On December 26, the wild cat NGO Panthera announced that cheetah populations are crashing globally. A study conducted by Panthera, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) found that only 7,100 cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are likely to exist in the wild. While I have already reported on Panthera’s original press release, they have now released an infographic that summarizes the most important information.
Panthera’s new infographic can be found here, and it is well worth reading. It is short, to the point, and visually appealing. Here are some of the facts contained in the infographic:
- Cheetahs need to be upgraded from Vulnerable to Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
- It is estimated that only 7,100 cheetahs are left in the wild.
- Less than 50 Asiatic cheetahs still exist.
- Cheetahs have lost 91% of their historic range.
- 79% of all cheetah populations are made up of no more than 100 individuals.
- The primary threats to cheetahs are: habitat loss and fragmentation, livestock-related conflict, unsustainable bushmeat hunting, the exotic pet trade, poaching and trade in cheetah body parts, and collisions with vehicles.
- 77% of current cheetah range lies outside of protected areas.
As bleak as this information is, the situation is not hopeless. Effective strategies already exist for protecting cheetahs, such as using livestock-guarding dogs to reduce conservation conflicts. It is time for us to band together and take action. Raising awareness, publicly displaying support for cheetahs, and donating to NGOs who are working to conserve cheetahs are all good ways to do so.
I would like to personally thank everyone who has taken the time to support my upcoming master’s thesis. After three days we have generated $385, and my GoFundMe campaign is already trending. But there is a long way to go. Please visit my campaign and consider donating, and/or sharing it on social media. The more publicity it gets the more successful it will be, so please help to spread the word!