Cheetah range is 90 per cent gone
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