Well another of the world’s big cats is in danger. Cheetahs number 7,000 worldwide and up to now scientists thought that they were doing well. But they have now discovered that if one excludes the cheetahs living in protected areas such as parks and refuges the animals are not doing so well in fact.
The problem is that three-quarters of the territory where the big cats live is unprotected, which in turn means that they are preyed upon by hunters for bush meat as well as the capture of the young cats for pets.
Countries in which this predicament is happening includes fro example Zimbabwe which lost 85% of its cheetahs in about 25 years. Cheetahs of course can be found in many African countries as the big cat does not respect boundaries or terrains, trespassing into many nations. Add to that that they share the land with some of the poorest farmers and herders anywhere in the world.
Reclassifying the cats as an endangered species is a first step, the second step would be to develop incentives to protect the cheetah across national and regional boundaries. Perhaps reduced poaching could be achieved by cash rewards as well as developing ecotourism where the cheetah lives. Failure to act will result in the cheetah surviving in special areas like parks only and refuges.
A Happy New Year to all my readers.