Cheetahs Threatened With Extinction

One of my favorite wild cats is undoubtedly the graceful cheetah. Unfortunately a new survey shows that the numbers of Cheetahs in the wild are declining much more rapidly than previously estimated.

We met a few cheetah mams with their cubs on the South African side of the Kgalagadi Frontier Park.

Can this unfortunate development be reversed in time?

Despite being the fastest land animal on Earth the Cheetah seems to be loosing its race into extinction. Only a few thousand are left in Africa.

Visiting the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa we encountered the graceful fastest land animal on Earth, the Cheetah. Being at the rim of extinction its a rare experience to see cheetahs in the wild.

Over the last hundred years their numbers dropped from hundred thousand to merely only  7,100 adult cheetahs remaining in the wild as they lost more than ninety percent of there natural habitat to human populations.

Is that unfortunate development reversible?

Threads To The Cheetahs

Kgalagadi, South Africa

Farmers shoot cheetahs hunting their livestock, their cubs get caught and sold illegally as exotic pets for wealthy sheiks in the Gulf states and often they get accidentally trapped in snares.

Kgalagadi, South Africa

Cheetahs need a huge range of territory to find sufficient prey and suitable protection for their cubs which are otherwise easy target for predators like lions, hyenas or eagles.

Kgalagadi, South Africa

Cheetahs cover a home range of estimated up to 3,000 square kilometers in search of prey. Reasons why they don’t prosper well in wildlife reserves.

Kgalagadi, South Africa

Immense conservation efforts must kick in swiftly to outrun the threats of extinction

Kgalagadi, South Africa

The cheetah threatened with extinction

Kgalagadi, South Africa

Recently a major survey was published in a US journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggesting following immediate actions among others:

  1. Better livestock management to stop the killing of cheetahs by farmers.
  2. Use of large Anatolian shepherd dogs that live permanently with cattle herds.

Kgalagadi, South Africa

Wild cheetahs can still be found mainly in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique,  Angola, Zimbabwe and a tiny number of only fifty in Iran.
The only hope staying with me that conservation efforts and responsible tourism may stop the misfortune decline of the numbers of these magnificent wildcats in time before it’s too late.


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Author: Marcelle Simone Heller

I’m searching for natural beauty and wilderness, while I’m travelling relentlessly to find delightful places and encounters with wildlife. I try to capture the thrill of the moments in photography and words, hoping to inspire others with the love for animals and nature.

2 thoughts on “Cheetahs Threatened With Extinction”

  1. We agree. And the development that is going in Africa will continue to put ever more pressure on Cheetahs, and all other wild life that require the vast distances to eke out a living.

    1. South Africa puts in general great efforts in conservation, comparing the amount of (real wild) National Parks with other countries all over the world. Hopefully the Cheetahs will make a come back in sufficient numbers to safe the variety of genes.

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