Washington: According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the(Acinonyx jubatus), is down to 7,100 individuals remaining worldwide, most of them in Africa and, rarely, in Asia.
The number establishes cheetahs as much less commonplace than just over a 100 years ago. There are now scientists calling for the largest cheetah subspecies to receive “endangered” status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s.
The USreports an estimated worldwide population of 100,000 cheetahs in the late 19th century. The new study, led by a (ZSL) researcher with contributors including the (WCS) and , indicates a decline of more than 91%. Most of the remaining cheetahs live in most of Africa, more than half in southern Africa, while is found in Asia, including a small part of Iran, though these are seem much more rarely.
According to the study’s authors, the habitat preservation strategy that can be so effective in other species does not work on cheetahs because of their wide range. About 77% of wild cheetah’s ranges are outside protected areas. According to Cheetah Conservation Project Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe’s cheetah population dwindled from an estimated 1,500 in 1999 to 150–170 in 2013–2015, a roughly 85% decline. The group based its survey on such resources as photographs, tourist sightings, safari guides, cattle herders, and village chiefs.
The(Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) has been nearly eliminated in Asia; under 50 Iranian cheetahs remain. The cheetah subspecies went more than fifty years ago, says .
The new study, led by Sarah Durant, asks the IUCN to change the status of cheetah from “vulnerable” to “endangered” in an effort to protect cheetahs. The IUCN lists both the(Acinonyx jubatus hecki) and the Asiatic cheetah as “critically endangered” in their Red List.
Causes of cheetah decline have been mostly habitat loss, killings of cheetahs by humans, human hunting of cheetah’s resources such as, illegal fur trade, illegal cub trafficking, and roadkill. According to the , about 85% of an estimated 1,200 trafficked cheetah cubs have died within the past ten years, perishing en route.
Complicating conservation efforts, cheetahs are carnivores and difficult to maintain in captivity. According to one report, the 77% of wild cheetah habitat is outside the range of protected wildlife areas and reserves. The cheetahs’ secretive nature makes finding conclusive evidence on cheetahs difficult, says Durant.
One cheetah was recorded sprinting at 29 meters (95.1 ft) per second. They slow down if needed to hunt, and can maintain high speeds for hundred of metres. The running speed of cheetahs has not prevented their decline. It is the world’s fastest springing species and predator.
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