Dec 27, 2016

Cheetahs face extinction

Environmentalists warn that the fastest land animal - the Cheetah is rapidly heading towards extinction.

According to a new study report, it is estimated that there are only 7,100 Cheetahs now left in the wild.

According to the study, more than half the world's surviving cheetahs live in one population that ranges across six countries in southern Africa.

Cheetahs in Asia have been essentially wiped out. A group estimated to number fewer than 50 individuals clings on in Iran.

The authors are calling for an urgent re-categorisation of the species from vulnerable to endangered.

Deep Trouble

Cheetahs are in trouble because they range far beyond protected areas and are coming increasingly into conflict with humans. Because the cheetah is one of the widest-ranging carnivores, it roams across lands far outside protected areas. Some 77% of their habitat falls outside these parks and reserves.

Also, this graceful animal faces shortages of prey due to bushmeat hunting.

Another grave concern is the illegal trafficking of cubs, fuelled by demand from the Gulf states.

The young cats can fetch up to $10,000 on the black market with 85% end up dying.