation action plans using the IUCN SSC strategic planning process. Another example is the conservation fund founded by Dr. Laurie marker. She started an organization where you can donate, volunteer, or visit. The organization is based in Namibia where a significant amount of the cheetah population lives. There, everything they do is aimed at creating a thriving ecosystem so cheetahs and humans can live together. In Africa, nearly all range states

  1. Durant, Mitchell S. "Acinonyx Jubatus ." Acinonyx Jubatus (Cheetah, Hunting Leopard). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2015. Web. 09 Jan. 2017
  2. Marker, Laurie L. "Laurie L. Marker, DPhil." Cheetah Conservation Fund. N.p., 2016. Web. 09 Jan. 2017
  3. "Cheetah Facts." Big Cat Rescue. N.p., 13 Mar. 2016. Web. 09 Jan. 2017.
  4. Bradford, Alina. "Cheetahs: Facts, Pictures & Habitat." LiveScience. Purch, 6 Oct. 2014. Web. 09 Jan. 2017.
  5. Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife. "Species Profile for Cheetah (Acinonyx Jubatus)." Species Profile for Cheetah (Acinonyx Jubatus). ECOS, n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2017


Created with images by Leszek.Leszczynski - "Cheetah"

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