A study from December 2016 shows that the cheetah—the world’s fastest land animal—could soon be lost forever unless urgent conservation actions are taken across the big cat's range.
A December 2016 study from Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Panthera and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) shows that cheetah numbers are crashing globally—just 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild, driven out of 91% of their historic range.
Cheetahs are renowned for their speed and spots, but the degree of persecution they face both inside and outside of protected areas is largely unrecognized.
Due to these declines, the study’s authors are calling for the cheetah be up-listed from ‘Vulnerable’ to ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Scientists are also urging an expansion of cheetah conservation, calling for efforts that span the cheetah's range and transcend national borders.
We’ve just hit the reset button in our understanding of how close cheetahs are to extinction. The take-away from this pinnacle study is that securing protected areas alone is not enough. We must think bigger, conserving across the mosaic of protected and unprotected landscapes that these far-ranging cats inhabit, if we are to avert the otherwise certain loss of the cheetah forever.
From the Blog:
Wild Cheetahs Forever
"What does extinct mean?"
Dr. Kim Young-Overton, Director of Panthera's Cheetah Program, explains the concept of extinction to her young son... and contemplates the perilous trajectory of cheetahs toward extinction and how Panthera is working to save this incredible animal.