Researchers performed an analysis on the state of cheetah populations, and discovered the situation wasn’t bright at all. The big felines are the fastest land species on Earth, reaching speeds of over 70 mph, but they might lose their status if they are not quickly added on the Endangered Species List.
The cheetah populations keep declining
At the moment, the cheetah is listed as vulnerable. However, the situation of the populations in Southern Africa is quite serious, as their numbers have greatly decreased. This made the researchers think it was a warning that the species should go down one level on the Endangered scale.
Researchers kept a close look on the cheetah populations over an area of 800,000 square kilometers, for a period of six years. This area contained countries like Botswana, Namibia, or South Africa, and was selected on purpose, since this is where the most free-ranging cheetahs are roaming. After collecting all the results, they gathered them all in a study published in the journal Peer J.
The cheetah needs to be downgraded to the ‘endangered’ status
Within this area, they found only 3,577 animals, and 55 percent of them were gathered only across two habitats. This is quite worrying. The results represent only estimates, but they are 19 percent lower than the actual assessment of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This should work as a warning that the cheetah populations need a lot more protection than we thought.
These low numbers might also mean that cheetahs might still be living in some areas, but they just haven’t been spotted roaming around. Even so, this means that researchers need to improve their monitoring systems, and constantly be aware of the state of the cheetah populations. Also, they need to add a larger region within the area of protection.
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