Chee­tah range is 90 per cent gone

World of Animals - - 30 Amazing Facts About Cheetahs -

While ap­prox­i­mately 6,700 ma­ture chee­tahs ex­ist to­day, there were 25,000 in the early 1980s. This species now oc­cu­pies only ten per cent of its former range, which spread through­out 51 African and Asian coun­tries. It is now found in frag­mented pock­ets of land across 21 coun­tries, only one of which is out­side Africa.

Chee­tah habi­tat once ex­tended from the shores of the Mediter­ranean Sea all the way to Africa’s western coast.

The only chee­tahs out­side Africa are found in Iran and are con­sid­ered a separate sub­species. Less than 50 re­mained as of De­cem­ber 2017, scat­tered over an area of 140,000 square kilo­me­tres (54,054 square miles).

Re­searchers es­ti­mate that the de­cline in the chee­tah pop­u­la­tion be­gan 100 years ago. This pe­riod is thought to have seen the be­gin­ning of rapid en­vi­ron­men­tal change that con­tin­ues to­day. Chee­tahs be­gan to come into con­flict with fast-ex­pand­ing hu­man set­tle­ments, as did the prey on which they re­lied. The en­vi­ron­ment has changed due to ir­ri­ga­tion, pes­ti­cides and ris­ing global tem­per­a­ture. A fur­ther ten per cent de­cline is pre­dicted over the next three chee­tah gen­er­a­tions, which to­tals roughly 15 years.

Long grass is the ideal cover for this fear­some sa­van­nah preda­torHis­toric rangeCur­rent range

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.